Banking

For Millennials, It’s Hip To Have A Traditional Bank

Think the younger, tech-savvy Millennial is all about online banking?  Think again, as data from SurveyMonkey shows that in addition to banking bits and bytes wending their way across devices, treading the floorboards of a bank branch has its own allure among the younger set too.

Turns out millennials are not the different-kind-of-banking-breed some had thought. It also turns out the much-vaunted social media generation is less inclined to use social media than you’d think.

In a survey held from the end of June into early July and conducted by SurveyMonkey, the web-based survey firm queried more than 1,000 adults above the age of 18, 290 of which were defined as 18- to 34-year-olds: millennials. In findings released today, in tandem with a presentation to the CXFS 2017 customer experience conference, SurveyMonkey noted the social media-savvy generation has almost little interest — with less than 5 percent claiming to be users — in monitoring their finances through Facebook Messenger or Snapcash.

Perhaps we should not be all that surprised at the findings, or that social media has a way to go before becoming banking itself becomes truly “social.” In fact, PYMNTs, in conjunction with Visa, noted a few key points through its own survey of roughly 2,600 consumers last month.

Among the findings in the How We Will Pay study: 83 percent of respondents wanted to be able to use an ever-burgeoning roster of new devices to conduct commerce. But, interestingly, when it came to actually transacting, 77 percent of those surveyed said trust remained a key factor when deciding who they want enabling those transactions.

And guess who won out? People tend to trust the banks, financial institutions and bank card networks where payments relationships are already in place and already are known to consumers, according to the data.

Though the exchange of cash via social media has yet to gain traction, it is not the case with other methods. Most Americans, at 63 percent, have used peer-to-peer payments, said SurveyMonkey. PayPal claimed the lion’s share there at about 80 percent across all demographics. Venmo remains a distant second, at 11 percent, with even greater adoption among millennials at 30 percent. Peer use also mattered to those surveyed, as 28 percent of millennials used the platform because their friends and family members did.

Additionally, SurveyMonkey found a somewhat surprising adherence to traditional ways of banking and tracking money in all its forms. Eighty percent of surveyed millennials wanted the option to visit a brick-and-mortar bank branch based near their towns. In fact, the banks without a tangible footprint in a millennial-centric town lose out, as members of that demographic claimed they would be less likely to open an account with a bank were it not to have a physical branch nearby, said SurveyMonkey.

According to the survey firm, the desire to bank in person, face-to-face, stands in stark contrast to the roughly 23 percent of Americans overall who said they had not walked into a bank branch in the past six months. Yet the Millennials — more than half of whom told SurveyMonkey they had visited a branch at least once in the past month — shared a love of in-person relationships when it comes to financial management. This interest in face-to-face interaction dovetails with the 76 to 83 percent of older Americans who also say they would be less likely to open an account without nearby branch locations.

The millennial audience seems somewhat agnostic about online banking, stating the availability of online banking “makes no difference” in their fiscal management choices, according to SurveyMonkey.

As to what does affect millennial financial decisions in terms of which bank accounts they adopt: Interest rates matter, but not as much as might be seen with other demographics, according to the survey. Interest rates on savings accounts remain a key factor for 35 percent of millennials, while the same holds true for approximately 46 percent of respondents between the ages of 35 and 64.  Interest rates of another sort — the type levied on credit cards — play a role in decision making for 44 percent of millennial consumers, more than half of those aged 35 to 49 and only 23 percent above the age of 65.

Across the board, more isn’t necessarily better, as more than half of those surveyed told SurveyMonkey they have five or fewer bank accounts across all manner of products — from savings to investments — and 85 percent have accounts with one to three banks.

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