Can a 35-year-old Kalgoorlie credit union transform into a youth-oriented digital bank?

West Australian bank Goldfields Money (ASX:GMY) is about to find out.

“The average age of our customers in Kalgoorlie is 53 years, but we are now looking to appeal to a younger demographic,” says chief executive Simon Lyon.

Step one? Commission ad agency Clemenger BBDO to find out what consumers think of the existing brand.

Dirt field full of gold. Sounds dodgy. Old Company. Money in a Paddock. Sort of slow. American Oil Tycoons. Old School. (And not in a cool “old school” kind of way.)

Hmm. Probably going to need a hip new name then.

“We have very low brand awareness and some negative brand associations outside of the Goldfields region,” the bank told investors after reviewing the research.

“We decided that we needed a new name.”

The result? Shareholders will vote at the bank’s upcoming AGM to change the name to “Bare Money”.

Bare Money is designed to target the ‘me’ nation of 18-to-35 year olds who expect instant gratification, trust authenticity and don’t want to miss out, the bank explained.

Bare Money ... Goldfields Bank's proposed new brand
Bare Money … Goldfields Bank’s proposed new brand

The digital approach will see all accounts, loans and term deposits available through an app and website with terms and conditions “spelled out in plain language”.

“We want to be seen as the real deal in an authentic, slightly cheeky and always upbeat way,” the company said in its announcement to market last week.

Goldfields shares were steady on Friday. They last traded at $1 — about halfway between their 90c to $1.07 trading range over the past year.

But Goldfields is hoping for a bump by beating the big banks in the youth market.

“In Australia the top four players account for 90 per cent of the market and the top nine have 99 per cent,” Mr Lyons said.

“The big banks can do a lot of things really well but when it comes to young people they haven’t been able to engage them completely… I think there is a real place for digital disruption across banking services generally and smaller firms are better poised to do it.”

Goldfields reported a loss of $996,000 last year, partly due to its efforts in digitising operations.

Loans on its balance sheet increased by $28 million and deposits by $55.5 million.