Three Ways Community Banks Can Better Engage Gen Z
By Bolun Li, CEO of Zogo
Thanks to Zogo for contributing to the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator’s Founder Feature series! Zogo makes financial education more fun and engaging for young adults. To see more from Zogo and nine other company founders with a range of solutions from payments and loan automation to cybersecurity and data insights, sign up for this year’s online 2021 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Demo Day! For questions, please email email@example.com.
Every year, community banks invest millions of dollars sponsoring financial education in the classroom to build brand awareness among younger generations. But is it effective?The way that financial concepts (401ks, IRAs, etc) are delivered to young adults is, frankly, boring. To sit in a classroom and pay attention to a lecture for hours isn’t working for this subject! I know this because I was one of them, just a few years ago.
It’s tempting to think the disconnect is because young people just aren’t interested in personal finance. But that’s not true – in fact, 64% of Gen Z say they are frequently worried about finances.
People in Gen Z want the information. Banks want young adults to understand finance and interact with the bank. So how do we make this match?
When I got to Duke University, a couple of friends and I decided to tackle this problem with one of our university’s world-renowned behavioral scientists. The solution we found was gamification. Here’s why this approach is a critical consideration for community bankers and their Gen Z customers.
Mobile friendly: To reach Gen Zers, you have to meet them where they want to be met – on their smartphones. 95% of Gen Zers own a smartphone, and 78% of them consider their phone to be their most important device for going online, according to 2019 research by Snap, Inc. Moreover, they spend an average of more than FOUR hours per day on their phone. Gen Zers need community banks to offer them value in their native digital environment.
Bite-sized: Gen Zers are just like us! They have busy schedules and limited time to pay attention. To effectively deliver content to this generation, it must be short and bite-sized.
Embedded incentivization: Gen Zers are gamers! The gaming industry is projected to be a $94B industry in 2024, 90% of Gen Zers already classify themselves as “gamers.” Consider how you can use incentives and gamification to reach this generation. For example, at Zogo, we built our app so that users earn points (in the form of pineapples) as they complete lessons and can redeem those pineapples for rewards such as gift cards and deposits from a FI that sponsors their experience.
The oldest Gen Zers are approaching their mid-twenties this year. This generation is just starting to make their way into the adult world, and with it, they’ll bring their own beliefs, habits, desires, and preferences. More importantly for community banks, Gen Zers will be an increasingly critical part of community banks’ customer base in the years to come.
Imagine this scenario for someone who is still in school: My friend shows me a gamified app on his phone that she uses to learn about personal finance – and gets gift cards by playing along. Since I am curious about the gift cards and stressed about my finances, I download the app on my phone and start learning in a matter of minutes.
I learn through bite-sized personal finance lessons. Each lesson has five quiz questions at the end. If I answer the questions correctly, I get a few pineapples – in other words, points. One more lesson, a few more pineapples. It feels just like a game, in a format that I’m extremely comfortable and familiar with. Then my friends start competing on the leaderboard to see who can win the most pineapples. I use the app whenever I have a free minute – in the car, in the hallway, in my living room, you name it.
And the whole experience is brought to me by my local community bank. Their logo is on the screen each time I go into the app, and some of the modules even teach me about the benefits of joining.
A year and a half ago, we built Zogo — a gamified financial literacy app that helps financial institutions engage and attract Gen Z. Over 75 financial institutions have partnered with Zogo across the country to engage, attract and acquire their next generation of customers — and deliver financial education more effectively. Our app has gained over 100,000 young users who have completed more than 2,000,000 mini-lessons on the app.
Visit www.zogofinance.com to see how financial institutions across the country are leveraging Zogo and schedule a partnership meeting to learn how we can help you reach Gen Z.
Thanks to Zogo for contributing to the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator’s Founder Feature series! To see more from Zogo and nine other company founders with a range of solutions from payments and loan automation to cybersecurity and data insights, sign up for this year’s online 2021 ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator Demo Day!