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BoA takes millennials into account

News, 09 April 2015
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AUSTIN, TX: Millennials are "upending" payments and require financial brands to adopt a different mindset than in the past, according to a leading executive from Bank of America (BoA).

Anne Finucane, the company's global chief strategy and marketing officer, discussed this subject at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Transformation 2015 conference.

On the positive end of the spectrum for banking brands, the millennial audience still utilise credit and debit cards, borrow money and move in all kinds of personal-finance directions.

"Banks move money, and so we're necessary," said Finucane. (For more, including further details of how the firm has adapted following the financial crisis, read Warc's exclusive report: How Bank of America provides value to a new breed of consumer.)

"Millennials use Bank of America or JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo as much as anybody, because they still need access to their money."

Millennials take centre stage

Read Consumers in 2015 for an inside track on how to unlock
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Looking beyond this fact, though, Finucane reported there are clear ways in which companies like Bank of America can best meet their needs, resting in large part on the "value we provide".

As this cohort over-indexes on the uptake of digital tools - from mobile apps to wireless payments - the "amount of work that we do online is important to millennials," she said.

That idea involves more than reimagining products and services, as shown by the launch of "Better Money Habits", a financial literacy program led by BoA and online education pioneer Salman Khan.

"Banks should be able to do good financial literacy," Finucane said, "but financial literacy is a snore. Who cares about financial literacy?

"What you do want is some basic stuff … It's not just how to buy a house or how to fix your credit score. It's the anatomy of a paycheck ... Those are the kinds of things we do."

A survey of 1,001 internet users by Bank of America and USA TODAY late last year found that two-thirds of millennials believe they have good financial habits, but 53% live pay cheque to pay cheque.

Given a 59% majority were "not worried about doing more 'adult' things like buying a house or starting a family", their demands from banks could indeed be very different in the long term.

Data sourced from Warc

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