Millennials: willing prey in generations battle

Payment via smartphones, raising capital through crowd funding and sending bills via email: Fintech is usually associated with young people, with Millennials or the Y generation. Or in other words: twenty somethings and people in their early thirties who grew up with a computer on the kitchen table and a mobile phone on the go.

Companies that want to digitize further, often focus primarily on this generation. And in part this is appropriate. The Millennials are the early adopters and often very critical. If they don’t like an app, they will throw it off and move on to the next. They often do not have a credit card and are therefore more focused on digital innovations in the financial sphere.

The X factor of digitalization is different for every generation

Anyone who wants to modernize their billing processes should not only focus on the Millennials. But how do you convince other generations that digital modernization also has obvious benefits for them, rather than simply forcing them (there is no other way around it) and lose so much goodwill? The mistake many companies make, is that they use the same story and the same arguments to convince these generations. Often, this does not work.

Take for instance Generation X, born roughly between 1960 and 1980. They have busy jobs and families with growing children. This generation has one important goal: save time for quality time with the children. This generation does not want to spend the night searching for passwords just to make a payment. They prefer to read to their children.

Save time and be worry-free: that's the argument that will convince this generation. For example, by pointing to the huge timesaver of not having to log in just to pay a bill. Just press the button, pay within thirty seconds, and have a confirmation in your mailbox. And, this generation is loyal. If your app or product has proven itself in terms of convenience, they will remain loyal to you for years to come.

A similar story applies to the Baby boomers and Traditionalists: people in their fifties and older. It is not true that they are averse and afraid of everything that is digital, even though they do like to read the newspaper preferably on paper. They do attach more value to privacy, security and reliability. If they have to enter numbers, they are terrified that they might make mistakes. And to make sure that a bill via Internet banking is actually paid, they often even check with the bank or vendor afterwards.

Jump on their need for security and control, and make sure this group is pleased with digital payment convenience rather than scared. We do this by making the entering of numbers an unnecessary action and letting the payment status jump from blue (not yet paid) to green once the payment has been successfully done. Remove uncertainty and insecurity; transparency comes first.

This is the lesson we have learned in the past nine years: every target group has its own needs, behaviour and demands. Make sure you know your (potential) customers and anticipate their needs rather than to focus only on Millennials and ignore the rest of your customers, or eventually forcing them to make the switch. So, find out the X factor of all your target customer groups and discover what inspires them. Now everyone can benefit from the many advantages that modernization entails!

Peter Kwakernaak

Peter Kwakernaak


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