A leading multinational bank asked us:

How do intergenerational relationships impact financial needs and behavior?

Our client wanted to explore the financial relationships between adult caregivers and both their aging parents or college-aged children. They wanted to uncover opportunities to improve digital banking, saving, and investing experiences to best serve customers with shifting financial needs. 

We answered:

AnswerLab designed a two-phase research study using a mixed-methods approach to tap into participants’ mental models and financial behaviors. First, we recruited two participant groups to explore financial relationships across multiple generations-  caregiving adults and the aging family members for whom they manage finances, as well as a group of adults and the college-aged young adults with whom they share financial tasks. 

Participants took part in a remote diary study in which they tracked and documented how they were engaging with their family members around their finances. The diary provided a log of their activities, thoughts, frustrations, needs, expectations, and wants.

To build on the diary data, we followed up with in-home interviews. Participants were interviewed in familial pairs to gain deeper insight into the relationships we were exploring. The interviews not only validated some of the initial findings collected in the diary study but added additional depth to what we had already learned.


Through our research, we discovered that customers needed money management solutions for their financially dependent family members. It was common amongst all participant groups to participate in risky financial behavior such as sharing usernames and passwords. The groups also shared a desire to learn more about specific financial topics.

As part of our solution, AnswerLab recommended the creation of a digital hub. This could allow customers to engage in financial activities while providing different levels of access privileges such as read-only access to shared accounts and the ability to hand off control to another.

Additionally, we recommended that the solution include an educational element from a trusted third party to provide information on budgeting, managing another’s bank account, new terminology, and where to go for help to improve the experience.The research provided a solid understanding of the family dynamics regarding shared financial activity and identified needs and preferences to improve the experience moving forward. Ultimately, the findings provided a framework to develop a roadmap for product strategy.

Learn more about our financial services research practice

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