Johanna Smith Ramani, Senior Innovation Director at Doorways to Dreams Fund says that Millennials are very mission-purpose driven, and so for them careers are less about the profit or what the boss wants and more about what is meaningful for them or has value. “That’s what motivates their career decisions, it’s what motivates the brands they choose and how they interact when thinking about financial service spaces. It’s what motivates the banks they want to go to.
“If you look at the Millennials, they have a negative savings rate. But the rest of the country is doing crappy anyway. None of us is doing a good job at it. So there is a financial management crisis in this country. Millennials and others face hard choices such as, ‘Am I paying down something or am I saving for the future?’ Partly what is wrong is that the products are not engaging. They do not respond to people’s intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. For example, what is going on in the brain that makes you buy a lottery ticket, or that makes you spend money on a movie or spend money on gambling — whatever it is that gives you that quick delight? Can we translate that same feeling and emotion and interaction with the financial product?
“We have built a savings account that is a prize-based design so the more you save, the more chances you have to win. It brings some delight into the present, ‘Oh, I saved and I have a chance to win’. Even if you did not win, you get the long-term kind of success/delight/reward of actually having done the hard work of saving. This particular innovation has proven to help low income families to save money and have something in the bank, when there might not have been anything before. It is not just a game changer — because if a financial emergency happens you have it — but it is a psychological game changer where you are less stressed because you know that you have the financial reserves. This means you are a better worker, you are a better parent, you are a better partner to your spouse. You are just a more productive part of your community because you have removed this huge weight in your brain around money.”