What happens when you put 8 Gen Z's in a room full of C-level bankers and VC's?


Not what you'd expect! The Fin+Tech Growth Syndicate held a workshop event a couple weeks ago, and our CEO Sue Britton had a brainwave: invite a table full of grade 9-11 kids and let them tell us what they thought of the world of financial institutions and fintech and where they thought this world was heading. The demographic they represent, "Generation Zed" were born between 1995 and 2015, the oldest of which are now entering the workforce. They have never known a time without the internet and were born with a device in their hands. They are sometimes called "Digital Natives" and characteristically they are a group of do-ers and builders. If they don't know how to do it, they will search for a solution to their tech problem on line and code, build or mod their way to a solution.  We asked them three questions and when they presented their findings to the professional group, they were asked a few questions from the floor. Here is a bit of their insightful feedback. 

Question one (Since we are all about Collaborative Innovation): How do you define innovation?                                                                                         


  • Something that hasn't been done before
  • A concept designed to flawlessly function in the best way for every party
  • Rethinking what is impossible
  • Transforming what exists into something new
  • Something revolutionary that benefits all humanity
  • The creation of new ideas and the rethinking of old ideas that do not work well

Question Two: Why do we need a bank?


  • To cash a cheque
  • To withdraw money
  • Because on line can be unreliable
  • There is really nothing better out there
  • To exchange coins into cash
  • Take out a lone more securely than on line
  • Talk to advisors
  • Currency exchange

Question Three: What do you see as the future of banking?

  • all-in-one banking app
  • free
  • available on all devices
  • on line meetings with advisors
  • texting your bank for information
  • biometric identity check
  • AI responses to inquiries 
  • One-use QR codes - checks for loans

The attendees then questioned the Gen Z's about their takes on on line security, email, preferred devices, etc, and here are a few of the more pointed observations:

Not concerned about on line presence and putting everything on line: they know not to put "stupid stuff" on facebook (and jeopardize employment) - but a line was drawn at predictive software making observations that you were on a third date, say, with the same other person and making recommendations as to where to go.  That was the creepiness line. 

Their preferred phone was android, or apple - not blackberry. They are also on laptops, desk tops and tablets - as many devices as they have access to.

Their primary source of information and communication is Social Media - snapchat and facebook group chat were cited

AI will become a social norm

Banks are "not going to be around in 20 years" if they don't take down barriers to interacting frictionlessly with their customers

They want to be able to skype with a banker or a financial advisor

They think banks should take full or most of the responsibility for security and password

The Gen Z's blew the professionals away and summer intern offers were presented. Demanding customers with bright futures.


Sue Britton

FinTech Growth Syndicate, 628 Fleet Street, Unit 1006, Toronto, ON, M5V 1A8