How to attract and retain millennial customers

Rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis is hitting millennials hard. Money is tight and getting tighter, so how can Fintech help? 

Millennials are generally those born 1981-1996. Also known as Generation Y, those aged between 26 and 41 are now the largest adult cohort worldwide, accounting for 1.8 billion people, or 23% of the global population. 1

These digital natives have grown up with no concept of a world without the internet. They’re used to better data, devices and download speeds. At the same time, they’re less financially resilient than their parents.

For many millennials, there’s too much month left at the end of the money. That makes it harder to make ends meet or plan spending, let alone save for the future. So how can FS providers appeal to today’s millennials?


Millennial money

Millennials are the first UK 30-somethings to earn less than past generations. This is due to a combination of lower average earnings, rising costs and lower home ownership following the 2008 financial crisis. 2

Working patterns have also changed with the generations. Younger people cannot take a stable salary, holidays, sick pay and other benefits for granted. Jobs for life are out. And self-employment, freelancing, zero-hours contracts and gig economy work are in.

Getting on the housing ladder is harder, too. The average UK house now costs more than eight times annual earnings. It was four times for the parents of today’s millennials. Millennials are more likely to rent or live with their parents. Just over half of 18- to 29-year-olds in the US lived with a parent in July 2020, compared to 38% in 2000. 3 That’s the highest level since the Great Depression.


Savings take a hit

The rising cost of living is making millennial money woes worse. The UK has seen the biggest surge in consumer prices since the 1970s, with inflation currently running at 9% 4 – and it’s a similar story across Europe. 5 Everyone is having to contend with rising food, fuel and phone bills. So, unsurprisingly, saving is taking a hit.

Half of full-time workers say they’ll reduce or stop saving altogether, according to research from pension provider Royal London. One-fifth of people plan to borrow their way out of trouble. 7% admit they simply don’t know how they’ll cover increases and 5% say they’re considering a short-term (payday) loan. 6

When it comes to longer-term financial planning, those who contributed to a pension, 11% either reduced or stopped (8%) payments, with millennials being the most likely to do so (40%). 7


Top tips for appealing to millennials

Here are five big ideas to help you attract and retain millennial customers.

1. Know your customers
It sounds obvious but understand the background and circumstances of your customers. Bear in mind that there may be as many differences within the millennial cohort as between different cohorts. Age- or lifestyle-based segmentation may not be a reliable proxy for establishing what customers really want, especially as millennials range from 26 to 41 years-old.

2. Beware of confusing digital savviness with financial savviness
Where do millennials get financial advice? It may be from their parents as much as from their peers. There’s huge scope for financial education, savings tips and personal recommendations. Also, don’t discount the importance of physical locations (e.g. bank branches) for delivering in-person advice. Millennials may not expect nor want a 100% digital experience.

3. Personalise the offer
Think about how to deliver more personalised, intuitive propositions. This can become a virtuous circle, as if the offer is more tailored and comes at the right time, it will feel more personalised and intuitive. Open Banking initiatives help deliver better quality data, faster. Think how this can be leveraged to know customers better and create personalised recommendations.

4. Make money management easier
Customers generally, not only millennials, want to manage their money but don’t necessarily want to spend time managing money. Think about how this may inform features, such as auto top-ups, round-ups, linking spending with savings goals, budget tracking, forecasting, pre- and post-transaction notifications etc.

5. Design and communicate appropriately
Millennials are unlike their parents’ or even their grandparents’ generations. So, you can’t design for and communicate with them as if they were. Consider developing propositions in an iterative way that actively integrate customer feedback. This helps strengthen customer relationships and positions you as a trusted innovator, who listens.


The Monavate difference

Bringing good ideas to life today can be complex and time-consuming, not to mention manual and expensive. Programme managers find themselves having to up-skill to deal with licences, release changes, platform maintenance, among other things.

Legacy tech breeds legacy attitudes. Which is why so much modern-day innovation takes place to raised eyebrows and the sucking of teeth. All this is tough for start-ups. They suffer more under the weight of red tape and other people’s legacy. Yet even for more established firms, it’s an unscalable model.

Monavate aims to simplify complexity and cut time-to-market. We offer one-stop card issuing. That’s everything you need to manage your card programme in one place: from BIN sponsorship and IBANs, to fraud prevention, compliance and more.

We’ve replaced the traditionally fragmented, confusing supplier landscape with a fully-integrated, self-serve platform to get cards in hands quicker than ever.

If you’re interested in card issuance via one provider, on one contract, with one point of contact and point of access, contact us today to find out more.



[1] World Economic Forum, 08 November 2021

[2] World Economic Forum, 19 November 2019

[3] Pew Research Center, 04 September 2020

[4] Bank of England

[5] Euronews, 3 February 2022

[6] Royal London, 18 May 2022

[7] Royal London, 08 February 2022