Most millennials carry some sort of instinctive ability to understand and utilize digital technology simply because they have been born into a digital era.
The older generation, whose birth years range from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s, also referred to as Generation X, have by contrast either adapted to digital technology after being fascinated by it, or they have been forced to reckon with it in order to survive in a technology-driven environment.
The financial services industry is no different. The latest trend in payments is the offering of instant mobile payment apps and contactless, but is this satisfying the Generation X customer? Generation X might get left behind as the banking industry is transitioning to more complex fintech solutions through the use of mobile and online platforms.
The Generation X-ers can usually be spotted with a printed boarding pass at the airport, and they prefer to read a manual from a booklet as opposed to online. And though they book their theater tickets online, they often prefer to print them as opposed to presenting them electronically.
While most Generation X-ers have been accustomed to learning new technologies, mainly through interacting with early adopters, they aren’t always enthusiastic about learning new systems, and some might even approach innovation with a high degree of skepticism and a real unwillingness to conform. For instance, in terms of payments, their preference is still to carry cash and to use debit and credit cards.
Most retail banks, as part of their fintech strategy, are enabling customers to perform their banking transactions using their smartphones or through online banking; hence, they never have to set foot in a branch.
However, banks have failed to capture customers’ imagination with their fintech platform offering. That this is why Generation X still relies on in-person banking and ATM cash withdrawals, which has given a new life to branch-based models.
Evidently, these customers are willing to go through the hassle of commuting to a branch and standing in line to consult with a banker or teller, as opposed to using their cumbersome mobile application. This is a loud and clear message that Generation X is sending us, but somehow banks are not receptive to it.