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Digital upstarts are hooking young people through educational games, sustainability, and demographically targeted features.  

Traditional banks are at risk of losing Gen Z customers to new players unless they can find ways to appeal to younger audiences.

The kids are alright, but incumbent financial firms and traditional banks may not be unless they can find ways to win over Gen Z: 

A recent JD Power survey found that large national banks are seeing declining satisfaction among younger customers while a BAI report from late last year found that more than half of Gen Zers and millennials would switch financial service organizations for a higher commitment to ESG and DEI. 

In that vein, neobank Greenlight just released a new financial literacy game, while sustainability-focused fintech Twig acquired French neobank for young people, Vybe, as it aims to become the “go-to platform for the Gen Z market.” Education is a cornerstone of both offerings.  

Citing research that found that 93% of teens believe they need better financial knowledge and skills to achieve their goals, Greenlight has created “an engaging, gamified curriculum that teaches financial literacy in a fun and relatable way.” Interactive education can both rope in young people and prepare them to be stable customers in the future.  

Along with the focus on learning, neobanks are attracting young people by targeting specific niches like catering to LGBTQ+ issues, battling climate change, or serving immigrants.  

To be fair, some incumbent FinServs are also finding ways to up their appeal to young people: For example, Amex created a giving-as-a-service feature to simplify charitable giving andTruist acquired interactive mobile savings app Long Game, while Chase and Capital One offer dedicated youth debit cards for building good habits.