/ Teens & Money

Where does Gen-Z show up in the workforce? In the gig economy.

And Current is filling a market gap, providing banking services to the hard-at-work under 18 population.

Recent research suggests that fewer teens are forming part of the workforce, while Senior Citizens are replacing them in traditionally teenage jobs, such as fast-food work. According to Bloomberg, the problem is so bad that restaurants are recruiting in senior centers and churches.

Are teens working less or is this a result of nontraditional jobs, like internships and gigs, not being adequately accounted for by the government?

The gig economy is here, and it’s changing the way teenagers earn money.

In the gig economy, freelance work (or gigs) are replacing traditional jobs. Much of this new work is digital, and as the first digitally native generation, it makes sense that today’s teenagers are jumping on the opportunity to make money online by creating content for brands, advertising on social media and more.

Their entrepreneurial spirit is strong too. According to research from Monster, 49% of teenager say they’re interested in starting their own business, compared to just 32% for previous generations. Some have even begun running side hustles or projects to earn pocket money, like painting portraits or selling handmade candy online.

Inadequate access to banking services is holding Gen-Z back.

Working teens and young adults need access to some basic banking services. They need a debit card to pay for supplies and services. They need a way to get paid, including direct deposit and remote check deposit, and routing and account numbers so they can connect with online eCommerce platforms.

Making money from a YouTube channel? Selling on Etsy? How do you get paid without a bank account? The problem is that traditional banks are very reluctant to provide these services to anyone under 18 … the age group falls outside their business model.

What differentiates Current from other financial institutions is that we’ve built, from the very beginning, with this generation in mind.

To meet this generation's needs we are continuing to evolve our business, from a debit card and app into a fully-fledged bank account for young adults. A bank that meets their needs in High School, that they can carry with them to college and into the workforce.

The next development in this transition will be the release of routing and account numbers to all of our customers, which will enable direct deposit and other features associated with a traditional checking account. Account and routing numbers are already being tested by a beta group of customers, and will be released before the end of the year.