Know your audience: why age matters in banking

The banking industry is saturated with buzz words and all banks need to be seen to be advocates of these words, whether it’s open banking and PSD2, or agile work environments, or CX and UX, or catering for millennials. But is this hype reaching your target audience?

We all know age is hugely important in terms of customer behaviour, but do you know the average age of your customer? Across North America, the average age is 35, and actually this differs significantly within the region (42.2 in Canada, 28.1 in the US and 28.3 in Mexico). In Central America, age averages out at 22.4, rising to 31 in South America. In Europe it increases to 42, whilst in Africa it is merely 18, with Asia Pacific and the Middle East averaging in the early 30s. There are also massive differences within these regions country-to-country, from 31 in China to 47.3 in Japan, and again from 31 in the UAE to 18.8 in Afghanistan.

These variations in average age hugely affect consumer behaviour in any one region or country. So, by following industry trends, are banks catering for their target audience? It is clear that pushing the millennial message and adapting products and services to encourage adoption from the younger generation is the correct action for Africa, where close to half of the world’s kids will reside by 2100. However, for the rest of us, by isolating one age group and tailoring products and services just for them, aren’t you alienating the rest of your current and potential customer base?

Here’s a good stat – by 2050, one in five people in the world will be 60 or above, and as life expectancy continues to increase, populations are aging. In the next decade or two, the 5.36% of the population that currently make up the baby boomers is going to be joined by the 32.14% that make up Gen X in the over 60s bracket. This is a huge amount of people. Do the products and services you offer take this into account?

When making sure your customers have the best user experience and you are reimagining your customer journey, you need to ensure you support them at every stage of their life. This will drive lasting relationships, and ultimately increase loyalty and customer retention.