The future of finance has to be fun… and social

For those of a younger generation, born into a world of instant gratification, likes, tweets, and online sharing, everyday finance remains a “single-player game”: it’s individual, transactional, and not particularly exciting or rewarding. It clings to outdated generational traits, and ‘personal finance’ remains much more than that: personal. Historically, finances have been kept private, hidden, and not openly discussed among family, friends, and colleagues; But with the future of finance in mind, this is not how younger generations live their lives or their attitude towards money.

From 1996 onwards, Gen-Z was born into the digital world and is of significant importance to our economy, present and future. They are the future of finance; the open generation, social media sharers, trendsetters, green warriors, TikTokers, ever-present messengers, and financially savvy spenders.

Born into our digital age, Gen-Z grew up immersed in technology and are not drawn to the ease and novelty of personal finance as previous generations were. Gen Z and young millennials are looking for highly personalized, fun and social experiences in all aspects of their lives. To keep brands relevant and future-proof, Gen-Z is pushing them to evolve.

Research by Ernst & Young cites three patterns in how Gen Z is driving the evolution of fintech; first, through their aversion to credit card debt, second, their expectation that brands reflect their personal values, and third, their desire for community, networking, and self-education to make finances a fun and recreational activity.

Making up almost a third (32%) of the world’s population, Generation Z is today’s largest and most diverse generation. Financial services must keep up with the desires of this growing demographic, as other sectors of the industry have.

Human beings are inherently social beings. You and I crave connection, relationships, and belonging, and we evolved to travel, hunt, and thrive in groups, because it kept us safe. This evolutionary instinct has not diminished over time, but it has changed.

Connections now give us our identity, value, and our circle of support. Everything is better when we do it together. A walk in the park is more pleasant with a loved one, a week in the sun, sea, sand or snow is better with friends, and playing with your friend through headphones is more fun than doing it alone.

It is this understanding that has led to the burgeoning ‘social+’ phenomenon within business, with consumer demand from younger and more discerning generations leading the charge towards integrating social into products and services.

Think of concepts that are not only personalized, curated and personally connected, but also incorporate customer-to-customer connections as the soul of the product or service. Popular games like Fortnite, Call of Duty and Fifa mix social+gaming, Strava and Peloton mix social+fitness and see how TikTok made music social.

In the social finance+ category we are starting to see the tip of the iceberg in catering to this younger, social and fun demographic (and it’s definitely a sinking of the Titanic). There are some fintech examples where you can see what your friends are buying and chat or comment on their purchases; In the investment space, you can also see the meteoric rise of Wall Street Bets.

But by and large, finance remains very private, transactional, and lonely. Creating fun and authentic social experiences is the approach fintechs need to take if they want to cater to the next generation, but in doing so it’s important to realize that they may be losing the habit of previous generations.

At EVERYTHING, we’re on a mission to create the money experience that younger generations really want. One that is rewarding, fun and social. Our model is simple: we’re reinventing the UK’s most popular savings method, Premium Bonds, with a social twist that rewards and excites our users. Users have the chance to win instant cash rewards between £1 and £1 million every time they *tap*, spend or save money.

To increase your chances of winning, you can also invite your friends and family to your own “Squads,” where you can chat, complete challenges and games, access brand launches, and celebrate victory together. We’re gamifying everyday spending, adding social camaraderie and community, and creating a more exciting financial future.

Our waiting list has just opened and our app and Mastercard debit card will launch in spring 2022. We’ve already given away thousands of pounds in cash rewards to our most active waiting lists!

Michael Wilkinson is co-founder and COO of EVERYTHING.

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