Mayralee Martinez
May 16 3 min read

Banking In The Age of Attention Spans

Banking In The Age of Attention Spans

Have you ever tried explaining the stock market to someone who gets their news through memes and TikTok? That's the reality banks face today. Gen Z and Millennials, the "scrolling generation," possess notoriously short attention spans and expect information at their fingertips. Flashy ads and complex products just won't cut it anymore. In this age of constant distraction, banks need to ditch the outdated "sell" mentality and focus on crafting captivating experiences that seize attention in an instant.
Banking in the Age of Attention Spans means understanding that young adults prioritize convenience and value over traditional banking features. According to an article from BAI, easy-to-use mobile banking reigns supreme over chasing the highest interest rates. These younger generations are more inclined to switch banks for a smoother digital experience than for a slightly better rate.
I'm sure we've all seen the headlines: "Humans Have an 8-Second Attention Span! Less Than a Goldfish!" But here's the thing: science debunks the goldfish myth. As Forbes highlights, studies by companies like Netflix reveal that people can be engrossed by compelling content for hours. The key lies in understanding the different types of attention. We can flit between tasks, giving "selective attention," but truly engaging stories can trigger "sustained attention."
This revelation bodes well for banks seeking to connect with Gen Z and Millennials. While flashy ads might grab a fleeting glance, they won't build lasting relationships. What resonates with these generations is a meaningful and immersive experience.
So how can banks leverage storytelling to capture attention and foster sustained engagement?
  • "Snackable" Financial Literacy: Gen Z thrives on bite-sized information. Offer short financial tips, explainer videos, or interactive quizzes within the banking app.
  • Personalized Experience: Utilize data to recommend relevant financial tools and resources. Need help budgeting for a music festival? Your bank app should provide budgeting templates and savings goals based on past spending habits.
  • Gamification: Incorporate gamification elements into budgeting tools or savings challenges to make financial management enjoyable. Think progress bars, badges, or leaderboards to make responsible money management feel rewarding.
  • Storytelling Within the App: Develop narratives that align with young adults' financial goals. It could be a video series following a young entrepreneur saving for their first business venture or an interactive quiz helping users identify their financial personality.
By intertwining relatable stories and valuable information, banks can cultivate trust and demonstrate their value proposition. This "add, not sell" approach goes beyond grabbing attention; it nurtures enduring relationships with younger generations.
Putting it into Practice:
  • Conduct user research to understand what features and information resonate most with Gen Z and Millennials.
  • Invest in a user-friendly and visually appealing mobile app, as intuitive and user-friendly as their favorite social media platform.
  • Develop a content strategy that offers "snackable" financial literacy content within the app alongside longer-form content like articles or podcasts.
  • Craft engaging narratives that connect with the financial goals and aspirations of younger generations.
Banking in the age of short attention spans entails creating an experience that is both informative and engaging. By embracing the "add, not sell" approach, banks can seize the attention of younger generations and build lasting customer loyalty.

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