Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Regions Bank, Member FDIC, to promote their new Houston branches, but all opinions are 100% my own.
Ever since I started M$M, I've noticed a pretty fascinating trend: financial institutions, like Regions Bank, are starting to dedicate a lot of time, resources, and energy to figuring out the whole “millennial” thing.
I've sat in many meetings with reps from some of the largest banks and brokerages in the country, and they ask for my thoughts on everything from bank layouts, app experiences, and what millennials think about financial institutions in general.
And it's not just me– they're picking the brains of many of the top millennial personal finance influencers in the game.
They want to know what makes millennials tick, and more importantly, they really want to offer a better customer experience to the next generation. This is why I'm so excited to talk to you about what Regions Bank is doing to make a more millennial-friendly banking experience.
Honestly, it makes sense at this point. Millennials aren't exactly kids anymore. Heck… I'm 30 now. All of my friends have careers, are starting to increase their income, and care about retirement. Personally, I'm glad that Regions reached out to me to talk about their innovative new branches- just shows how they are prioritizing the way millennials like me want to handle our money!
Here are some huge improvements I've recently noticed in banking:
1. Improved in-branch technology (specifically at the ATM)
Millennials appreciate good technology, and we like when companies focus on making that technology even more streamlined and cutting edge. This is exactly what Regions Bank is doing with their ATMs.
It’s no longer insert your card, press buttons on a machine that looks like it was designed in 1999, and pray that the ATM doesn’t eat your debit card.
Regions has created an entirely new experience with their Video Banking ATMs, which includes talking, via live two-way video, to an actual human being on the other end. These ATMs don’t just do deposits and withdrawals either, the banker on the other end can help with account maintenance and general banking questions. Bonus: these live bankers are available through these video ATMs after regular business hours, including the weekends and some holidays.
2. Better mobile apps
I'll be honest, one of my all-time favorite inventions is the technology that allows me to deposit a check from my phone. There have been plenty of times with both my business and personal finances when I don't have time to run to the bank to deposit a check.
Many banks now give you the ability to handle all of your deposits directly from your phone, and it’s as simple as snapping a picture of the front and back of the check.
But, they aren't just stopping there. Many banking apps also give you the ability to manage your balances, make transfers, and even schedule appointments with a branch banker.
I used to use a local credit union, and the lack of mobile banking options is one of the biggest reasons I eventually left. Having mobile access to this kind of stuff is just easier and faster, which is essentially a requirement for me these days.
3. Easier access to bankers
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about millennials and how we do business is that we always prefer technology over human interaction. However, I think it’s that we want the interactions we have to be as effective and genuine as possible. We don’t just want customer service anymore, we want more guidance and information.
We want easy access to bankers when we have questions. One of the best changes I've seen is a model where a banker is the first person you speak to when entering the bank. This eliminates waiting in lines for a teller or sitting in the lobby hoping a personal banker has time for you. It’s essentially making it easier to get one-on-one advice about which products are actually useful.
You'll notice a common theme on this list– time. Millennials value their time, and fortunately, banks are responding by making everything easier and faster.
4. More locations
If you're anything like me, location is a huge aspect when it comes to who I’m going to be banking with. A bank can have all of the best features out there, but if I can't find one that's around the corner, there's a good chance that I won't bank with them.
Just like I mentioned with the mobile banking, it's all about convenience.
And honestly, convenience is really what all of this boils down to.
People can say what they want about millennials, but the reality is that most of the time we just want the most convenient option available.
If you think about it – millennials grew up with the internet (which is what sets us apart the most from previous generations in my opinion). Everything is at our fingertips all the time, and we've realized that it would be nice if the real world was the same way.
So if a bank can open up more locations to make our commute to their branch a little faster, that's a good thing!
Banks competing for millennials' attention is a good thing for everyone. Banks that can continue to provide options that save everyone time and are more convenient are probably going to be the ones that do well over the next 20 years.
P.S. for my Houston readers – Regions is opening up a few new branches in our area. If one of these locations is near you, go check it out and see what you think of the changes they're making in the branches:
Northbrook (Pine Hollow)
11150 Northwest Freeway, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77092
Opens December 10, 2018
Greenway Plaza (Houston Headquarters)
3773 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77046
Opened November 19, 2018