Digital Strategy & Millennial Magic


How fintechs like Pocketnest can help credit unions supercharge their digital strategy to
reach millennials, identify millions of dollars in non-interest revenue, and spread financial

With 20+ years of experience in wealth management, Jessica Willis watched her industry evolve as fintech platforms flooded the  market. This evolution has been incredible but, according to Willis,  leaves major gaps for the largest underserved demographic—millennials and genX.

Despite dozens of robo advisors popping up, Willis explains how “nextgen clients” are still left scrambling. She shares the common worries her friends and peers often express:
● I’m saving for retirement, but I just had a baby—do I need life insurance?
● I stick to a budget, but what about all that student debt piling up?
● I save for the future, but should I put more money into paying off my mortgage or my
● Should I put more money in the stock market or in my kids’ college savings accounts?

“Millennials and genX members need more financial guidance,” said Willis. “And, if these
scenarios aren’t realistic enough, consider the financially un-well state of millennials”:

● 8% of millennials demonstrate high financial literacy
● 81% carry long-term debt
● ~75% cannot demonstrate basic financial knowledge
● 43% of millennials say their financial institution doesn’t communicate with them
through their preferred channel
● 86% of financial advisors ignore genX and millennials
● 98% would fire their parents’ advisor upon inheritance due to lack of tech and

As Willis explains, genx and millenials are saddled with debt and lacking basic financial
knowledge as they approach their prime earning and savings years without sufficient
preparation. “The industry expecting to serve them has insignificant technology, archaic
practices, and an unrealistic wealth minimum,” she says.

So Willis developed Pocketnest—built by and for the next generation—to remedy this
brewing financial crisis for financial institutions and the next generation of consumers they
expect—and, frankly, must learn—to serve.

By white-labeling Pocketnest, financial institutions can bring their community financial
wellness, while also engaging younger audiences and growing cross-sell opportunities and
non-interest revenue. The fintech platform coaches users through 10 themes of financial
wellness, from setting a budget to planning for the future with investments, savings, and
debt elimination. Built on behavioral science and psychology, Pocketnest crafts
custom-tailored financial plans and uses proprietary insights and predictions to keep people
motivated and engaged in their finances—in just three minutes a week.

On average, Pocketnest has increased users’ financial wellness by 57 percent and has helped users accomplish 1,124 financial planning activities—and counting. The fintech is identifying $1.2 billion in non-interest income for financial institutions.

“Before Pocketnest, providing comprehensive financial planning that’s cost-effective to
providers and at a scale to reach the masses was unthinkable,” Willis explains. “So, I took it a step further to ensure we’re not competing with financial institutions, but working for them.”

To date, Pocketnest has 35 enterprise partners, including MSU Federal Credit Union, Service Credit Union, 4Front Credit Union,  and is a finalist proof of concept entry in the Wells Fargo  Innovation Challenge. Pocketnest licenses and white-labels its platform to financial institutions to generate qualified leads and  boost cross-sell opportunities. The fintech also licenses its platform to employee wellness programs to help employers boost recruitment, productivity, and retention efforts.

“The key to our success?” poses Willis. “Partnering with forward-thinking and innovative
financial institutions like Community Financial Credit Union is critical to making a real
difference in financial wellness accessibility,” she explains. “Financial wellness is crucial to
community health and future growth, and we’re committed to being the partner to help
make that happen.”

Pocketnest, Inc.™ is a Google-accelerated financial wellness app that coaches users through 10 themes of financial wellness. The platform helps users identify and fill gaps in their plans, while identifying cross-sell opportunities for the financial institutions they license to like banks, credit unions, investment advisors, 401k plan sponsors; and employee wellness programs. Launched in 2019, the fintech has been recognized as one of the world’s most innovative startups.

About Author:
Jessica Willis, Founder & CEO – With a 20-year career in the investment and finance industries, Jessica is a self-proclaimed finance wizard. She is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP Ⓡ) and a Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA Ⓡ) with loads of client experience,  having co-managed portfolios ranging from $50K to $250MM+. Jessica has a passion for serving YOU, our non-finance-speaking friends who just want their messy financial plans  organized. Or at least digestible! She’s a bit of a geek, and loves smart fintech tools that  improve efficiency and accessibility. Previously, Jessica spent 10+ years at Plante Moran  Financial Advisors, four years at MacGregor Associates Chicago and five years at boutique  Pointe Capital Management. She has an MBA from Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan  School of Business and an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan. 

1PriceWaterhouseCoopers Survey, Millennials & Financial Literacy, The Struggle with Personal Finance, 2014
2Fair Isaac Corporation FICO Millennial Quiz, 2014
3Financial Advisor Magazine, More Younger Millionaires Emerge October 2017
4PriceWaterhouseCoopers Global Private Banking/Wealth Management Survey
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