Millennials—the generation born between the early 1980s and 2000. There are millions of them and, in 10 to 20 years, they’ll pretty much be running things.
In anticipation of that, banks are scrambling to figure out how Millennials want to manage their financial transactions, and what evolution has to take place to provide those solutions.
Technology plays a huge role. Millennials prefer banking online or via a mobile device. Therefore, many of the new gadgets and software being introduced are designed to meet that demand. The good news is that these next-generation innovations will make things easier and more efficient for the rest of us as well.
1. Photo Deposits
If you’re not doing this now, you should start. It saves a trip to the bank branch and you get an immediate digital confirmation.
Using the bank app on your smartphone, go to “deposits.” There are prompts describing how to take a photo of the check (both sides) enter the amount and the account number. Once confirmed, you can file or scan the check for your records.
2. Smartphone Wallets
Leave the checkbook, cash, and debit cards at home. Now you can pay with your smartphone. Just download a compatible mobile pay app and link it to your bank account.
For iPhone users, the choice is Apple Pay. Android users have a few more options, but a popular one is Google Wallet. Use it for purchases at merchants who provide the “tap-and-go” capability and the money is exchanged digitally.
3. Wearable Devices
While there are several “smart watches” in development, the most app-heavy device is the Apple Watch. Besides making and receiving calls and emails, you can make purchases with Apple Pay. Apple Pay on Apple Watch works the same way it does on your iPhone. Add a bank account or debit card for purchases, and if a merchant provides the capability, just wave your watch over the device and go.
Even more futuristic in development: Voice commands. Imagine asking your watch things like, “What is my balance?” or “How much money did I spend last month?”
4. Customized Services
While online and DIY banking popular, banks are still offering a personal connection. For example, at Frost Bank, customer calls are answered by a real human. No more “press 1 for this and 3 for that.”
To help banks offer products and services that are right for you at the right time, many are using data analytics to determine how you use online banking.
For instance, is your mortgage a good candidate for refinancing? Is there a savings or money market account that would provide better money management? Now your bank can come to you with solutions.
Other cool features? Alerts offering a 24-hour grace period when you’re overdrawn, or cash-back deals at your favorite retailers based on where you’ve made debit/credit payments in the past.