To conclude this month’s theme surrounding embedded finance, The Fintech Times is considering the impact the space could have on Gen Z. After exploring the impact embedded finance solutions could have on bridging the financial literacy gap, we now turn to the experts to find out some of the biggest hurdles Gen Z may come across in relation to embedded finance – and ask how they can be overcome.
“Thoughtful communication and UX is essential to organisations”
John Kim is the chief product officer at FINSYNC, which provides a financial technology platform which includes a payments and partner network for the benefit of US-based businesses. Kim explains: “Organisations should lay out clearly defined target market and use cases to understand what technologies, products, or services they need, as well as the related challenges.
“Organisations must also be hyper aware of regulatory and compliance requirements. With new technologies come new security and fraud risks, data privacy and other compliance issues.
“Continuing challenges for consumers on clarity into where the relationship stands between multiple institutions delivering on the embedded finance solution. For example, is it the traditional bank delivering or servicing the loan, or the non-financial vendor that sourced or originated the loan.
“Carefully crafting the customer journey with thoughtful communication and UX is essential to organisations successfully engaging consumers and avoiding confusion and frustration.”
“The biggest hurdle for Gen Z is simply being aware of how it impacts them”
Mark Jacksonis the managing director of product at Valuedynamx, the omnichannel purchase reward provider. Jackson explains: “When it comes to embedded finance, the biggest hurdle for Gen Z is simply being aware of how it impacts them and how they can best leverage it.
“Amidst global economic challenges, understanding how embedded finance factors into Gen Z’s everyday lives can provide a starting point for learning how to optimize spending, experience more seamless e-commerce and shopping, and get money or rewards back for purchases.
“Here are some examples of how Gen Z’s debit/credit cards connect them to a variety of different embedded finance tools and services—often with only a few swipes via a smart device—that they may not even know about:
“Firstly, Card-Linked Offers (CLOs): These card- and even cardholder-specific offers give people the ability to earn rewards when shopping with select retailers in-store or online using a preferred card.
“Secondly, Browser-Based Offers: These affiliate offers help cardholders earn rewards via online retailers (called ‘Online Earn Stores’) and are delivered across Travel and Banking Reward Programs
“Thirdly, Gamification Rewards via a Rewards Program: Cardholders can sign up for different programmes to earn rewards—and with increased engagement with that programme, additional rewards are offered
“Lastly, Pay With Points: Bank and Travel reward programs which offer Pay with Points enable participating members/cardholders to exchange reward points for participating retail gift cards or vouchers.
“To overcome these challenges, I encourage card programs to provide Gen Z cardholders with clear, easy-to-digest information about embedded finance benefits available to them. Gen Z is a tech-savvy group, and by helping them learn the basics, you can also help them spend their money wisely and nurture long-term engagement and loyalty with this young audience.”
“Trust and privacy, financial decision-making, and financial inclusion”
Gary Singh, president of banking at payment card issuer solution provider Zeta.tech, also explains how financial literacy could cause issues for Gen Z: “Despite the potential benefits, there are some hurdles that Gen Z may encounter when it comes to embedded finance. Some of these hurdles include concern when it comes to trust and privacy, financial decision-making, and financial inclusion.
“Gen Z may be skeptical about sharing personal and financial information with embedded finance providers. Addressing these concerns requires transparent privacy policies, robust data protection measures, and clear communication about how their data will be used. Companies should prioritise security and build trust by adhering to industry standards and obtaining necessary certifications.
“Additionally, Gen Z may face challenges in making informed financial decisions due to a lack of experience. Embedded finance can address this hurdle by offering personalised recommendations and insights based on user data. By leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, these solutions can provide tailored advice, empowering Gen Z to make smarter financial choices.
“Finally, it is also essential to ensure that embedded finance solutions cater to the diverse needs and circumstances of Gen Z. This includes providing access to financial services for individuals with limited financial resources and addressing any potential biases or discriminatory practices in the algorithms that power these solutions.
“By addressing these hurdles through a combination of technological innovation, educational initiatives, and user-centric design, embedded finance solutions can empower Gen Z with the financial knowledge and tools they need to navigate their financial future successfully.”
“Gen Z now expects fully digital services”
Nick Lawler, market sales director, UK and Ireland, at financial SaaS platform Mambu, explains the impact of changing consumer behaviour. He said: “Consumer behavior and expectations – especially Gen Z – have undeniably changed over the past few years.
“Gen Z now expects fully digital services, an emphasis on ESG, and an increase in integrated financial services – and they’ve already adopted emerging financial products that can meet these demands instead of waiting for the traditional institutions to launch these solutions.
“Unlike other older generations, Gen Z is incorporating embedded finance into their lives with solutions from tech companies like Apple, Amazon and Uber, and they’re choosing fintechs, neobanks, and other companies that offer personalised products.
“The greatest hurdle for the non-financial institutions that want to offer financial literacy tools is likely deploying them fast enough to compete with other competitors in the market. Luckily, FIs and non-FIs that are pursuing embedded finance products can step up to the challenge of closing the literacy gap through flexible and cloud-based platforms, launching new embedded educational products with speed, as well as scale.”