In general, Gen Zs tend to be idealistic about career and finances. Roughly three quarters rate purpose ahead of paycheck.1 This is much higher than Millennials, who are more savvy when it comes to the connection between earning money and achieving goals. For instance, Gen Zs resist borrowing, yet they still want houses and cars. In fact, our study shows that almost all of the Gen Z population expects to own a home and a car, while only about a quarter realize they will need a mortgage or a car loan to do so.
Nearly all Gen Zers plan to own a home and a car, but few intend to be tied to mortgages or auto loans
- 97% Plan to own a home5
- 27% Say they will have a residential mortgage
- 92% Plan to own a car6
- 23% Say they will have an auto loan
Savings and credit cards
Gen Z has little knowledge about traditional financial products like credit cards and checking accounts. The majority of Gen Zs use debit cards (64%), but less than half have checking accounts, savings accounts or mobile wallets. In addition, less than half (46%) report being inside a bank in the past month, compared to 70% of Millennials.6
Traditional financial product ownership is low compared to Young Millennials, their closest cohort in age.
- 64% Own debit card
- 42% Own checking account
- 26% Own credit card
Gen Zers tell us that their parents, for the most part, take care of their financial needs. As a result, there is an opportunity to better educate them on the value of different financial tools and products. A full 70% are without access to a credit card and most do not even know how credit works. Of those Gen Zers who do have access to credit, only 60% pay part or all of the bill.
Gen Zs who pay part of their bill:
- Are twice as likely to be satisfied with their financial position
- Are twice as likely to understand how credit cards work
- Are 23% more likely to prioritize savings
- Are four times more likely to know what an APR is
Parents who give their kids a financial education, in addition to other types of education, set them up better for the future.
The Gen Z population are idealistic and a bit naive about financial products.
They are different than Millennials, who were more financially savvy at this point in their lives. As a result, financial brands must educate, as well as address the financial needs of this important generational cohort.
The insights for this white paper were gathered using a multiphased research approach.
All references to consumers and population refer to survey respondents, except where specifically cited.
PHASE 1: SECONDARY RESEARCH
Synchrony leveraged existing syndicated and secondary data to identify insights and knowledge gaps before kicking off Synchrony research.
Timing: May – July 2017
PHASE 2: QUALITATIVE
Synchrony partnered with market research and strategy firm Chadwick Martin Bailey to conduct an online immersion with Gen Z participants in four U.S. markets. Subsequently, in-home interviews (ethnographies) and shopping excursions were concluded.
Timing: October – November 2017
PHASE 3: QUANTITATIVE
For comparison, Synchrony conducted a multigenerational survey with over 4,000 respondents.
Timing: December 2017 – January 2018