If it seems that everyone you know age 33 and younger —family, friends and colleagues—always seem to have their mobile device, usually a smartphone, lodged firmly in their hand, you are not imagining things.
A recent survey of Canadians by BMO Bank of Montreal confirms that Milliennials, people born between 1981 and 2001, consider their mobile devices to be indispensable to the point that about three-quarters of those asked would feel lost without them. Which is understandable, as more and more of the everyday business of life is being conducted on mobile devices. And this interaction is proving to have positive effects on finances and money management, with a majority of Millennials using a financial app. According to the survey:
- More than 60% of Millennials use mobile banking to check accounts
- Of those who use a financial app, 88% are managing their finances more effectively
- Eighty-five percent have a better handle on their spending; almost three-quarters are overdrawn on their bank accounts less often
- More than eight in ten are paying bills on time more often
I think these findings (and although the survey was conducted in Canada, I’d be extremely surprised to find the results much different among Americans) reveal two very significant trends: That Millennials, who are known to be technologically savvy, are using the tools with which they are comfortable to increase their financial knowledge; and that financial companies, and their employees, who want to stay competitive had better keep up.
Considering that the Great Recession made such an impact on the Millennials, it’s encouraging to see them so engaged with their future financial security. They are not shirking the responsibility to make plans for their futures. It’s part of the individual empowerment that is so important for this generation, and it’s up to us in the financial sector to heed how they want to interact.
Take Away: Millennials are using their technological skills to increase their financial savvy.