Iona Bain is a UK-based award-winning writer, author, speaker, and broadcaster who specializes in personal finance.
Read her features on Financial Times - here. Excited by the dynamic vision of W1TTY, Iona writes...
So, what makes Generation Z tick?
Ah, it’s the question on the lips of consultants, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and marketers everywhere. The youngest generation should certainly be taken seriously, making up 20% of the workforce with an estimated collective purchasing power worth £44bn.
And all I can say is hallelujah!
They haven’t had it easy, coming of age during a global pandemic and cost-of-living crisis, but I’m already starting to see how these challenges are pushing 16–25-year-olds to embrace change and take charge of their finances more than any previous generation.
Fast forward to 2022 and the financial landscape is hardly recognizable.
When I first started writing my Young Money Blog way back in 2011, I was often told young people didn’t care about their finances. And to be fair, our apathy was understandable. We had just emerged from the wreckage of the financial crash and the banks all looked as bad as each other. Bitcoin was only two years old and barely known in the mainstream. And young people were mostly strangers to saving and investing, still very much the domain of older, more affluent generations.
The vast majority of gen Z are not only online, but firmly setting the digital agenda. They’re saving, spending, investing, and side hustling their way to a new financial future. From their enthusiasm for the circular economy to their willingness to consider entirely new currencies and payment systems, this is a generation at ease with the fintech revolution we have witnessed over the past decade.
They’re fast gravitating toward technology
… that makes their financial lives easier and dare I say, even fun. They’re seeking out products that allow them to be adventurous, experimental, flexible, and in control. Whether it’s easy and free money transfers to friends or instant, competitive foreign exchange across the world, these features are fast becoming essentials, rather than nice extras.
If I had to sum up gen Z in three words, I’d say they are enterprising, experimental, and open-minded. They’re prepared to value transactions differently from previous generations, as they grapple with more modern forms of currency like data, retail rewards, non-fungible assets, and online influence. They’re not wedded to the financial establishment and are far happier to consider newer players on the scene if their offering is right.