RBC’s mobile users can now call on Siri to pay bills

Despite Generation Z’s digital aptitude and a preference for using mobile devices, the demographic is more likely to visit a bank branch than any other generation, including baby boomers, according to Accenture’s 10 Mega Trends Driving the Future of Payments study.

Of the 1,500 consumers surveyed across the U.S. and Canada, 20% visit a bank branch at least once a week, with 23% of those in Gen Z (aged 18 to 21 in the study) using in-person branch banking services at least once a week while only 16% of baby boomers report doing the same.

Members of Gen Z are likely visiting their branch more than other demographics because they’re more cash dependent, the report says. Notably, Gen Z is the demographic most likely to use cash when making an in-store purchase, with 28% saying it’s their preferred method of payment. In comparison, only 18% of millennials prefer to pay with cash.

“For college-aged consumers whose first jobs tend to be cash-based, branch usage is more a necessity than a choice,” says Michael Abbott, managing director in Accenture’s financial services practice, in a statement. “They still need branches to digitize their earnings. Banks should treat this branch relationship as a near-term opportunity to deepen their ties with Gen Z consumers — offering financial education as their needs grow.”

The observation that Gen Z visits bank branches more out of necessity is evident in their use of using the latest technology to do their banking.

For example, although 65% of North American consumers prefer to do their banking online, 69% of Gen Z say mobile banking apps are their first choice.

“Younger consumers are demanding an exceptional digital payments experience on all platforms — most importantly on their smartphones — and want to be compensated through targeted rewards, offers and discounts, at a cut-throat rate,” Abbott says.

Younger consumers are likely to force traditional banks and payments players to develop innovative and engaging customer experience tools and improve upon mobile, digital and in-person branch platforms or “risk getting squeezed out of the process,” Abbott says.

Accenture surveyed 1,000 adults in the U.S. and 500 in Canada online from Sept. 1-10.

Photo copyright: andreypopov/123RF