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Research Reveals Younger Consumers Prefer In-Person Financial Interactions

Vistar Media, the leading global provider of software for digital out-of-home (DOOH) and MFour, the leader in behavior-driven survey research, today released survey findings on consumers’ financial services preferences and behaviors – from where and how consumers prefer to bank and spend money, to the top incentives they care about. The study, which was conducted during June 2022 using MFour’s mobile panel of 2.5 million opt-in consumers, is based on responses from 2,000 adults in the U.S. 

Specifically, the study reveals that:

Over one-third of Gen Zers prefer to apply for a credit card in-person.

While many consumers prefer to open new credit cards online (60%) via web or app, adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to apply for a credit card in person (35%) than adults that are 25 or older (14%). Younger consumers are also more likely to apply for loans in person, compared to adults ages 25+ (49% vs 37%). 

“Despite popular belief, Gen Zers aren’t married to doing everything online,” said Lauren Lawhead, Director of Analytics at Vistar Media. “Given this group is new to financial processes like applying for a loan and new credit card, it makes sense that they value in-person experiences since it fosters more trust and credibility when evaluating big financial decisions. This presents a significant opportunity for brands to incorporate DOOH geotargeting tactics to reach this coveted audience, along with messaging focused on desires such as bank proximity and financial expertise through leveraging the robust dynamic creative capabilities that exist today.”

Across all age groups, more than half of consumers would prefer to speak with a bank employee (61%) or open an account (55%) in person. On the other hand, the majority of consumers would prefer to deposit checks (60%), transfer money from one account to another (83%), or apply for a credit card (68%) online via a mobile app or website.  

Nearly 40% of young adults are likely to apply for a new credit card this year.

One in three (34% of) consumers stated they are likely to apply for a new credit card this year, while younger adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to do so (39%) vs. 26% of adults ages 45 and older. 

When considering a new credit card, consumers said that the type of rewards offered and low interest rates are the two most important factors overall (64% for each), followed by sign up bonuses (44%) and granting larger lines of credit (33%). The most prefered rewards type that consumers care about is by far cash back (70%), followed by travel (15%) and grocery store (11%). 

"With rewards being one of the most important factors for consumers of all ages when choosing credit cards, financial services advertisers can utilize DOOH to showcase offerings while consumers are engaged in highly related activities,” said Leslie Lee, SVP of Marketing at Vistar Media. “The contextual relevance of DOOH is a perfect fit to match promotions with moments when rewards might be top of mind, such as showcasing cash back rewards on screens in grocery stores, malls, gas stations and retail or at hotels and airports for travel rewards.“ 

Further, consumers are willing to spend up to an average $284 on annual credit card fees, with adults ages 18- to 24-years-old willing to spend up to $421 on average and adults ages 45+ willing to spend up to $126 on average.

Lee added: “Young consumers’ willingness to pay higher credit card fees makes this audience highly valuable for financial advertisers to reach through OOH, particularly with their propensity for in-person financial experiences.”

Nearly half of consumers say incentives, rewards and lower interest rates would persuade them to change their primary bank.

Only 31% of consumers switch their primary bank every 10 years or more frequently, which means it is important for bank brands to understand the triggers for switching in order to capitalize on that opportunity. The top reasons for this include moving cities or states (44%), better incentives or rewards (43%), and lower interest rates (40%).

However, the opportunity to convert loyalists is limited because 65% believe that their bank is easy to work with and over half feel their primary bank is trustworthy and secure (58%), has good customer service (56%), and is convenient to home and work (53%).

“Though conquesting consumers from their primary banks may be a difficult feat for these advertisers, the data shows a clear opportunity for strategic advertising placements to help move the needle,” said Lee. “Banks can readily geo-target DOOH inventory around competitors’ locations and display creative highlighting their different incentives, rewards or lower interest rates in order to engage with, and ultimately persuade, consumers. And to keep their existing consumers, banks can utilize OOH to showcase the qualities that matter most to consumers, such as highlighting nearby bank locations and local convenience by using dynamic creative to display specific proximity details on screens throughout local neighborhoods, to ensure retention.”

“As banking has become increasingly digital and remote over recent years, it’s natural to assume customer habits have evolved and played a pivotal role in the explosion of available Fintech options. Financial institutions have been tasked with keeping pace with innovation while serving a dedicated and loyal customer base. MFour was pleased to join our partners in gathering crucial insights to help businesses and marketers understand consumer banking usage and preferences,” said Vardan Kirakosyan, Senior Vice President of Research & Strategy at MFour. “By leveraging fair trade, opt-in consumer data, we don't have to play a guessing game when it comes to consumer wants and needs. Instead, institutions can be equipped with the behavioral insights needed to make well-informed decisions.”

For more information about how marketers can leverage digital out-of-home to improve the performance of their marketing campaigns, download Vistar Media’s new e-book: Facilitation for Financial Services: DOOH Strategies for Success.

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