Podcasts

How Affirm and Credit Karma make products Gen Z loves

  • It's not easy to zero in on serving Gen Z's preferences around financial products.
  • Leaders from Affirm and Credit Karma join us on the Tearsheet Podcast to talk about what it really takes to build financial products Gen Z uses and loves.
close

Email a Friend

How Affirm and Credit Karma make products Gen Z loves

This is the final episode in our special podcast series on Gen Z, where we explore the fascinating Gen Z deeper: their relationship with money, how they like to save, spend, and borrow money, their fears and aspirations, and their connections to social issues.

In this episode, we’re going to be talking about creating products that Gen Z loves. To do that, I’m joined by two of the best product people in the business: Girish Balasubramanian, VP of Product Management at Credit Karma, and Vishal Kapoor, Head of Product at Affirm. Together, we peel back the onion on how these two firms strategize and tailor their products to resonate with the values, preferences, and financial behaviors of Gen Z consumers – and how this may be different from other demographics.

We also discuss the importance of financial literacy as an enabler for this generation to get on the financial responsibility train. Data plays a role here and we explore how to get the unlock to help Gen Z onboard to different financial products, responsibly and ethically. 

Tearsheet thanks our sponsor Publicis Sapient for their support. Read more and download customer research about Gen Z and financial services at SteezLife.co

And before we jump into our conversation about building products Gen Z loves, I wanted to let you in on something we’re working on right now. We’re currently recruiting financial services professionals to work on this very topic – building products Gen Z loves. We’ve heard from you and in our reporting that figuring out how to service younger customers is growing increasingly important for your business. We want to facilitate making that happen.

We’re hosting a series of working groups for professionals across the industry to communicate, collaborate, and tackle how to do this. Our group has senior executives from Citi, Synchrony, SoFi, UBS, Worldpay, US Bank, and more. Go to www.library.tearsheet.co/outlier to get more information. We have a couple of spaces left and if you’re motivated, we’d love to have you join us.

Listen to the full episode

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts I SoundCloud I Spotify I Google Podcasts

The following excerpts were edited for clarity.

Alignment of Values: Both Credit Karma and Affirm emphasize values such as simplicity, transparency, and aligning their interests with those of the consumer. Affirm’s Kapoor states, “simpler is better,” and Affirm follows the principle of “no fine print,” demonstrating their commitment to straightforward and consumer-centric practices.

Future-Proofing Strategies: Affirm’s future-proofing strategy involves integrating an app as a co-pilot to its physical card, allowing for continuous updates and feature enhancements without issuing new cards. “We can update the software on demand, and we actually continue to do so,” said Affirm’s Kapoor, showcasing their focus on adaptability and embracing evolving technological trends.

Gen Z Engagement: Both companies recognize the need for short, contextually relevant engagement with Gen Z, given their short attention spans. Credit Karma’s Balasubramanian acknowledges the challenge, stating, “Attention spans are short. We all know that for these digitally native folks,” highlighting the importance of concise and impactful interactions.

Financial Literacy Importance: Credit Karma’s Balasubramanian emphasizes the role of financial literacy in shaping their approach to developing products for Gen Z, mentioning that “the starting point is really ready engagement.” He stresses the need for small, actionable tips and gradual education to help users navigate financial matters effectively.

Consumer-Centric Financial Products: Affirm positions itself as providing consumers with a better alternative, addressing challenges posed by traditional credit cards. The representative mentions, “Credit cards are making it very challenging for them [consumers] to manage their finances,” positioning Affirm as a solution that offers transparency, control, and ethical financial practices.

Incorporating User Feedback: Both companies highlight the importance of staying in touch with customers and incorporating their feedback. “We get feedback from customers on a very rapid clip,” said Kapoor, showcasing a commitment to continuous improvement based on user experiences and preferences.

0 comments on “How Affirm and Credit Karma make products Gen Z loves”

Podcasts

The data-driven playbook for growing a small business loan book with Enova’s Cory Kampfer

  • Cory has been immersed in the small business lending space since 2011 when he joined OnDeck.
  • In this episode, Cory provides his unique perspective on the key financial needs and challenges facing small businesses today based on data insights from Enova's $18 billion in originated loans.
Zachary Miller | June 12, 2024
Podcasts

Building the modern CFO stack: Brex’s financial chief on spend tech, going public & cross-functional partnership

  • In this episode, we go behind the scenes with Ben Gammell, CFO of Brex, the corporate spend management platform.
  • He hares insights on building a modern finance tech stack, preparing for an IPO, and the modern CFO's role of fostering cross-functional partnerships within their organization.
Zachary Miller | June 08, 2024
Podcasts

Unlocking home equity: The future of residential real estate investing with Nada’s John Green

  • John Green, co-founder and CEO of Nada, delves into the transformative potential of making home equity accessible to both homeowners and investors through innovative fintech solutions.
  • Discover how Nada navigates regulatory challenges, balances supply and demand in a two-sided market, and plans to democratize home equity investment for the everyday person.
Zachary Miller | June 03, 2024
Podcasts

Inside Cash App’s approach to banking its base: A conversation with Ryan Budd

  • As Cash App matures, it's working to build an embedded finance offering that provides a 360 offering of financial services on top of p2p payments.
  • Join us for an in-depth conversation with a leading Cash App executive as he shares insights on navigating leadership challenges, driving innovation, and empowering teams.
Zachary Miller | May 28, 2024
Podcasts

From direct lending to embedded finance: Luke Voiles on Pipe’s evolving value proposition

  • Pipe's CEO Luke Voiles joins Tearsheet editor Zack Miller on the podcast to discuss the firm's move into embedded lending with its new Capital as a Service platform.
  • From his roles at Intuit, Square, and now Pipe, Luke shares his management style, approach to building world-class products, and how he handles work-life balance.
Zachary Miller | May 21, 2024
More Articles