Merged finance apps are the latest development as financial services try to catch up with millennials.
Sharing money has become the norm, as millennials navigate new types of relationships—both personal, and financial. New products from the financial services industry are targeting unmarried partners and roommates, catering to more casual levels of investment than a joint bank account.
Several companies have realized the market for the 18 million US millennials who live with a partner before marriage, half of whom merge finances before marriage. Honeydue, launched at the beginning of August, and Honeyfi, launched this week, both use mobile banking to connect to the “Venmo generation.” For both apps, couples can link their accounts to the app, decide what to share with their partner, and then organize and track their finances in the same place, allowing couples to share their account information easily.
“The fintech space is exploding, with increased interest from both startups and larger players”, explains Ramy Serageldin, the CEO of Honeyfi. “Companies are developing customized services based on specific problems, so that consumers can migrate from one app to the next as they change life stages.” Honeyfi plans to target older millennial couples in particular, who will go through important lifestyle changes that require financial advice.
Millennials have grown up learning about finances, with 74% regularly discussing money with parents versus 56% of Gen Xers and 34% of Boomers. “They go into relationships more financially independent and with their own ideas, having managed their own finances for a long time,” Serageldin explained. “They’ve seen their parent’s generation go through high divorce rates and know the ugliness that happens when you need to separate those finances.”
Other startups are even launching their own banking services to help millennials combine finances. The online bank Simple now offers Simple Shared, a modern version of the joint checking account that offers a combination of shared and separate information. An accompanying app offers transaction alerts, bill reminders, and a record of which user made each payment to encourage transparency.
As millennials’ financial lives become more complicated, the industry will need to move beyond one-size-fits-all banking products. Unmarried couples, adults who manage their parent’s money, and other nontraditional relationships require a progressive approach, and a better understanding of this new demographic. As millennials age into more spending power, larger companies should invest in technology to earn their loyalty sooner rather than later as they reach their prime earning and spending years.
For more on how millennials plan to reshape the financial services industry, read our article on social impact banking. Be on the lookout for more on the next generation of adulthood in our upcoming trend report, The New Adulthood.