There has been plenty of discussion – including here at Cachet – about the opportunities the mobile channel creates for financial institutions to attract a new generation of consumers, namely Millennials. However, as large a group as it may seem Millennials lack the financial clout of the Baby Boom Generation. That’s why broad based adoption of mobile services, like mobile RDC, demand marketing strategies that cut across generational divides.

Millennials – roughly 27% of the population, or 85 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 – don’t do much of anything the same as their parents did. The most obvious reasons are broad based adoption of PCs, mobile telephones and the Internet. After all, this was the first generation of Americans for whom these technologies were practically a birth right; 92% for example, had mobile phones last year and 58% had smart phones, reports Millennials are so accustomed to communicating via email and text messaging, in fact, that many have never seen the inside of a post office.

Their Baby Boomer parents aren’t luddites; they make use of these technologies, too. Half of the estimated 80 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. have smart phones and have accessed the Web using smart mobile devices, according to But Boomers also use more traditional approaches to shopping and banking and communicating.

Boomers, as a demographic, also have more money to spend and save than do younger adults. The Economic Policy Institute estimates the overall net worth of Baby Boomers today is about three times that of Millennials. Meanwhile, Nielsen reports that Baby Boomers drive about half of all spending in the U.S. today; they’re expected to control 70% of all disposable income within the next five years.

“Millennials are having a tough time of it,” Market Research Dynamics, a research and consulting firm, stated in a recent report, Payments Innovation and the Use of Cash. The report posits that younger folks are more apt to adopt payment innovations than are older folks, but adds that their spending power has been curtailed by systemic problems like high unemployment rates. “This dynamic is important because even if the Millennials develop a new way of paying at the point of sale, it won’t likely have much of an impact right away – they just don’t have the spending power as a group to shift payment methods as a percentage of spending which is what drives overall change,” the report stated.

As the title suggests, the report examines the implications the movement toward mobile payments has for consumers’ use of cash. It really isn’t much of a stretch, however, to apply the findings to consumer preferences for other financial services, like mobile remote deposit.

Deposits are the lifeblood of banking, and mobile deposit is the coolest new product to come out of banking in at least a generation. More importantly, mobile deposit drives real value to a financial institution’s bottom line. Javelin Research & Strategies estimates that a bank or credit union can save almost $50 a year for each customer who uses their mobile device instead of visiting a branch for just one deposit a month. The potential cost savings to the industry as a whole would add up to $1.5 billion a year under these circumstances, Javelin says.

But most consumers don’t just make one deposit in a month. In fact, many banks and credit unions report that once a customer successfully tries mobile remote deposit they tend to make more deposits than they would have otherwise. These banks say they’re seeing more rebate and other small-dollar checks that many customers used to forget about. So imagine the impact broad-based adoption of mobile RDC could have on the industry and individual financial institutions!

That’s why it’s in the best interests of banks and credit unions to implement marketing strategies for mRDC that cut across generational divides. As promising as Millennials may seem as a way to grow deposits, long term, their parents’ generation remains an even more prosperous demographic. Let’s not lose sight of that.