Evolving Expectations: What Gen Z Expects From Fintech CX

The fintech landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation, largely driven by the evolving demands and behaviors of its users — and among these, Gen Z stands out as a particularly influential group. With an estimated $360 billion in spending power in the United States alone, according to Forbes, Gen Z’s rapid demographic expansion worldwide makes them a pivotal consumer segment in fintech — one whose influence is growing year-on-year.

The impact is driven not only by Gen Z’s combined saving and investment potential, but also by its expectations, preferences, and unique financial behavior. As this generation is predicted to make up 24% of the adult workforce by 2025, it’s crucial for fintech companies, neobanks and traditional institutions to recognize and adapt to their unique characteristics and needs.

This group, born between 1997 and 2012, is the first true generation of digital natives. Growing up in a world where high-speed internet, social media, and on-demand services are the norm, Gen Z is hyper-connected, demanding, but also frugal, shaped by early exposure to global financial instability, while also prioritizing a values-based approach to their interactions with products and services. Their rise to prominence in the financial marketplace signals a need for a strategic rethink among financial service providers to stay relevant and competitive.

In this 5-minute read we’ll explore:

  • What makes Gen Z unique compared to previous generations
  • How to tailor the fintech customer experience to digital natives
  • The return of in-person interactions as a priority for Gen Z
  • Strategies to build trust and loyalty with Gen Z customers
  • Why social media matters most in terms of Gen Z engagement

Gen Z’s unique financial habits

Understanding Gen Z as consumers requires an analysis of their financial habits, which diverge significantly from older generations in a number of ways.

A shift away from traditional credit models

A recent Techfunnel article reveals that only 17% of Gen Z consumers choose credit cards as a payment method, in contrast to 46% of millennials and 47% of “baby boomers”. This trend can be partly attributed to limited credit accessibility for younger adults as well as a level of wariness towards traditional consumer credit models, influenced by widespread news reports of older generations struggling with credit card debt.

A preference for transparency and flexibility

Rather than traditional credit cards, Gen Z consumers prefer systems that offer more transparent borrowing terms and low interest rates, and appreciate added value — being more likely to use debit cards with clear reward systems. They also welcome the flexibility offered by the “buy now, pay later” options common on many ecommerce sites, with PYMNTS.COM finding that 39% of GenZ respondents had used this type of payment to buy clothing (the most popular category) and that over a quarter would abandon a purchase if this option were not available.

A readiness to invest in new asset types

Unlike previous generations, Gen Z displays a notable openness towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The appeal lies both in their increased openness towards innovation and their declining trust in traditional banking institutions. Facing lower purchasing power due to stagnating wages and growing inflation, some Gen Z investors see cryptocurrencies as accessible opportunities for wealth creation. And they start early — 25% of Gen Z investors began doing so before turning 18 years old, and 82% began investing before the age of 21, according to Money.com.

A values-driven approach to finance

Additionally, this generation of customers expects their financial services to reflect their values — presenting an opportunity for fintech companies to demonstrate proficiency in product design and marketing that aligns with Gen Z’s ethos. For instance, fintech companies like Aspiration, which focuses on environmental responsibility, and Betterment, offering socially responsible investments, have gained traction by creating products or services that align with key values espoused by Gen Z. The alignment of fintech services with ethical and environmental practices can offer a competitive advantage, especially as this generation shows a growing interest in sustainability and social responsibility.

High expectations for digital experience

The digital proficiency of Gen Z has set new benchmarks for the fintech industry, particularly in terms of customer experience. A mobile-first design approach is essential as smartphones are where Gen Z spends much of their time — over 5 hours a day according to FintechNexus. Fintech apps must therefore be intuitive, highly accessible, and user-friendly to meet their high standards. These preferences are not just about convenience, they reflect a deeper expectation of integration and efficiency across all digital interactions.

Personalization plays a major role too — according to research by EY, 81% of Gen Z consumers consider personalization a crucial feature in strengthening their relationships with brands. Being accustomed to tailored digital experiences, Gen Z expects financial services that understand their unique needs and preferences — and is less suspicious of the role of automation in catering to their needs. Fintech companies should take advantage of this — using AI to analyze user data and provide customized financial solutions that resonate with individual customers.

Financial services that can harness data to forecast and meet Gen Z’s needs at every turn of their consumer journey will be more successful in securing their loyalty and trust. This level of personalization extends from the nature of financial advice to the content of mobile notifications, ensuring that every interaction is relevant and meaningful.

Digital natives – not digital hermits

Despite their inclination toward digital solutions, Gen Z values a balance between online and offline experiences. This generation appreciates the convenience and efficiency of digital channels but also recognizes the importance of human interaction in financial services.

Surveys indicate that a significant number of Gen Z customers still visit physical bank branches — up to 25% call in at least once a week according to the Financial Times — more than Millennials or Gen X do. For fintech companies without the option of a brick-and-mortar presence, meeting this need for person-to-person communication while retaining the “always-on” capabilities associated with digital-first banking or investment offerings can be challenging.

One potential solution is providing phone or video support via specialist CX outsourcing companies, offering a cost-effective and scalable way to keep the human touch in important interactions, such as onboarding new account holders or providing tailored investment advice. What’s important is that the experience remains seamless — Gen Z expects a unified customer journey, whether they are interacting with a fintech service online, over the phone, or visiting a physical outlet.

Security, transparency, and trust are key

Growing up in the digital era has brought a heightened awareness of the importance of cybersecurity. Gen Z customers place a high value on trust, especially when it comes to financial services, and are acutely aware of the risks associated with online transactions and data privacy.

Implementing state-of-the-art encryption, multi-factor authentication, and transparent data protection policies are crucial measures in building and maintaining the trust of Gen Z users — it’s not just about safeguarding their financial assets but about ensuring their personal information is also protected.

Transparency is another key factor in winning over Gen Z customers — being exposed to a connected world where information is readily available leads them to expect the same level of openness from their financial service providers. They demand clear information about services and fees and expect fintech companies to be upfront about their operations.

This transparency goes hand in hand with the need for trust, as Gen Z is more likely to engage with fintech services that they perceive as honest, straightforward, and values-driven. The traditional banking model, often associated with slow service and a lack of transparency — as well as opaque investment practices — presents an opportunity for fintech companies to differentiate themselves in response.

Engaging Gen Z through social media and community

Social media is probably the most powerful tool for engaging with Gen Z — it’s a generation that has grown up immersed in platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. For fintech companies, utilizing social media is not just about brand awareness, it’s an opportunity to make meaningful connections with Gen Z in their natural “digital habitat”. Collaborations with influencers who resonate with Gen Z can be particularly effective. Often seen as trusted advisors by their followers, the right influencers can help fintech brands gain credibility and visibility among this younger audience.

However, fintech companies need to understand the nuances of different social media platforms and tailor their approach accordingly. Engaging content, interactive discussions, and community building are key strategies to attract and retain the attention of Gen Z, who value authentic conversations over explicit product placement or interruptive advertising.

Creating content that aligns with GenZ interests and values can be a winning formula — as suggested in a recent article on Adjust.com which proposes fintech companies focus on what they know — educative content around effective savings strategies, tips for responsible investing or explainer videos on ESG issues — all of which are close to many Gen Z customers hearts.


It’s clear that Gen Z’s expectations already play a central role in shaping fintech. This growing market segment, with its unique preferences and behaviors, is reshaping the way financial services are delivered and experienced — both as consumers and as founders and employees within the burgeoning fintech sector.

Working in partnership with a CX specialist like SourceCX can be an effective springboard for established or newly-formed fintech companies looking to build a comprehensive communications and support strategy that meets this generation’s need for blended technological and human interactions.

By aligning with Gen Z’s unique preferences and outlook, fintech companies have an invaluable opportunity to onboard lifelong customers as they enter the financial marketplace — many of them for the first time — while embracing a new age of ethical and values-driven financial culture.