|By O'Malley, Chris|
Most bankers already know that this generation, born between roughly 1980 and 2000, is tech-savvy. Thus, banks have spent billions on online banking products, and millennials like Branch have noticed.
"The ease of doing my day-to-day banking via the [bank's] app on my iPhone is very pleasing to me," said Branch, of Scheetz Century 21.
But it's not as simple as just rolling out new technology.
Various studies and surveys show millennials often distrust banks and represent a higher portion of the unbanked population.
The creative agency Scratch, a unit of
Millennials are more likely to use non-traditional banking products such as preloaded debit cards issued by retailers, and they often research financial products more intensively than older-consumers.
And while millennials don't hang out in branches, as did their elders, and may even open accounts online, they still expect a good experience when they do have face-to-face encounters at the branch.
It might be tempting for banks to just ignore millennials at the moment. After all, that bigger generation known as the baby boomers is at its peak earnings potential and ripe for buying lucrative wealth-management products and services.
Boomers earn trillions of dollars annually. Adolescents and young adults earn an estimated
But by 2018, millennials' annual earnings could soar to
"It means that the banks need to be more innovative to attract customers," said
"The millennial generation is an interesting one. They actually are creating the trends, in a sense, that businesses are trying to follow."
And one trend popularized and demanded by the generation is an obsession with connectivity.
Some 96 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds polled this year for
That's a greater percentage than those who considered a toothbrush indispensable (93 percent) and - hold your nose - more than those who considered deodorant important (90 percent).
So it follows that this attachment to mobile devices has raised millennials' expectations from their banks. That ranges from online banking to depositing checks via the cell phone to text-based alerts about fund balances.
The BOA study also found four in five millennials use mobile banking apps to access their accounts at least once a week. Most times (81 percent) they did so to check balances, followed by transferring money (49 percent) and to pay bills (48 percent).