Millennials and Banking: Finding a Balance Between Security and Convenience (with Infographic)

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There’s been a lot of chatter recently about Millennials and their overall impact on the global economy. According to a recent article by Dan Schawbel in Forbes, this demographic represents a large and powerful block of consumers, encompassing some 80 million individuals in America alone with an estimated $200 billion in annual buying power.

Big brands are taking notice and re-thinking the way they engage this growing and amorphous faction of the population. This is especially true for banks who recognize that Millennials are ‘digital natives’ who interact with products and brands differently than previous generations. As Dan points out in the article referenced above, Millennials exhibit deeper brand loyalty when they have a positive experience with a brand. On the other hand, when a Millennial has a negative experience with a company, they would rather share it in social media instead of contacting the company's customer service. They also are more prone to rely on blogs and other Web-based content to make more informed decisions prior to making a purchase and often use a multitude of tech devices on a daily basis.

These preferences are to a certain extent, hard-wired into this generational group as they have literally grown up with connected devices and pervasive Internet access.  They grow frustrated quickly if they cannot execute a simple function online or if a user experience is too onerous. Consequently, banks must evolve the way they market to and serve Millennials if they hope to remain relevant. Perhaps the most pressing question that bank executives are asking themselves these days is how they can deliver what Millennials value most --convenience -- without compromising security?

Millennials and Banking

This is especially true when it comes to the mobile domain. Millennials have come to expect that banks will design applications that are ‘mobile first’. And if they don’t, the switching costs being relatively low, they will simply take their banking business elsewhere. A number of recent surveys demonstrate the reality that Millennials will simply not choose a bank that doesn’t offer a comprehensive and easy-to-use mobile banking solution. In short, Millennials have shown a tendency to prioritize digital convenience over security. Consider some of these statistics:

  • 94% of bank account holders under the age of 35 are active users of online banking
  • 38% of Millennials use apps and other mobile tools to make bill payments

But the price of convenience can be high, with a surprisingly high number of Millennials reporting that they have experienced some type of electronic fraud:

  • 44% of US Millennials report being the victim of cybercrime at least once in the past year
  • 31% of Millennials share passwords including credentials for online banking sites
  • 84% of Millennials put their accounts at risk by checking their accounts using insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • 54% of Millennials are concerned about the security of their mobile devices when performing transactions

Millennials’ untraditional banking habits and heavy use of mobile technology means that banks need to continually refine their security strategies to successfully protect, and even stay ahead of them. Crucial technologies and approaches for securing Millennial banking customers should include:

  • Proactive threat monitoring on the Internet, social media sites and blogs to protect end-users from getting their personal information compromised
  • Biometric technologies as a form of multi-factor authentication, that combine convenience and offer a great alternative to one time passwords
  • Safe browsing technologies that allow for safe transactions to be done even on compromised devices
  • Dynamic forms of unique authentication such as push messages delivered immediately to mobile devices
  • Rogue app detection and removal to prevent customers from downloading and installing fraudulent applications
  • SDKs that integrate fraud protection from within a native app and don’t require additional end-user action
  • Transparent transaction monitoring to detect suspicious activity in real time when end-user deviates from their regular behavior

To download and share the full infographic of these findings, visit:

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