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.
The discussion boards on CUNA’s Compliance Community featured an interesting discussion last week: what is the difference between the terms “share draft” and “checking account”? The correct use is important since credit unions pay dividends, not interest.