CBA LIVE: 2013 “The Future of Money” News Early research points to convenience and mobility as key to capturing influential generation as bank customers

March 11, 2013
Jean Marie Bunton

Phoenix, AZ (March 11, 2013) – In front of 1,100 attendees at the Consumer Bankers Association’s (CBA) annual conference CBA LIVE today, TRU, the leader in youth insights and research, presented exploratory research about the Millennial generation’s relationship with retail banking.

Katie Sacksteder, vice president at TRU, shared data from the 2013 TRU Study and insights and video from four focus groups commissioned by CBA:

  • Digging Out of Debt. Millennials are navigating through a reality of starting life with a startling amount of debt, leading many in the generation to put off traditional financial planning, such as purchasing a home, until more financial security is achieved.
  • Transactional Relationships. Many Millennials acknowledge that they know they should be planning for the future, but are instead focusing on day-to-day transactions. Even given the opportunity to plan, they are not. The expectation in bank products is ease and efficiency.
  • Virtual is Real. Millennials have (and want) a different relationship with their bank. They are digital natives, and therefore see a virtual relationship with a bank the same way older generations see traditional relationships. In fact, many see virtual relationships as having the potential to be more intimate than traditional banking relationships.

“This was a very interesting project,” Sacksteder said. “Bankers have to change their glasses. Looking at this from a Millennial’s viewpoint makes you realize that technology isn’t an add-on. It’s life. From the Millennials we spoke with in February, they see a virtual banking relationship as enabling real-time transactions, making banking easier and more responsive to their busy lives. . Just because they’re not in your bank, doesn’t mean they’re not into your bank.”

CBA LIVE, CBA’s annual conference for the retail banking industry, focused on the changes underway in the banking industry including the digital transformation. CBA President and CEO Richard Hunt said the takeaways are important for CBA’s member banks.

“Banks need to get on-board. Here’s a tremendously large and influential generation that has debt worries. Our banks have expertise. These are customers our banks can have a relationship with, but they need to be ready to have relationships in the ways Millennials want them: on-demand and online,” Hunt said.

The focus groups were conducted in Chicago, Ill. in February 2013. The groups were divided by age and lifestyle, ranging from post-college, early twenties living at home with parents, to late twenties married with kids. The exploratory research sets the stage for deeper future research into the feelings of these financial trendsetters.

About CBA
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.

For more information, please contact Jeannie Bunton,, 202.552.6370, or visit