A letter to financial services, from Generation Y

Millenials and their part in the future of the financial services sector

Each generation has their turning points and some of these have more significant impacts on the outlook of that generations children than others. For the current generation Y, the millennials, these turning points have been many and varied, the second Iraq war broke just as we were gaining our political perspectives, we graduated in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the great depression, and yet, to offset this we found ourselves coming to adulthood in the middle of the greatest technology boom in a generation.

A technological revolution led by generation

These events, juxtaposed as they have been, have created a generation that are full of paradoxes; a generation who seem destined never to own their own homes, who have struggled to find permanent work in the years since leaving university. We are often, incorrectly, described as self-entitled and financially irresponsible. Yet, in the face of all this we have learned to make ourselves heard, to stand up for what we believe in and it is the millennials who are sparking something of a creative revolution within technology. We are a generation who are uncompromising in the standards that we demand, both from ourselves, but, most importantly from those who we deal with on a day to day basis.

It is with that in mind that today’s more traditional institutions must discover the most effective ways to make themselves work for the benefit of this enigmatic generation, who, for all their contradictions, are ultimately shaping the financial and technological landscape as we know it.

Digitalisation, Fidor and Atom bank – banks begin to innovate

It is banks in particular who would benefit from taking heed of the needs of Generation Y; innovation, digitisation and creativity, all buzzwords that resonate well with the twentysomethings and new adults who are busily looking to establish themselves financially. That isn’t to say that banks aren’t innovating, the establishment of all digital banks, such as Fidor and up and coming Atom Bank are to be lauded for their inception, there is also the advent of several payment and banking apps that make the digital banking experience a pleasure, but there is work to be done.

Using digital banking to capture the needs of a new generation

However, the future is bright for the financial services sector. There was more than £342million worth of investments in UK fintech companies in 2014 and most of those highly innovative, start-ups will be the ones who, if given the opportunity, could work with the major banks to kick start a culture change. A transformation of the current status quo, into something that captures the needs of a younger generation who thrive on innovation and the promise of progress built around creative thought and leadership.

It’s been a long time coming but we’re so close now to the dawn of Generation Y friendly financial services providers, and as a millennial myself, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.