• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

What young Americans want from banks

Although Gen Z and millennials do value low fees (31% and 36%, respectively) more than any other factor, they don't prioritize them as much as older generations.

Meanwhile, more than 60% of Gen Z and millennials would consider switching banks for better digital capabilities, like mobile apps. Other factors include better rates and cash incentives and rewards.

Mark Riddle, director of research and content delivery at the BAI, notes that younger Gen Zers, who may not have income of their own, are less likely to care about rates and less likely to own a credit card.

The younger generations were also much more likely to consider banking with a non-traditional player, such as Amazon, Google or PayPal.

Riddle adds that the rise of online banking means younger Americans are less loyal to one financial institution and often have accounts with multiple institutions, which means increased competition for big banking players.

Discover banking made refreshingly simple with Chime

Say goodbye to hidden fees and hello to no overdraft, no minimum balance, and no monthly fees. Get paid up to two days early with direct deposit. Join millions who trust Chime for easy, fee-free banking

Sign up today and start saving

Banks that share your values

For Carissa Cabrera, a 28-year-old marine conservationist based in O'ahu, Hawaii, choosing the right bank comes down a question of values.

“It's extremely important to me that the company shares the same values in environmentalism,” Cabrera says in an email. “At this point in my life, I don't support brands or products that don't include some form of sustainable and ethical practice.”

The main thing Cabrera considers in a financial institution is whether or not it’s funding the fossil fuel industry.

The BAI reports that more than half of Gen Zers and millennials would switch financial service organizations for a higher commitment to ESG and DEI. In comparison, only a third of Gen Xers and less than 20% of baby boomers say they would do the same.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) is a system for measuring a company’s commitment to bettering society, while DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) refers to measures that are specifically meant to promote inclusion for groups such as people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.

Cabrera currently uses the Bank of Hawaii for her business — an environmental media company called The Conservationist Collective — and a local credit union for her personal accounts.

She adds that members of The Conservationist Collective may also have accounts with institutions like Aspiration, a green banking alternative.

More: Credit unions vs. banks

Sustainable banking

Sustainable banking means different things to different people, notes Pete Hellwig, co-founder of Atmos Financial, an eco-friendly online banking alternative.

“When I say sustainable banking, I'm referring to the act of using your money to support environmentally friendly or environmentally positive projects or assets,” he explains.

Atmos funds climate-positive infrastructure and gives customers cash back on sustainable brands.

Hellwig notes that the average customer is in their late 30s, but their clients range from 18 to 80.

“I mean, [young people] are changing the world, right?” says Riddle. “It's no longer acceptable for publicly traded companies not to address ESG or DEI. And the younger generations are just more in tune to … social justice.”

However, Riddle says it may be difficult for financial institutions to measure and prove these commitments.

You can check a bank’s certifications if you’re looking for a socially responsible institution.

For example, Atmos is fossil-free certified and is a member of the Conservation Alliance. Amalgamated Bank is a Certified B corporation, a designation that indicates high transparency and social and environmental performance, and is part of the Global Alliance for Banking On Values.

This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Get Started

Big banks need to adapt to keep up

Only a third of Gen Z completely agreed with the statement that their financial service organizations were effectively meeting their needs.

The biggest business challenges for bankers in 2022 is to improve the customer’s digital experience and acquire new customers, reports the BAI.

By 2024, customers expect 61% of their banking business to be digital and 39% human-assisted.

Riddle emphasizes that banks need to invest in multiple channels — they can’t solely prioritize digital, for example — and have to cater to all generations.

As for Cabrera, she says younger generations have inherited a dying planet, and it’s their responsibility to find solutions to the climate crisis.

“We know that if we don't do something now, we will lose the chance to do anything at all.”

Sponsored

Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early

Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.

Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Reporter

Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

What to Read Next

Revolut review

Revolut is an all-in-one money app that lets you send, exchange, invest, save, and spend money. But is this app your best option?

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.