Gen Y, the 80 million Americans that were born between 1979 and 1999, represents a huge opportunity for financial services, insurance and brokerage firms, but so far, this group is more elusive, even more so than their predecessors in Gen X. But their impact will be quite clear. Did you know that this group, also known as millennials, will have more than $3T in income by 2018, far surpassing their baby-boomer and Gen X parents? We need to think about the impact of this generation way before they hit their earnings stride 5 years from now.
Gen Y will completely alter the way we think about managing content in general, and transactional documents in particular. Generally speaking, this group has elevated expectations, is willing to use non-traditional financial institutions, and has adopted mobile technology far more pervasively, even compared to Gen X. After reading about this and talking with customers over the past couple weeks, here are some amazing facts and results that will be driven by Gen Y:
- Gen Y Loves Making Money! 6 in 10 rate making money is as important to them as it is to their parents, which contradicts conventional wisdom
- Big Online Adopters – 89% of Gen Y banks online, 30% want to open accounts online. This compares to only 78% and 14%, respectively for other groups
- Tech-Engulfed: 97% have a profile on Facebook or similar, fully 35% own an iPod/iPod Touch, according to Alte Media. Wonder how many have iPads?
- Alerts – This group is way more apt to use SMS alerts to notify them of payments and money movements due to (currently) tighter cash flows
In talking with an exec at a large brokerage firm, the topic of Gen Y came up, and in context of eDelivery of brokerage statements. The exec has a 22 year old son, who never even opens his bank statement, forget about opening it and using it to balance the checkbook. His son’s attitude, is “why spend time working off some paper which is 5 days old before it hits my mailbox?” Instead, he is online constantly, and through his mobile phone, to track and monitor what is going on.
Does this mean the end of the “old think” SEC regulated statement? Does it mean that the frontline view we show customers may be more like the online experience, with the SEC document as backup? Another take on this is from a Xerox whitepaper which states that transactional documents in general will be transitioning quickly from vehicles that inform to online experiences that engage. Maybe I was wrong when I wrote that …”Transpromo is for the Birds.” Perhaps, it is the first shot at making transactional history more relevant to Gen Y.
Here are the great resources I read for some of these facts: