The Millennials, Financial Services, and the Web

July 12, 2007


San Francisco, CA, USA July 12, 2007

The college-bound "Millennial" generation born between 1982 and 2000 will represent the next mass affluent group. Financial institutions will need new marketing approaches.

The race to attract Generation Millennial (Gen M) has become increasingly important since this group is not tied to longstanding financial relationships. By reaching out to the college segment, financial institutions can add new customers very early in their financial life cycle, which helps build loyalty. As members of Gen M age, they will have increasingly sophisticated financial services needs and will often look to their existing financial institutions for new services. So attracting this group early is key.

In a new report, , Celent reveals the opportunities in Gen M for insurers, investment providers, banks, and card issuers. According to the report:

  • Overall awareness of financial products and services has grown over the last few years in the Gen M group.

  • Gen M highly values remote channels, such as email, Internet, and mobile phone.

  • Checking accounts and debit cards are still the most pervasive products for Gen M.

  • Gen M uses debit cards more frequently than other payment forms and for lower dollar values than other age segments.

  • Investment by financial institutions in the Internet channel can pay off handsomely.

  • "GenM is the first generation to grow up online and to grow up without the need for a landline phone," says Dan Schatt, co-author of the report and senior analyst at Celent. "Given the ubiquity of mobile handset adoption and internet usage among college students, banks that want to tap into this demographic will have to invest heavily in the mobile and web channels, the number one preferred way for this segment to communicate and obtain information about financial providers."

    At the same time, Gen M continues to look to one of the most traditional channels out there for information about providers: their parents. "Parents remain one of the top influences on Gen M's choice of provider, particularly for insurance," says Ashley M. Evans, co-author of the report. "Financial institutions that can mine their databases for customers with college-age children have an opportunity to market to young consumers through one of their most trusted channels."

    The 36-page report has 23 figures. A table of contents is available online.

    Members of Celent's Life/Health Insurance and Property/Casualty Insurance research services can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left. Non-members should contact for more information.  

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

San Francisco, CA, USA July 12, 2007


Executive Summary 3
Key Findings 4
Introduction 5
Market Opportunity 6
The Survey and Respondents 9
Gen M and Financial Services 13
Multichannel Expectations 20
Choosing Providers 24
Reaching the Millennials 28
Concluding Recommendations 33
Objectivity and Methodology 34

Sign in to download reports and access personalized information