MADISON, Wis. (7/27/15)--A new white paper from the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council discusses how credit unions can use financial education as a tool for credit union growth.
Financial education is part of credit unions’ core mission to improve their members’ financial well-being. Providing education can also be part of a growth strategy for credit unions, as financially literate members use more products and services, understand the value of membership, and spread the word about credit unions in their communities.
“Financial Education: Leveraging this Marketing, Growth, and Engagement Tool" examines how credit unions are using financial education as a marketing tool, including profiles of several credit unions doing so successfully.
Education in any business is about engagement, Michelle Payne, assistant vice president of branding and communications at Elements Financial FCU, Indianapolis, advises in the paper. “We’re using knowledge, information and resources to catch prospective members’ attention and build trust before talking about products. Once we have that, we hope people will look to us for products and solutions.”
Author and finance expert Peter Dunn provides an example. “Helping people use your services, like determining how much house to buy, provides more value,” Dunn said. "It’s something the underwriting department used to determine based on the max that fit your lifestyle. Now it’s what’s more prudent. It might appear that a credit union is trying to loan less money, but they’re doing what’s best for members, and people see that.”
Financial education is clearly the competitive advantage that her credit union has over its banking peers, asserts Payne. “As service-focused organizations, we have the interest and take the time to teach members how to use products most responsibly and wisely,” she said. “It’s something banks may not do, or do as well.”