What You Need to Know:
With National Grandparents Day coming up on September 11, it’s a good time to examine why it can make business sense for the financial services industry to help the older population ensure their digital safety and security.
In a world saturated with millennial-focused advertising, financial institutions should be careful not to alienate an important demographic group: baby boomers. Financial institutions (FIs) might be tempted to categorize boomers as anti-technology or having dwindling funds. Not only are these stereotypes problematic, but they could also lead to a loss in business.
Why Baby Boomers?
Contrary to popular belief, boomers are the fastest-growing demographic when it comes to adopting digital tools, services and products for managing their finances. While boomers may not be considered a tech-savvy generation, they do prefer online banking. In fact, 68% of boomers used digital options when selecting banking products in 2021 compared to 55% before the pandemic. Their use of their mobile banking is also high, with a reported 60% using their smartphones for banking.
While millennials and Gen Z may now account for more than 50% of the U.S. population, boomers still have them beat when it comes to wealth. Boomers account for less than 22% of the population, yet they hold 51% of the nation’s wealth — around $70 trillion. One estimate indicates boomers have 10 times more wealth than millennials.
If financial institutions focus their marketing efforts exclusively on millennials, they’re missing out on the opportunity to engage and retain some of their most valuable account holders. The addition of services that provide safeguards against identity theft and fraud can be instrumental in keeping boomers, while creating potential new revenue opportunities.
Living in a Digital World
Since boomers control more than half of the nation’s valuable assets, it’s understandable that they’re a favorite target for criminals. Financial abuse against older Americans is pervasive, with $2.9 billion in fraud losses reported annually.
As a result, financial security should be considered a top priority. Unlike millennials who have grown up in a tech-heavy society, boomers have experienced a multitude of technological advancements during their lifetime. Boomers have therefore demonstrated an ability to adapt and learn.
As consumers increasingly rely on digital technologies, they can be more susceptible to identity crimes. Financial institutions need to earn the trust of boomers when it comes to security since just 63% of boomers believe their FI will protect them from fraud and identity theft — the smallest percentage of any generation.
Given the rise of data breaches that can expose consumer data to potential identity crime, financial institutions have the opportunity to showcase both the convenience of the services they provide and the security of their offerings.
Protecting Boomers (and Subsequent Generations)
Identity theft and fraud are increasingly common. Understanding the impact those crimes can have on the financial health of account holders — and how to help them from becoming victims — becomes mission-critical.
Credit-monitoring services can be a useful way to demonstrate the protection of consumers’ data, yet they may not present the complete picture. Many identity crimes do not require credit data, for example, so credit-oriented safeguards are not designed to stop certain forms of identity theft, such as tax fraud and medical identity theft.
Coupling credit monitoring services with modern digital identity protection can provide consumers with greater visibility into the risks they face. By delivering personalized insights and recommendations to account holders about how to respond to threats, financial institutions can help them gain a more holistic approach. Account holders can see specific risks to their identity and are presented with a customized action plan so they can reduce those risks — enabling consumers to be proactive and directly engaged in their protection.
In addition, offering innovative products that provide an added layer of security can successfully drive increased adoption of new services. It also can deliver a more positive customer experience, no matter what age bracket they fall into.
To learn how your financial institution can easily empower your account holders from boomers to millennials to Gen Z with modern identity protection, simply schedule a demo today