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Credit card marketers refocus strategies as Gen Z hits adulthood

Gen Zers are ready to spend. The majority will be adults in 2023, meaning increased spending power. And they rely heavily on digital when making purchases: Gen Z will surpass Gen X in the number of US digital buyers by 2025, per our forecast.

But a new, digitally native generation presents novel challenges for credit card marketers. Gen Zers live online and tend to conduct more research pre-purchase. That makes them less susceptible to awareness-building campaigns for cards.

Here are three ways providers will reach Gen Z consumers in 2023:

  • Strategists will put customization into overdrive. Gen Zers value individuality and tend to choose brands that offer personalized experiences. These can include personalized payment flexibility options or the ability to pick a top rewards category.
  • Marketers will emphasize affinity and cause-based marketing. Gen Zers want to use companies that align with their interests or support causes they believe in. To target this segment, cards will promote features like Cardless’ sports-team-affiliated cards and Citi’s ThankYou points, which can be donated to a chosen charity.
  • Brands will build their presence on TikTok to reach its 45.7 million US Gen Z users. We expect TikTok to dethrone Snapchat as the generation’s most used social media platform in 2024. Credit card brands will race to make up major ground on the app by then: Mastercard and American Express currently have a limited presence (e.g., partnerships with influencers on sponsored videos), but others like Visa and Capital One have empty pages.

Read the full report.