Building PFMs for the Next Generation

Article Summary

  • Gen Z’s bring new meaning to the term “digital natives”
  • Strategies for Product Teams need to take into account the dynamic nature of consumer trends
  • Hyper-engagement is no longer a side feature- it should take center stage
  • Changes in the digital ecosystem (both global and GCC specific) will change user expectations and lifestyles
  • Spire can enhance value and improve financial well-being in a changing digital ecosystem

Product and Design

From a technical perspective, a PFM app needs to provide its customers with a truly frictionless experience and minimum lapses in functionality. With the ample knowledge that today’s customers have at their disposal, and with technologies such as Open APIs, switching over to different PFM providers has never been easier. Here is some advice for product teams:

  • Twine, like many players, have also added investment tracking and crypto-currency features.
  • Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, also known as “wearable tech,” is already in full flow. With trials underway for technologies such as advanced biometric payments, product teams should actively monitor and be prepared for changes at any given point in time.

Social Ecosystem

The recent Reddit-fueled GameStop saga is just one example that highlights the power of social media communities. Today’s Gen Z is present across multiple social platforms and already has amassed connections and followers from around the world. They are constantly “in the know” and frequently rely on online opinion crowdsourcing and peer comparison for their choices.

  • gives an open invitation to users to send in their requests for what “rewards” they want, and the most popular ones are then incorporated.
  • YouTuber reviews are also increasingly becoming the preferred go-to source. YouTube channel Logical Finance amassed a cumulative 85,000 views on PFM apps alone, while one of the most popular tech reviewers, Marques Brownlee or MKBHD, has a cumulative following of 14.6 million subscribers garnering an average of 2.5 million views per video.


The impact of the 2007 financial crisis and COVID-19 cannot be understated. Gen Zs grew up with the after-effects of the former and witnessed in real-time the effects of the latter. This has shaped their views on money and finance. An article by Credit Suisse stated that many are cautious and “want to save and avoid debt and are already starting to invest and think about retirement. “ A study by Raddon found that “2/3 of a group of 2,500 teens had already opened a bank account and were as much as 3x more likely to have taken a financial education class than millennials.”


The speed and scale at which technology changes user habits today should be “top of mind” for all product teams and marketers operating in the fintech space. Gen Z is in some ways one of the most challenging consumer groups to cater to, particularly with regards to high expectations being set, and as we have earlier stressed, they are true “digital natives” — often driving forth trends in many different domains.



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Aion Digital

Aion Digital

Aion is a financial technology company specializing in digital banking platforms. It is headquartered in Bahrain with business presence across the GCC.