Bank executives are investing considerable time determining the best way to reach, attract, and retain millennials. And for good reason. According to Pew Research, the millennial generation—born between 1981 and 1997—is now the largest generational cohort, at over 75 million strong. To bankers, millennials, with their growing and fluid set of financial needs, represent the primary fuel for growth over the next decade and beyond.
The focus on millennials is a sound strategy. However, there are storm clouds on the horizon for community and regional banks. According to the J.D. Powers 2016 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, “Big banks have been most successful at acquiring and satisfying millennials,” primarily due to their superior digital offerings.
So how should community and regional banks compete in 2017? By employing the same successful strategy to their digital channels that they use in their traditional channels—highly personalized service. And by making sure that personalization is based on real-time transaction analysis.
Millennials are digital natives. They’ve grown up in an era where the success of the leading Internet-based companies is defined by the level of real-time personalization delivered to users. Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Pinterest, and others have conditioned millennials to expect—and ultimately demand—to be treated as an individual. The 2016 Segmint Consumer Banking Report revealed that 67% of millennials would welcome highly personalized messages from their bank. If Netflix is recommending new programs based on real-time viewing history, why aren’t banks offering services based on real-time transaction analysis? The digital white glove experience of services like these make it all the more frustrating when banks send millennials information that applied to them six months ago.
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