By Michael Jjingo
The young people have always been unique, from the days of bell bottom, to balanced jeans and later damaged trousers! For young people, gone are the days for standing in the line as you wait to be served at the bank. Present day Banking is actually not boring or even time consuming, thus should appeal to the young and old, given the multiple digital channels that are not limited to the Apps, mobile banking, online banking among others.
Financial institutions may be forgiven if a little unclear on what to do with young people given the seemingly endless, changing, and often conflicting – findings about the younger generation’s attitude toward financial institutions. For example, one of the recent research published claimed that this demographic is “turned off” by banks because they do not offer appealing products and services.
True, young people don’t necessarily dislike financial institutions – they just want them to be better/tick. They want that institution to act as an “overall financial caretaker”, call it a one stop center. They want their banks to advise them on key matters. They want advice on how much to save and budget. Financial institutions need to redefine the relationship they have with young customers. This advice may not be done physically, but preferably run on the digital channels.
Certainly, for the generation largely made up of people who do not remember a time before Internet, and are often described as living on their phones, call it dot-com, or digital native, their digital adoption might be really surprising and much better than the earlier old School generations. We must realize that the young people are by far tending to digital-only customers.
As financial institutions transform their business strategy to cater to this generation, they must understand that while this group wants more automated functionality, they still expect to maintain control over their banking but want human connection when they need it. The challenge is being able to balance the two. Young people still very much rely on the personal touch of banking, but will judge a bank on the basis of its digital capabilities.
As a matter of driving convenience and accessibility, better to roll out the Cardless or virtual Cash solutions. Cardless ATM cards is another appealing solution for our young people. Airtel Uganda has outed the MasterCard Cardless solution which is a game changer. Given the simplicity of the cardless ATM transactions, young people have no option, but to be mesmerized to action.
Well, real-time payments services is another desire for any young person. Let’s agree that it is in their era that solutions like flexipay and schoolpay were ushered in, changing the tide for school fees payments that had been characterized by the congruous bank queues. As we speak today, the young people pay their school fees real time at the convenience of their parents’ homes.
They’re looking for things they identify with. Perhaps the secret sauce to attracting and retaining young people, and digital customers overall, is to give them good options. They have access to anything and anyone. This may range from online shopping, dating, learning, interactions, meetings or even the financial transactions. Real time resolution and clearance of queries and transactions is another aspect.
A digital wallet run platform would be a good idea. On this platform, customers can create and customize a personal financial dashboard on any device, view accounts and investments from It, as well as other financial institutions, make person-to-person payments to anyone and schedule an appointment with a banker. As It evolves, clients access more features they want and expect.”
As we make the platform appealing to a younger prospect with some funky color schemes, we are attracting their attention. Since they are digital communicators, young people prefer a one stop center that appeals to the entire array of their needs, which solutions are real time, without any rigor. As our world becomes more and more digital, we shall attract young people who want more control over their financial lives.
Our young people expect that banking will, and should change and serve them differently than it did to their parents’ generations. They’ve seen that change is possible and it’s created a sense that they can influence change and disrupt entire common practice by their consumption habits. Look at the music industry, for example. Today, you can have any song or film in the world in your pocket. They have the same expectation of banking: that everything should be digital and should be easy.
The writer is the General Manager Commercial Banking at Centenary Bank