How can you educate Gen Z during National Financial Literacy Month?

Young woman taking money from ATMApril has just started, and National Financial Literacy Month is here. This month, originally designated to tackle American youths’ lagging financial literacy, provides an opportunity to educate the newest generation entering adulthood: Generation Z.

Who are Gen Z?

Gen Z, sometimes called Zoomers, are the newest generation entering adulthood. Currently, between the ages of 9 and 24, they’re predicted to be the largest generation in the U.S., with an estimated 78 million members by 2034.  In 2019, they already represented about 40% of the nation’s consumer purchasing power despite more than half the generation being children. They possess the greatest global purchasing potential of any other generation to date.

How is Gen Z’s financial literacy?

While we’ve discussed the importance of financial literacy in adults, Gen Z’s unique tech upbringing has given this generation a mixed understanding of finances. Many Zoomers have been using smartphones since before they were teenagers. So far, 50-80% of Gen Z that own a smartphone use mobile banking.

Some studies have even found that Gen Z was three times more likely to take a financial education class than millennials. Despite this statistic, almost half of Gen Zers rely on their parents for financial advice. Less than a third uses financial services companies or financial websites for information, which explains why older generations pass down many of their misconceptions about finances to Zoomers.

Additionally, 57% of Gen Z report they don’t know how much money they have in savings, and almost 70% are confused over how much they can spend now versus saving for later. Furthermore, over a quarter of Gen Z believe they don’t need to build credit or invest in retirement. These facts highlight the confusion and misinformation Zoomers, a generation that can reshape the financial industry, have about financial literacy.

How can you connect with Gen Z?

Zoomers are uncertain about their finances, with 28% feeling “bad” about their money situation — more than any other generation. Due to their lack of confidence in money matters, Gen Z visits bank branches in person more often than millennials and at four times the rate of people 55 and older.

Their frequent branch visits open the door for more hands-on opportunities for your organization to fill in the gaps and correct misconceptions about their finances. To get started, try these three tips:

  • Give Gen Zers a treat to keep them coming back. Over 39% of Gen Z feel it’s at least a small bit important that banks offer free goodies (over twice the rate of millennials and Gen X, and almost eight times more than Baby Boomers). Those who are provided treats report visiting the bank more frequently than those who don’t. So don’t be afraid to offer delicious bait, such as candies or coffee, to grab their attention and maybe gain a loyal customer.
  • Help them learn about their finances. Almost half of Gen Z surveyed said they found financial topics at least somewhat interesting. Around a third of those surveyed claimed to have taken a financial class, though many who did still had unanswered financial questions. Providing a financial education is a great opportunity to engage with your Zoomer customers.
  • Connect with them over email. Finally, despite growing up in the ever-evolving age of social media, research shows that the best channel for a brand to reach out to Gen Z is good old email. Use a comprehensive newsletter to reach out and educate your younger customers about important financial topics. Take the time to tailor the information to your audience, consider which topics will resonate best with them, and build a solid relationship. Just be sure to keep your financial information compliant with regulatory guidelines.

National Financial Literacy Month provides a great opening to engage with a new generation of customers who are still learning the ropes. Reach out to your Zoomer customers today to help build relationships and improve your band.

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