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June 24, 2016

I do a fair amount of research into trends in retail banking, and its almost impossible to find an article that doesnt focus on the importance of attracting and retaining millennials.

Now, dont get me wrong, I totally understand. Millennials make up one-fourth of the U.S. population. [Nielsen]. They have had, and continue to have, a huge impact on the market, and Im grateful to them for driving many of the changes that have made our financial lives easier including mobile check deposit, personal financial management tools, bill pay, mobile alerts and more. But, as a baby boomer, I love technology and the next great app almost as much as my millennial children and their friends. And it turns out, Im not alone.

In an article in The Financial Brand, Top 5 Digital Banking Myths, by Jason Weinick, the first myth mentioned is, Only Generation Y and Generation X utilize digital banking. In fact, as Weinick cites, 75% of the deposit volume at banks is comprised of baby boomers and seniors and 45% of them actively use online or mobile banking. Surprisingly, seniors use mobile bill payment more than Gen Xers. And this demographic group is growing. Every seven seconds, one American turns 50, and those over 50 make up a quarter of the U.S. adult population. [Source: Facts and Statistics about the Baby Boomer Generation.]

So where am I going with all this? My point is that while digitally savvy millennials are one of the most important segments for retail bankers to acquire and retain, boomers and seniors are not to be ignored. While some of us may be laggards, were not luddites and banks who embrace and cater to the digital needs of seniors and boomers have a lot to gain.

In his article in American Banker, Banks Neglect of Seniors in Digital Push is Shortsighted, Kevin Tynan makes the case for banks to create senior-friendly digital experiences to better serve this large and growing audience. He suggests simple measures like easy-to-read fonts, the ability to increase text to the desired font size (I love that feature on my Kindle!), static user interface widgets and lists of step-by-step instructions

The ability to understand and accommodate consumers preferences across their life journeys will be more and more important as new technologies and apps continue to shape digital banking. Banks that allow customers to customize their digital experiences to fit their comfort level and needs will be able to attract and retain profitable customers, whether theyre millennials, boomers or seniors.

Kathleen Holm is Marketing Director of the TCS Digital Software & Solutions (DS&S) Group. She has more than 25 years of experience marketing technology software and services to enterprises worldwide. She leverages her extensive background in enterprise software technology to help organizations develop effective marketing strategies, create targeted messaging and positioning, and implement effective go-to-market plans to improve corporate performance. Prior to joining TCS, Kathleen was a Senior Principal of technical product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware where she was responsible for defining the marketing strategy based on industry maturity and customer trends. She also held positions at IBM including Market Manager for WebSphere Developer Programs, Market Manager for Tivoli Integrated Service Management and Tivoli Brand Specialist. Prior to joining IBM, Kathleen worked with four high-tech startups.


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