APRIL 2023

In recent years, Millennials have received all the attention from product and services companies and their marketing departments. And there is a good reason for that: it is the largest group and the one that spends the most, especially in the digital world. However, this reign seems to be close to an end.

According to the United States Department of Health, it is the so-called Generation Z ‑young people up to 25 years old‑ who will show the highest demographic growth in the next 10 years. This sector represents 23% of the economically active population in Latin America; in 5 years, it will account for 31% and, in 10 years, 33%.1

The emergence of this new target audience is particularly important for the financial industry, which is currently undergoing a full blown digital transformation. Despite these young people not being large consumers of financial services and products, different data suggest that they are an increasingly informed public with consolidated expectations about this market.

What financial products is this generation using today? What do they look for in a bank or a fintech? How do they get along with cryptocurrencies and fiat money? How can companies get their message and value proposition across more effectively?

Here, Nodus Insights offers some data driven answers.

How is the relationship between Gen Z and financial services today?

Let’s look at some data that shows the interest of Gen Z in financial products and services.

In countries like Argentina and Brazil, 17% of Gen Z uses cryptocurrencies as investment or saving methods.2

Predictably, loan applications are lower among Gen Z than in all other age groups (15% vs. 29% for Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers).2

The percentage of Gen Z using credit cards varies greatly depending on the country, from 32% in Colombia to 62% in Brazil.2

In Mexico and Brazil, Gen Z’s intentions to get into the financial market can be seen in their plans to obtain a credit card (25%), use cryptocurrencies (24%), and invest in mutual funds (20%). This data could be indicating that there exists a similar trend in other countries in the region.3

It also shows that Gen Z youth in Latin America is still at a very early stage in the finance world, approaching it only through the use of credit cards. However, a certain interest is growing in this target audience around savings and investment.

We are therefore given a great opportunity to anticipate and understand what, where, and how we can communicate with this target audience to assertively attract them to the use of financial services in the short term.

How Gen Z reaches the financial world: from word of mouth to “Financial influencers”

In Brazil and Mexico, 53% of Gen Z chose their current bank based on personal recommendations.4 That is why it is key to provide a good experience to customers, so that they continue inviting people they know to buy banking products and services.

Considering that 26% got to know their current bank through on‑line advertising,4 being present in the digital world is another key point to reach younger audiences.

In recent times, the so‑called “financial influencers” -content creators focused on finances- have become popular, with growing audiences on networks such as YouTube and Instagram. In 2022, financial influencers posted 5x more content on YouTube and got 2x more subscribers than channels focused on other industries. On Instagram, they doubled the content uploaded by other influencers and were also the ones that got the most followers.5

Designing campaigns with the so-called “financial influencers” -creators of digital content on finance- could be a good opportunity to reach Gen Z.

What services should we offer?

Providing a service that is valued by customers requires understanding their opinions, preferences, and attitudes towards what could be offered in the marketplace. In the case of Gen Z in Latin America, it is important to take into account that 43.7% are worried about their financial future.6

A good option to respond to this concern among young people could be to offer content on how to protect their savings from inflation or devaluation, or other types of crises.

Another alternative could be to offer expert advice to help them make their decisions. Among Gen Z, 28% believe they could save a lot of money by following the advice of a financial expert, and 16.5% think that managing their personal finances is too complicated.6

The Key: offering a good Customer Experience (CX)

Gaining loyalty among younger customers can be a great challenge. Regarding Gen Z in Mexico and Brazil, 36% and 26%, respectively say they are willing to change their main bank.7 The safety of their assets and the quality of advice are the main reasons why they could make such a decision.8

When analyzing bank types, Gen Z in Latin America seem to prefer the so‑called neobanks (digital banks). The reasons vary: a better user experience (or UX) on their digital platforms, lower fees and costs, and more tools and advanced metrics to control their expenses. In Brazil, more than 62% of Gen Z consider that these three aspects are essential.9

But it is not just about banks. In the region, there are approximately 373 million Fintech users.10 Among the services offered, 25% correspond to payments and transfers; 19%, to loans; and, a lesser extent, 11% to personal finances management.11 It is important to consider this sector and the way it participates in the market, taking into account that 42% of Gen Z in the region think that it is possible to manage all their money directly on their smartphone.6

Development and investment in technology must be one of the main strategic axes to meet the expectations of this new generation.

Robo-Advisors: AI at the service of personal finance

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing industries, and the financial industry is no exception. Today, an investor who cannot manage their investment portfolio due to lack of knowledge or availability can delegate it to Robo‑Advisors. These have the ability to automatically build investment portfolios based on the scope and risk aversion of the user.

At the moment, the use of this technology in the region is far behind the use in the United States, for example, where the value of automatically managed assets was 42 times higher than in Latin America during 2022.10

Although there is no reliable data yet on its use among Gen Z, it is not hard to see that there is great potential for this technology: In Mexico and Brazil, 40% of people consider using these Robo‑advisors.12 In addition, there was a 40% growth in the number of users at a regional level in 2022.13 Among those who have used it, it is the youngest who show the highest level of adoption.12


When entering the labor market, the young members of Gen Z begin to have their own money and make decisions that affect their personal finances. This opens the door to a new audience for financial services.

The most effective channels to capture their attention will be those that manage to connect directly with them through their environment or through content creators with whom they can identify.

It seems clear that the greatest success will come to those who show that they can accompany this generation on this path by offering them a good experience, supported by technological development, and giving them the necessary tools and knowledge to manage their personal finances.

*For the data and surveys cited in this study, only people over 18 were considered.

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