Apple Targeting the Young Ms and Gen Zs You Must Get/Keep as Customers

Do you have an Apple Card?  If you answered yes, then you are aware of how Apple’s partnership with Goldman Sachs has created a substantively different card experience than most all other card services. For example, unless you specifically ask for one, there is no physical card.  I must admit I was initially put off that I wasn’t getting a “card” upon signing up for the Apple Card.  However, I soon realized that my desire for the card was habitual and not functional. I don’t need a physical card to use the Apple Card, and the fact I don’t have one is actually getting me to use the mobile wallet in the manner that makes it most useful.  Smart.

If you don’t have an Apple Card, my question is why not?  I get it that most of those who read these articles work in financial services, so you have your own cards.  But I am a big fan of bankers accessing services from other financial services providers, so they are aware of what is available to the general public.  Certainly anything that Apple does deserves attention as they are an 8,000 lb gorilla in anything they touch.  Yet, in specific, experiencing the onboarding of the Apple Card might generate ideas of how to remove friction from how you onboard your services.

Okay, so I’m an Apple fan. I have an iPhone, multiple MacBook’s and an iPad. Oh, and an Apple watch and an Apple Card.  I don’t want to just be a “homer” for anything Apple.  It’s no secret that their relationship with Goldman has soured, and it’s reported that they may soon be looking to partner with American Express to power the backend banking services with the key variable being the customer service that is available for Apple Card users.  Think about that for a second.  How important is the service aspect to Apple that it is the service element that has them potentially looking for a new partner?  Community banks are the absolute experts in providing concierge level in-person service. However, my experience is that the same community banks have not yet achieved that same level of service with their online / digital offerings.

I am also a big fan of FIs focusing on increasing new accounts coming from young millennials and Gen Zs.  Acquiring those younger new customers are essential to refill the customer roster and ultimately provide needed deposits as older customers unfortunately leave the customer rolls. Apple recognizes this market segment and is targeting these younger customers to come into the Apple penumbra of financial services.  As a recent Financial Brand article suggests, their target is those younger customers with higher net worth (really, who wouldn’t want to focus on those more likely to have larger deposits??).  Getting these customers early won’t move the deposit needle initially, but over time in the aggregate, these individuals will establish careers, start businesses and accumulate some net worth.  What you need to do is infuse them with your brand early and often, and then keep them as customers as they reach financial maturity.

Speaking of brand, I get it that the Apple brand is a strong attractor for individuals that seek out the ease of use that Apple brings to any product or service. And yes, I understand there is a difference between financial services and consumer electronics. But just because a FI’s brand is not equivalent to Apple’s doesn’t mean that bankers should not be making every effort to make their services such that onboard and use can thrill and delight the users. We just need to make sure that we make the customer experience as important element as data security and KYC.  When you examine the look and feel of the Apple offering, it’s clear that they have put time and money into the customer experience.  Apple has gone beyond emojis to memojis, individual avatars that really do resemble the actual user.  Does the use of a memoji make a transaction work any better.  Nope.  But even as a baby boomer, I can appreciate the ability for me to utilize a memoji to indicate certain emotional states.  Not for nothing, it’s fun and it’s cool.

Do I have a memoji?  Of course, here it is:

What is it that you would do with your banking services and digital options that will attract younger potential customers?  Maybe it’s less product bullets and more engaging video.  Maybe it’s raising the stakes on the gamification of banking services. Maybe it’s the incorporation of virtual reality into budgeting and bill payment.  Whatever it ultimately might be, I am confident that doing nothing is not a winning strategy.  I welcome your comments and questions; you can reach me at or 225-247-6113.