How successfully credit unions attract the 100 million members of Generation Y—people born between 1981 and 2000—will go a long way toward determining the movement’s future viability.
Credit unions must raise Gen Y’s awareness levels. CUNA’s research from April 2013 shows that nearly half (45%) of nonmembers ages 18 to 24 are “not at all familiar” with credit unions. Another 26% are “not very familiar,” and 20% are “somewhat familiar.” Only 8% are “very familiar.”
On the upside, credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative business model resonates with Gen Y. These consumers also value the financial guidance and advice available at branches. Credit unions must communicate their Gen Y approach to those prospective members via an effective social media strategy that employs Twitter, customized text messaging, blogs, and online social communities.
They also must connect with Gen Y’s most trusted financial advisers—their parents—using channels appropriate to that generation.
President Barack Obama sent greetings Thursday to those celebrating International Credit Union Day. CUNA worked closely with the White House on the statement, and a number of credit union-friendly legislators also weighed in with the White House.
The NCUA’s Tuesday announcement that it will repay the U.S. Treasury in full is a good sign for credit unions, said CUNA Chief Policy Officer Bill Hampel. The agency will repay the $1 billion outstanding balance before Oct. 31.
CUNA’s Strategic Communications Department teamed up with The Wall Street Journal this week on an infographic illustrating the differences between credit unions and banks. The graphic ran in print today, on International Credit Union Day.