Not Your Daddy’s Payment App: Why FinTech Needs to be More Social and Less Stuffy

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Technology is an essential part of life for Gen Z, and financial apps are a cornerstone. These applications help them pay bills, manage finances, split tabs, and otherwise navigate the adult financial world. Unlike millennials, who are more likely to be first adopters of new technology, Gen Z will be quick to adopt technology, but they want to make sure it is worthwhile first. 


Gen Z is not looking for the latest hottest thing. Instead, it wants applications that meet their needs, easily connect with others and are not scammy. This might be why apps like Venmo and Revolut have over 90% of the market share for this demographic. These applications provide a service, have built-in social aspects, and have been around long enough to build a reputation. 


In this article, we explore why it’s imperative that FinTech modify its approach to Gen Z to retain and increase its market share of this critical demographic. Only by creating applications and services that center authenticity and trust as well as convenience can FinTech attract and retain the confidence of this discriminating generation.


Payment Apps for Life

ForGen Z payment apps are more than a convenience; they are intrinsic to their daily lifestyle. It allows them to easily split bills such as rent, utilities, and even lunch. These applications can help them manage their finances, invest in the market, and plan their futures. Unlike older generations, Gen Z isn’t burdened with cash and checkbooks for payments. They’ve shunned time-consuming and hard-to-manage tools like pen and paper budgets. This generation demands streamlined solutions that keep pace with their lifestyle, allow easy collaboration and help them crowdsource solutions when they run into snags.


Why Are They Popular?

Payment apps are popular because, for Gen Z, mobile devices are natural. They grew up immersed in technology with information at their fingertips. Phones and tablets are practically an extension of their being. They'd sooner leave the house without pants than forget their device. 

 

While older generations were forced to write checks and hit the ATM to get cash, the truth is, these are impractical for most people in today’s face-paced world. When was the last time a twenty-year-old held up the line paying with a checkbook? Even if they have one and know how to write a check, why would they? It takes days to clear a bank, and the recipient can lose it. Checks contain everything an identity thief needs to gain access to your bank account. With modern technology in place, it is insane to think that any transaction should take days when payment apps do it instantly. 


Why One Over Another?

When considering new applications, especially those involving money, Gen Z users want to ensure they are not being scammed. They look for information on the internet to show that the company is trustworthy and the application is safe. The source of this info might come from an influencer or a trusted friend that “you know” does their research. There is no one way this research is conveyed. It could be a Tik Tok video, a social media comment, or even a chat at a coffee shop. 


Gen Z is looking for a service that not only does what it says but a company with authenticity and values they can trust. Part of this is because they don’t want to get scammed or have their personal information sold to the highest bidder. The other part of this comes from their refusal to support unethical companies or those who support the status quo. They choose to embrace diversity and inclusion so why support companies with outdated ideals? Many organizations have great products, but their record with equality or the environment is just plain embarrassing. Gen Z actively votes with their money and loyalty. Sure, some companies do a great job cleaning up their image but today’s generation doesn’t buy the hype. They want action over platitudes and they expect to see receipts or they’ll take their business elsewhere.


FinTech Needs To Be Social

FinTech needs to approach Gen Z on the platforms they communicate on rather than through traditional forms of marketing. Tools that market using legacy platforms such as TV and radio are likely to be relegated to “boomers” and are useless for reaching this group. Perception very much dictates reality for today’s generation. If they perceive your marketing or service methods as outdated they won’t waste their time with your company.


For example, on Venmo, the payment has to be explained. It is replaced with an emoji rather than a sentence of text, as a word is typed. This parallels what happens in social media and is far more fun than a long description.



Social Media Marketing

Getting engagement on the application requires it to be discussed on social media to generate interest. This is where influencers and word-of-mouth advertising play a prominent role in growing interest. While influencers can help the process, the more the product organically appears on social media, the more likely new adopters will try it out. Companies can drive this process with incentives for users to make social media posts such as discounts and freebies after a post is made.


Social Context

Then the app itself needs to have social aspects built-in for the users to communicate with one another. Integrating the login process with OAUTH implementations such as Google and Facebook streamlines the process, making it easier for new users to adopt. The ability to quickly find users and communicate is essential for building a user base inside the application.


Using familiar aspects of social media is part of what makes it easy. Much like having emojis auto-populate rather than text, it leverages tools they already know how to use to help make it familiar. 


Also, identifying other users by social network identities rather than phone numbers or full names makes it more accessible. Social communication capabilities allow Gen Z users to communicate among themselves. This can range from letting a friend know that money is sent or that they need to send money to making more public posts. Sharing information and opinions openly enables the user to feel like they matter and provides a support system to ask questions when they are lost. 


Crowd-Sourced Reviews

Part of the trust-building aspect is seeing that other people use and trust the application. Having known “big organizations” review the product does not build trust as there is the perception they can be bought rather than offer honest reviews. The same goes for influencers when it is a “sponsored” review, as it’s obvious the opinion is not organically generated.  


Getting honest reviews on app stores, social media, and other areas that are harder to manipulate is vital to this. Again, using incentives to post reviews and commentary on public platforms helps to build trust. This behavior needs to be encouraged by organizations rather than dissuaded. Yes, bad reviews will happen. This is an opportunity to make improvements. Communicating back to the community when changes are made lets users know they are heard.



FROGED can Help

Attaining and retaining Gen Z patrons comes down to experience. FORGED can help your organization provide a good experience and deliver messaging to keep them engaged. With our Net Promoter Score (NPS), you can gain in-depth insight into your strategy and how well it can retain customers. NPS measures customer satisfaction and loyalty and evaluates how likely a customer recommends your brand or product to someone else. This information is a crucial piece for predicting business growth and success. Sign up for FREE to find out how NPS can help your business.  


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Stephanie Rubin

A marketing nerd with an obsession for data and innovation. Living in Miami and New York with aspirations of adding Malaga to the mix. When I'm not talking about CX, product and brand strategy - I'm painting, planning travel and reading non-fiction while learning how to play piano.

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