Bank execs see attracting Gen Z as one of the biggest challenges of the year

20 June 2024: More than half (57%) of banking executives surveyed across the UK say that attracting young consumers is one of the biggest challenges they are facing in the next twelve months, according to new research released by Tink, a market-leading data enrichment and payment services platform. An estimated two thirds (67%) say it is a vital part of future proofing their business, with 50% believing it is key to remaining competitive.

This is against a backdrop of high demand from Gen Z consumers for feature-rich banking experiences – with a greater likelihood of switching their loyalty to another provider if they don’t get them.

Capturing Gen Z hearts (and loyalty) is harder

Nearly half (46%) of Gen Z consumers surveyed are already using third-party money management apps in addition to their core bank, indicating that consumers are increasingly turning to other providers to help them understand their finances. In fact, an estimated 31% of Gen Z said their bank was at risk of losing them as a customer if digital tools and services weren’t upgraded.

Tink’s research finds that Gen Z consumers could be lured to a competitor by the offer of tailored support in meeting financial goals (49%) or tools to manage spending (48%). Most importantly, Gen Z consumers would like to see their primary bank provide more visibility over finances (57%) and help them manage the cost of living (55%). This indicates that tangible support with day-to-day finances is top of mind for Gen Z. 

There was also a recognition by executives surveyed that banks need to up their game to win over younger consumers, with 63% acknowledging that younger generations expect more and new innovative products and services from them. Yet the research found that some banking executives still face challenges with acquiring these customers, which they attributed to Gen Z’s perceived lower tolerance for friction (33%) or poor UX (30%), and preference for challenger banks (32%). 

The right tools drive long-term loyalty

As a result of younger consumers’ rising expectations, Tink’s research shows banks want to  take action to invest in digital financial management tools as an effective way to attract and retain customers. 

Over three quarters (79%) of banking executives believe that banking app or online banking features, like money management tools, are effective for customer acquisition. A similar number (74%) agree that digital financial management tools are also helpful in retaining customers. 

It’s therefore no surprise that 72% of surveyed banking executives said that developing financial management tools that support customers is a top priority. However, some implementation challenges remain, with 70% of banking executives surveyed believing that growing customer demand outstrips their current development ability.

Jack Spiers, UK&I Banking & Lending Director at Tink, commented on the findings: “More than ever, retail banks have an opportunity to focus their long-term strategies on keeping customers engaged. Continued strong competition in the retail banking market is offering consumers a myriad of options and providers to choose from. 

“Banks are understandably keen to attract younger customers and become their provider of choice throughout their lifetime. Therefore, many are focused on keeping up with evolving consumer expectations of this younger cohort, to deliver the digital financial management tools which will win them over. 

“To future proof their business in the long term, banks can invest now in upgrading their digital offerings. As competition grows from fast-moving challenger banks and third parties, greater collaboration with trusted third-party partners can help banks bring innovative products to market at greater speed and scale.”


Notes to editor:

Banking research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Tink in May 2024 amongst 101 retail banking executives who are based in the HQ function (aged 18+).

Consumer research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Tink in May 2024 amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,010 consumers aged 16+ in the UK. 

Case studies, statistics, research and recommendations are provided “AS IS” and intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for operational, marketing, legal, technical, tax, financial or other advice. Tink does not make any warranty or representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the Information within this document, nor assume any liability or responsibility that may result from reliance on such Information. The Information contained herein is not intended as legal advice, and readers are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent legal professional where such advice is required.

About Tink:

Tink is a market-leading payment services and data enrichment platform. Through more than 6,000 connections to banks, Tink provides payments, banking, and lending solutions that power the new world of finance – whether that’s making account-to-account payments, onboarding new users, making better risk decisions or creating engaging money management tools. A wholly owned subsidiary of Visa, Tink was founded in Stockholm in 2012 as a pioneer of open banking.

Today, Tink is present in 19 markets with an enhanced fintech platform that goes beyond its open banking beginnings, to serve many of the world’s largest financial institutions. Tink enables its partners to take processes that are filled with friction and replace them with data-driven experiences that helps eliminate complexity for millions of consumers across the globe. For more information visit