Find out how to adapt your strategies to Gen-Z mobile-first approach to the world.

Gen-Z is the first generation to grow up entirely in the age of the internet, leading them to have a mobile-first approach to life and banking. Almost 100% of Gen-Z has a smartphone now and they’re more likely to spend several hours a day using it, doing everything from shopping to schoolwork to banking, all on one device. Keeping up with Gen-Z is important for any business’ future, and that means adapting to learn how to use a mobile-first approach.

1. Understanding Gen-Z

It’s important to understand that Gen-Z is wholly different from previous generations, largely because they’ve never known a world without the internet or computers. They’ve learned to grow and adapt to the changing technology as they grow older and will continue to do so as technology progresses. This also applies to their banking habits. Furthermore, these young adults are making money on Social Media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, where their revenue goes into a mobile account like PayPal, which eliminates the need for a financial institution and even a credit card. Most of their purchases are done online.

Because Gen-Z has grown up adapting to the ever-changing technology, they expect their financial institutions to keep up with technology too. They also expect to be able to do almost all their banking online, instead of having to visit a branch to do business, and they rarely, if ever, use cash for payment.

2. Gen-Z and Data

Nowadays, you can learn much more about your consumer than you could before because of the wealth of data available through cookies and carrier data. It’s easier to understand what the consumer wants, and when, than ever before. Gen-Z has grown up with businesses and AIs intuiting what they want before they do and has come to expect it when online. Therefore, it’s important to stay up to date on new data about mobile visits to your site or app, who’s visiting when, and where they are spending their time. What’s often overlooked, is what type of device they are using to access your site. More than likely, it’s their mobile phone.

3. Gen-Z and Customer Service

Gen-Z’s attitude towards customer service and how it should be run is also dramatically different from previous generations. Sixty-three percent (63%) of consumers are now fine receiving customer service from an AI chatbot, with the caveat that they can speak to a human anytime. Yet, in 2021, the trend is shifting to live video chat. In fact, in recent customer service studies, an overwhelming 85% of customers preferred a video chat as a better user experience.

4. Website or App for Gen-Z?

Most consumers, not just Gen-Z, expect companies to have a website. The difference with Gen-Z is that they expect websites to be fully functional and easy to use in the web browser on their smartphones, as they’re more likely to pull up a business online on their phones. It is essential that your website be mobile responsive and be as easy to navigate, as if on a desk top computer. This enhances the importance that a financial institution have a well-functioning, easy to use, mobile banking app. It feels easier and more natural for them, especially when it comes to banking.

5. What Does Gen-Z Want in an App?

By far, the easiest way to keep up with Gen-Z is to have a clean, well-run app, where they can do everything, they need to, in one spot. Gen-Z loves retro, but not keeping up on the latest design and tech for apps just makes you look out of touch with Gen-Z. This generation is highly visual, having grown up with GIFs and videos constantly streaming around them, so having an app that is eye-catching and clean is important.

Since Gen-Z is more likely to use an app, having in-app advertising is just as important. They’re not going to know what programs and loans you’re offering if you don’t tell them off the bat. They’ll also prefer to learn about what your credit union offers online, rather than by a salesperson telling them, so they can draw their judgment.


Gen-Z is a highly visual, flexible generation that prefers being able to do all their banking online. This is why it’s important to emphasize app performance and in app advertising to keep up with Gen-Z, as they grow and adapt to the changing technologies.

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