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One in three millennials cite sustainability over digital experience as bank brand differentiator but 99% admit they want to switch, says Rufus Leonard study


By Jessica Davies, News Editor

November 20, 2014 | 3 min read

A total 99 per cent of millennials have stated they are ready to switch banks, while 12 per cent said they would switch for as little as a free monthly coffee, according to research from Rufus Leonard.

The study, conducted across 1,000 people aged between 18 and 34 years old, revealed sustainability was the biggest incentive for respondents sticking with a money brand, with one in three placing it above digital experience.

Meanwhile, in contrast to the general sentiment that trust in banks has fallen, half of respondents still trust banks with their money, with 59 per cent saying they visit their bank branch at least once a month.

Iain Millar, head of innovation at Rufus Leonard, who is also due to explore what the findings will mean at The Drum’s Disruption Day in London next week (27 November), said money brands must work harder to get close to the behaviours, motivations and concerns of millennials so they can develop new products and services which can resonate with their lives.

“The key finding is that existing banks and money brands are seen merely as a safe store for their money and somewhere to move it around; it’s a transactional relationship, involving no brand loyalty and its value is judged on price alone.

“There is a gap in the market for a money brand that builds a trust-based advisory relationship with millennials, helping them plan for the future, helping financial literacy as they enter the economy – a new kind of relationship that inherently builds trust, loyalty and lasting value for millennial customers.

“This audience is going to make up 75 per cent of the workforce in 2025 – so if financial brands don’t wake up to this, they’re missing a trick,” he said.

The study’s release follows the agency’s first in a series of annual ‘Reinvents’ events called Rufus Reinvents Money, the latest of which took part between 3 and 7 November.

This involved the agency carefully vetting millennials based on their experience and aptitude, before bringing them in for a week-long hackathon alongside brand experts including Lloyds, Oracle and Hey Guevara.

Students from Harvard and Hyper Island were flown over to London for the event to answer a brief on how to reinvent the future of money.

Now the agency will look to roll out some of the business propositions which were introduced throughout the week, and will reveal more about the process at The Drum’s Disruption Day event next week.

To find out more or book tickets for Disruption Day, which will span topics including entertainment, retail, smart cities, health and education, visit the dedicated website.

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