PFM: Millennial Banking Technology

Millennials have taken to new and innovative ways of managing their finances over a wide variety of devices and channels…

‘Millennial: noun: a person reaching young adulthood around the year 2000; sometimes known as Generation Y’ 

By most standard definitions I am a millennial: born in 1987, I was thirteen in the year 2000, seventeen at the advent of YouTube, nineteen when Facebook took off, twenty when the first iPhone was released, twenty three when the iPad debuted and twenty six at the advent of biometric authentication for smartphones.

In effect my transition from teenager to adult has been marked by the rise and rise of technology. I and my entire generation have watched this evolution and, for the most part, we have adapted.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that millennials expect a lot more from their banks then previous generations. One particular arena in which we millennials have excelled is our adoption of new types of digital finance technology. Millennials have taken to new and innovative ways of managing their finances over a wide variety of devices and channels, we have a different perception of what a financial institution both should and could be.

Over the course of my journey to adopt all things digital into my financial life I have been searching for any added extras that my bank will provide me with. I have been keeping an eye out for my bank developing a service (whether an app or an addition to the existing app) that could analyse my spending habits and my saving potential; essentially I want my bank to provide me with an easy and comprehensive way to manage my money, an mbanking solution straight from my device of choice.

Just as this was looking like a forlorn hope, a dream destined never to be realised, the financial services industry offered me and my fellow Gen Y-ers a beacon of financial hope… PFM.

Standing for Personal Finance Management, PFM promises to be the next big thing for banks and other financial services institutions moving forward. However it isn’t moving forward quite fast enough, in an age where a piece of technology can be obsolete in a year and a fad can be over in a month the fact remains that a great many of the UK’s biggest financial institutions have yet to roll out a fully functioning, omni-channel PFM tool. That said there are one or two exceptions who have managed to produce these elusive apps, but the uptake is yet to be mainstream.

Banks have been a key part of our society in some shape or form since 2000BC, for them today’s technology and its advancements are not just disposable commodities, to be upgraded and discarded on a whim, but something to be carefully considered, weighed up and implemented with caution and care.

But the future looks bright and I’m hopeful that more banks in the UK will follow Generation Y’s train of thought and over the remainder of this year and into next, we will start to see more and more banks offering more and more PFM features and services. However with an entire generation whose expectations appear to be exceeding their banks progress it is worth asking the question, do the millennials, the children of the digital revolution, expect too much, too fast from their banks?