Millennials Aren’t All-Digital When it Comes to Banking

By Joseph Weathered

The payment industry is evolving. Each year, new services and applications for financial transactions emerge.  Platforms like PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay and Zelle are increasing in popularity as society as a whole continues to become more digitized.  Customers demand digital products and, in response, The Milford Bank sees their value and offers our customers a variety of digital products geared from everything to sending money person to person to providing assistance in setting and fulfilling savings goals.  But, even though there’s a huge population of digital natives with bank accounts, it’s not entirely 100% digital; cash and checks are still more prevalent than many might expect, even with Millennials.

Yes, we saw check usage drop significantly from 2000-2012, as new digital and mobile apps hit the market and drew interest.  But, that decline has since slowed and, from 2016-2017, the value of check payments actually increased.

Despite having digital-first tendencies, more Millennials use checks (42%) than own video game consoles.  As it turns out, this generation, which has recently become the single largest population group in the U.S. workforce, uses checks and mobile wallets somewhat evenly.  About 37% of surveyed said they had written a check in the past month, and 38% said they had paid with a mobile wallet in that same time frame.

We understand Millennials are very tech-centric but what most people don’t recognize is that, at the same time, they haven’t shunned traditional alternatives, especially when it comes to their finances.  The truth is they use both digital and traditional banking products. Maybe it’s more accurate to say they are opportunistic, especially considering a low tolerance for poor customer service and greater willingness to switch their consumer and banking habits than older generations.  In other words, it’s tough to build brand loyalty with younger customers.

But, even though Millennials are known to be quick to switch brands after a poor experience, switching banks is a hassle – much more so than switching phone carriers.  In turn, Millennials seek out a financial institutions that cater to their preferences.  While the national brands may have greater visibility, The Milford Bank, through exceptional customer service and an understanding of the communities we exist within have advantages that play into Millennials’ needs.

The Milford Bank has strong local and community roots within New Haven and Fairfield County. Because of our local roots, we are able to be more engaged with our customers and communities, and are able to create a stronger bond with our customers, including Millennials. However, It doesn’t mean that the product portfolio is limited; to the contrary The Milford Bank is able to offer a variety of services that the customer, regardless of age can use, whether it is a digital product such as Zelle or a high interest, reward based checking service such as Kasasa.

With a better understanding of the customer, The Milford Bank is able to provide a combination of traditional and modern products which, along with exceptional customer service is one of the key factors that Millennial customers gravitate towards and value.


How are You Getting Rid of Your Old iPhones and Computers?

By Dave Wall

Every time Apple, Samsung, or any other electronic device manufacturer releases new products, the media tends to grab hold and saturate news feeds with the incredible advances these new product bring for consumer and business users. They’re not wrong of course – think about all the things we’re now able to do from smartphone in our hands.  It’s an unprecedented level of convenience, efficiency, and productivity, and the hype helps generate sales momentum as these new products become available.

But, what is left out is what to do with your old devices when you replace them. Of course, some phones are recycled when they are exchanged for new ones at mobile carriers like Verizon and AT&T.  But when you consider the third-party market for not only phones, but other devices like tablets, laptops, smart watches, and the many other products that permeate today’s digital lifestyles, it’s clear that there’s an awful lot of electronic waste being created.

The United States alone generated almost 12 million tons of e-waste in 2014 according to the EPA. The UN reported that 44.7 million tons of e-waste was generated globally in 2016, and the World Economic Forum reported that number had risen for 485 million tons in 2018.  That makes it the fastest-growing waste stream in the world.  Yet, only about 20% was recycled.  So, where do the rest of these items end up?  Certainly, many are likely collecting dust in homes and offices, but a large percentage ends up in landfills or incinerators, both of which are harmful to the environment.

E-recycling offers an effective way to get rid of old electronics safely, but how should you recycle your electronics? There are many local retailers that will recycle e-waste – some of them regardless of where they were purchased.  And of course, mobile carriers often offer rebates for trade-in that can be applied towards the purchase of a new device.

If you keep an eye on your community events, you will also likely find e-recycling opportunities. The Milford Bank, for instance, will be holding two Shred & Recycle Days this year, making it easy for residents to get rid of their old electronics, as well as paper documents.

The first TMB Shred & Recycle Day will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 10:00am-1:00pm at the Post Road West branch (295 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT), and will include free e-recycling for anyone and free document shredding for customers (non-customers may still take advantage of the shredding service for a $5 donation to a local non-profit).

The second Shred & Recycle day will take place in the fall, after families have purchased new laptops and tablets for the new school year, on Saturday, October 12, 2019 (10am-12pm).

Recycling electronics and paper provides a constant stream of resources that have countless uses, helps reduce the amount of junk that piles up in landfills across the globe, and reduces the environmental impact of dumping. There are many materials that can be harvested from old electronics that can be re-used to manufacture new ones, including, gold, silver, palladium, and copper.  The WEF values the value of materials that can be recovered through e-recycling at more than $62 billion.  Apple says it was able to collect more than a ton of gold from recycled devices in 2015.  That’s worth more than $40 million.

Take a look around your home. If you have old electronics lying around that haven’t been used for years – and most households do – take advantage of this community service provided by The Milford Bank to do some good for the environment and get rid of some old junk from your home in the process.