Digital Strategy & Millennial Magic

Supercharge your digital strategy to reach millennials, identify millions of dollars in revenue



This byline article was originally featured in Credit Union Business Magazine.



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 retirement?

  • 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 literacy1

  • 81% carry long-term debt1

  • ~75% cannot demonstrate basic financial knowledge1

  • 43% of millennials say their financial institution doesn’t communicate with them through their preferred channel2

  • 86% of financial advisors ignore genX and millennials3

  • 98% would fire their parents’ advisor upon inheritance due to lack of tech and relationship4


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.

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.




This byline article was originally featured in Credit Union Business Magazine.





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