How neobanks are winning Gen Z over with fun banking

Our first generation of Digital Natives, Gen Z, is a tech-savvy group that expects instant and memorable experiences at their fingertips. They have seamlessly integrated mobile apps into various aspects of their lives, from ordering food to managing finances. As Gen Z, born between the mid-1990s to early 2010s, matures, they will seek financial independence, leading them to gravitate towards fintech apps like neobanking. This change poses a threat to traditional banking, whose mobile apps offer basic features that fall short of Gen Z expectations.

In 2023, 30% of banking customers have embraced the convenience of digital banking, resolving issues from the comforts of their homes1. As Gen Z enters the workforce, this shift is about redefining customer journeys into engaging, value-driven experiences. At Twimbit, we envision seamless journeys across all experience touchpoints – digital, service, brand, and employee ; Aligning with the core principles of the experience economy:

  • Time well saved: Providing good functionality to customers so they can open their bank accounts whenever and wherever they want.
  • Time well spent: Cultivating joy when customers use their personalised and user-friendly apps for a quick and painless way to resolve issues.

“In the experience economy, time is the currency of value. Either in time well spent, or time well saved.” – Pine and Gilmore, pioneers of the Experience Economy.

Engaging the digital generation with enjoyable banking features

For Gen Z, expectations go beyond mere convenience. Why? Time is their currency. Hence, they fiercely pursue opportunities to spend it meaningfully. The challenge lies in meeting their expectations for swift and efficient digital interactions. To truly cater to this generation, banks must transcend basic functionality and embrace a holistic approach by integrating features that infuse a sense of joy.  

Recognising the need for experiences that align with the values of Gen Z, banks should consider incorporating features such as:

1. Gamification: Plug-in engaging features like leaderboards, daily check-ins, and virtual worlds.

UOB | Meniga

Case study: TWRW by UOB encourages healthy saving habits through their gamified savings feature. For instance, TMRW enabled a gamified feature that allows users to build a stunning city in their virtual world with the money they have saved in real life.  

2. Reward programs: Offer cashback and redeemable points for rewards tied to customer’s interest.

Screens screenshot of a phoneDescription automatically generated

Case study: The Trust Bank rewards program is customer-centric and is designed to enhance the everyday shopping experience. Users who swipe their Trust card at participating retailers stand to earn valuable stamps and redeem exciting coupons.

3. Personalisation: Users can customise certain features in their app as they see fit (Notifications, dashboard layout, app theme, etc.)

Bank Jago - Saving & Spending Pockets

Case study: Jago Bank enables users to customise their debit cards with personal nicknames and organise their savings goals into visually distinct “pockets” using emojis and colours.

4. Interactive financial literacy: Make learning, understanding, and applying financial skills like budgeting, saving, and financial management in a simple and gamified way.

Case study: FamPay India makes learning about money fun with engaging games, quizzes, and budgeting tools, empowering teens to manage their finances with parental oversight.

Integrating engaging features aligned with Gen Z’s desire for self-expression, individuality, and control unlocks the potential for lasting, positive relationships beyond single transactions. These features tap into their core values, fostering brand advocates who identify with a personalised, enjoyable, and empowering financial experience.

Can traditional banks keep up with Gen Z?

Standing 2 billion strong worldwide2, Gen Z’s embrace of digital banking is shaping a wonderful neobanking revolution. As we follow Gen Z in 5-10 years, the demand for streamlined, mobile-first, socially responsible banking solutions will only grow. This presents exciting opportunities, but traditional banks must adapt or risk becoming obsolete. The future of banking is undeniably digital, and Gen Z stands at the forefront of this transformative journey.

  1. Lumoa, The Future of Customer Experience in Banking 2023
  2. Truelist, Generation Z Statistics