Authenticity in the Millennial Economy

Early last month two seemingly unrelated events had a big impact on my thinking about the future of financial institutions. First, I returned to my alma mater (Georgetown University) to visit my daughter who is now a student there. Along with spending time with friends and family I was at Georgetown to continue a dialogue with the University around how they think about preparing students for the digital economy.

Second, Accenture recently released a Report titled “Financial Providers: Transforming Distribution Models for the Evolving Consumer”, and I had a chance to read it.  The combined impact of these experiences was to generate a question in my mind: As new workers enter today’s rapidly changing workforce, are Katabat’s clients sufficiently adjusting to today’s rules of engagement?

For a bit of background, Katabat provides customer experience technology for the financial sector. We work with banks and lenders of all sizes all over the world. Our clients lead the charge in transforming how financial services companies think about technology and the customer.

The Accenture report challenged the boundaries of my thinking on lending. Katabat has been beating the automation drum for a while, yet it was eye-opening to see that 71% of Gen Y and Z’ers (Gen YZ) would adopt 100% computer-generated support from banks. And 50% would be willing to switch to Google or Amazon for their banking needs. Wow.  This is not trend this is transformation and existential threat.

And Gen YZ is more than willing to share.  Over two-thirds of those surveyed would share more data with banks if offered more benefits. However, benefits are not enough. For Gen YZ, personalization is key.  As the report points out, 73% of respondents say that if an institution has their data, they expect personalized product and service recommendations.

An Accenture report shows that 73% of Gen  YZ expect personalized product and service recommendations, if an institution has their data.

Does this mean that banks should completely abandon their current approach to doing business? Absolutely not! What they need to do is leverage new technology to better serve and understand new and old customers alike.

As the Accenture study makes clear, Gen YZ is diverse and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. BUT….they value “real” experiences.  For technology to have an impact, organizations need to be very thoughtful about the tools they choose to deploy.  They need to be “on brand” and fit within the company culture.

If I learned a lesson from spending time with my daughter and her friends, it’s that being trendy is cool but being authentic is more important.  Like many parents over the course of time, a number of my personal biases and preferences are not fully shared by this next bright, ambitious generation.   And so change is inevitable.  But authentic and “real” experiences are the glue that binds long-term relationships.

In part two of the series, I will discuss how to communicate authentically with Nomads, Hunters, and Quality Seekers–the three distinct Gen YZ personas that Accenture identified.

If you would like to learn more how Katabat can help you understand more about your clients, please email me at


Ray Peloso, Chief Customer Officer at Finvi, brings 25 years of diverse consumer lending experience, having held executive leadership roles at Royal Bank of Scotland, Capital One, Citibank, MBNA and Katabat. Ray’s prior expertise in consumer credit and lending underpins a clear vision and understanding of the challenges faced by our clients in today’s rapidly evolving digital economy.

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