Sustainability, who this?

Gen Z are widely regarded as the most sustainably conscious generation, however, when it comes to their finances, it’s not even on their radar. 

When asked what’s most important to them when choosing a financial services provider Gen Z across the Netherlands, France, and Germany said it’s a provider that keeps their information secure (45%) and has low fees (43%). As the first generation of digital natives, it’s unsurprising that they are looking for a provider with good app features too (42%). But when it comes to tackling sustainability and social issues only one in ten (11%) Gen Z in these markets say this is an important factor in selecting which provider they choose. Even among those who acknowledge the influence of sustainability and social issues like climate change and underemployment on their lives, the sentiment remains largely unchanged (12% and 10%, respectively).  

Gen Z just want to make money, money, money 

One explanation is, of course, the cost-of-living crisis, which is currently the biggest concern facing Gen Z with a huge 72% saying that this crisis is impacting them. It’s therefore understandable that this generation are prioritising learning how to make money fast (42%) and how to invest (36%), over learning how to be more sustainable with their money (24%).  Although sustainability is more of a priority in the Netherlands (30%) than Germany (24%) and France (20%).  

When thinking about your finances, what do you want to know more about? 

Base: 3,000 Gen Z across Netherlands, Germany, and France 

Only one in ten are using FinTech to track the environmental or social impact of their spending, despite this being a USP for some brands 

Another explanation is that Gen Z are unaware that financial service providers can help them tackle sustainability issues. 

The FinTech sector is thought to be leading the way in sustainable finance. In particular, German FinTech brand Tomorrow is encouraging its customers to “Save time, money and the planet”. However, only 13% of Gen Z FinTech users say they’re using FinTech to track the environmental or social impact of their spending/saving, dropping to 11% of those in France. This could be a missed opportunity for the FinTech sector, especially as it does very well among this cohort (65% of Gen Z are using a FinTech brand and 82% of those using them as their main account are satisfied with them).  

When made aware of FinTech platforms specifically designed to measure and reduce users’ impact on the planet via their financial decisions, a third (32%) of Gen Z said they are likely to use them. This suggests that if Gen Z became more aware of the impact they could have on tackling sustainability through their finances, it could become a more significant deciding factor for the providers they choose in the future.