APP BANKING WITH A SUSTAINABLE CAUSE: Banks Are Shifting Strategies to Woo Booming Millennials by Hampton Rhodes

Banks Are Shifting Strategies
to Woo Booming Millennials

According to recent research by, banks are taking steps to re-invent themselves to appeal more to a growing millennial market with features and services tailored to that targeted audience.

Millennials are expected to be the largest adult population – nationally and globally – necessitating a shift in financial institutions into launching more “millennial-friendly” and sustainable finance strategies – including the development of digital apps and personal environmental impact – and appearing more transparent and honest.

Andrei Cherney, co-founder and CEO of American bank Aspiration recently told, “Americans spend $36 billion a day as consumers, making decisions based on cost, convenience and quality.” He continues, “Now, for the first time, they’ll have an easy way to make spending decisions based on conscience, as well.”

Aspiration is launching a feature on its app that lets users see the environmental and social impacts of their purchases with the Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM). AIM rates businesses on how they manage and treat their employees and their financial contributions to environmental improvement, and then converts those measurements into a “People score” that also considers other things as well – such as salaries and diversity along with greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy usage. With this app, customers can use these metrics to calculate their own sustainability score and give them a pretty good indication of how their spending habits and practices impact both people and the environment.

Recent research from Deloitte reports that about 2/3rds of millennials are concerned with the state of the world and feel a sense of obligation to do something about it – to contribute to bettering the planet. So banks are listening and developing strategies to woo millennial consumers to use their new and targeted services enabling them to participate, but to share their participation through social media.

Addressing this issue, in Stockholm, the Bank of Åland has created a tool to calculate a user’s CO2 impact based on that person’s purchases. Known as the Åland Index will track a user’s monthly purchases and work out the weight in carbon footprint emissions that result from every purchase.

Other investment firms like Fidelity have initiated new sustainable low-cost investment index fund options and other firms are developing similar investment opportunities specifically targeting the millennial investors.

Technology and online platforms are becoming a prerequisite for this next generation and firms like Atom Bank in the UK is responding by stating that it is “the UK’s first bank built exclusively from mobile,” and even offers its customers digital mortgages.

And new apps are springing up throughout the banking industry. Last year, Grow was launched promising to “bring high-impact investments to your pocket.” This app-based robo-investor searches and screens for companies with a strong environmental sustainability or socially responsible practice track record and conveniently shows just how responsible that investment would be with a “Grow Score.”

As this next generation defines their requisites for their purchases, expect to see more innovative technology, more digital and mobile solutions, and more automated environmental accountability and scoring systems to earn the Millennial’s investments as well as their use of evolving consumer services – even those as mundane as choosing a bank. It brings new meaning to banking in terms of interest – financially as well as socially.

All books available at click on title to lean more.
Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping by and Get Your Financial Life Together
by Erin Lowry
100 Things You Need To Know About Money Before 35
by Forbes Staff
Graveyards of the Banks – Slaughterhouse Morning (Volume 3)
by Nyla Nox

Bank of Aland
Atom Bank

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