When Scratch polled 10,000 millennials to find out which industry was most prime for disruption, the results were clear: Not only did banks make up four of their top 10 most hated brands, but millennials increasingly viewed these financial institutions as irrelevant.
The three-year study from Scratch, an in-house unit of Viacom that consults with brands, found that a third of millennials believed they'll be able to live a bank-free existence in the future. In the age of Simple, Square, and Bitcoin, these millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 2000, overwhelmingly believed that the way they access money and pay for things will be completely different in five years.
"As consumers, millennials have been slow to accumulate wealth. They have huge debt. They're facing unprecedented underemployment. They've been relatively unaddressed as a generation by banks. All of a sudden, you see purchasing power by millennials growing to over $1.3 trillion," Scratch executive vice president Ross Martin told Fast Company.
As a result, this digital-savvy cohort is looking to the tech sector to provide banking solutions. Half of respondents said they were counting on startups to overhaul how banks work, and three-quarters said they would be more excited in financial services provided by Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square than from their own banks.
"We're hearing so loud and clearly from our biggest audience that there's a whole industry that's not meeting their needs," Martin said. "We see such a big opportunity for banks here."