Stuart Sopp, Current

Jan 04, 2019, 03:23 PM

This week's Fintech Focus podcast takes a look at the burgeoning Generation Z market, and how developers and entrepreneurs are finding ways to bring financial education to teens.

With things like a shaky stock market and rising college tuition rates to consider, today's teens have a lot to think about when saving for the future. However, according to reports, today's teens are actually making strides to learn about and plan their savings, more so than Millennials before them.

That's the basis of Current, a debit and credit card app that aims to teach Generation Z the importance of financial education and budgeting for the future.

How did research affect your blueprint for this service?
When we went into this demographic, we had no preconception about what any individual parent may or may not want, and we'd surveyed a bunch of them and had interviewed a bunch, and what we learnt was that pretty much every family is different across America. From large metro to rural, to rich and poor…Most parents, we've found, believe in their kids, believe their teenagers are going to do the right thing, and they would rather them not be stuck swiping away in some random place or merchant when they need the money the most or they can't get cash out in an emergency.

You're simultaneously building a product for two audiences, right, for the parents and for the kids. How does your product development philosophy fit into that as you serve those two audiences?
What a teenager wants is probably not what a parent wants for them and vice versa, right? Balancing this conversation has been one of our key challenges, but also key assets and defensibility. Between 13 and 16, the product we have currently is doing extremely well. Sixteen to 18 is an area where the summer jobs start, we're rolling out the routing and account numbers, the remote deposit capture over this quarter, when it will look much more like a traditional bank account in many ways, with some UI tweaks and maybe even some upgraded cards. We have our P2P system as well, which is very common now, as you probably see from other financial products, but also the way we're thinking about data, the way we are thinking about our point system and the share-ability and discoverability of your swipes, holds the keys to the future of Current and how we expect this cohort to grow with us.



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