Gen Y vs. Gen Z as bank market segments - a comparison

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I. Introduction

The horizon of banking has been suffering many alterations in the recent years, all due to technological advancements, and other social, economic and even political factors such as the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing demographics and geopolitical tension. Overall, these factors have all led banks in the same direction, that is, in the direction of digitalisation, making them slightly rethink their target market. Nowadays, the market segments that make up for most of banks’ success are, naturally, generation Y and generation Z, which are the two latest categories fully formed to this date.

II. Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to, first of all, identify what these market segments are in terms of background and appearance, comprehend in which ways they influence banking and in which ways banks may influence them and, ultimately, put them side by side in order to observe and analyse their differences, preferences, consumer behaviour and potential as customers of banks. All these will contribute to obtaining a clear image of why they are of such a high importance to the banking system in general, and how they differ when it comes down to bank marketing strategies, offering financial services and making the customer experience as smooth as possible.

III. Keywords: generation Y, generation Z, consumer behaviour, banking habits, comparative analysis, generational differences, customer satisfaction

IV. Literature Review

In today’s society and economy, the word “generation” is at its peak - never before has it been as important as it is today. The term divides consumers into certain categories, which describe their personal preferences, social background and previous life events, all encapsulated in a form of a birth bracket. To be able to distinguish between the two market segments, we first have to settle their meanings. As a definition, generation Y is the demographic fragment of people born anywhere between 1981 and 1996, so, in between generation X and Z, as the name clearly suggests, although, they may commonly go by the name of millennials as well. Generation Z is the one following, the age of birth typically lying between 1997 and 2012.

What values do each of these segments hold, and what differentiates them? Concerning psychographics, Generation Y is composed of individuals who are known for having the work-life balance as a goal in life, they hold onto experiences rather than possessions, areas in life such as family, education, travel, self-improvement and self-development pose as things of high esteem and noteworthiness. As personality traits, they are confident and communicative, already being familiarised with technology from an early age and are used to having them in their daily lives.

On the other hand, people included in generation Z are more likely to take risks and are less patient, when they want something, they want it now. This, you could say, also makes them more ambitious and more likely to be independent or have this entrepreneurial spirit and mindset. Unlike millennials, they seem to demonstrate a lower performance pressure in terms of inspiration and objectives in life. What they do have in common, is the early or, at times, even constant exposure to the technical side of exchanging information due to things like social media platforms and other apps, yet generation Z is more likely to expect to be able to solve any issue through their smartphones, this including things related to banking.


1. Klein, P. (2019). Changes in the Banking Industry Caused by Generation Y and Z. University of Sop, no. October, 2019, 20.

2. Abu Daqar, M. A., Arqawi, S., & Abu Karsh, S. (2021). Fintech in the eyes of Millennials and Generation Z (the financial behavior and Fintech perception).

3. Momot, V., & Lytvynenko, O. (2019). Adjusting bank recruitment to the specifics of the millennial generation as conditions of attractiveness decline for employment in the banking sector. Financial Internet Quarterly, 15(4), 73-82.

4. Windasari, N. A., Kusumawati, N., Larasati, N., & Amelia, R. P. (2022). Digital-only banking experience: Insights from gen Y and gen Z. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 7(2), 100170.

5. Slowak, C., Thoma, B., & Bender, B. (2013). Engagement across Generations: The XYChallenge. Retrieved 2019, from Argo Performance & Development, ARGO studie 2013

6. Zarra, E.J. III (2017). Helping Parents Understand the Minds and Hearts of Generation Z. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

7. Fitzel, F. (2013). Personalentwicklung in der Generation Y. Potenziale erkennen und geeignete Instrument einsetzen. München: AVM - Akademische Verlagsgemeinschaft

8. Aichinger, E., Deutsch, T., Friedrichsmeier, H., & Josef, F. (2013). Jung & Gierig - Alt & Müde? Karrieren und Generationenkonflikte im modernen Management.

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