Credit union leaders who think strategically about membership growth can’t afford to ignore the Hispanic market, says Coopera CEO Miriam De Dios.
Furthermore, President Obama’s executive actions on immigration creates an opportunity for credit unions to help many Hispanics transition into the financial mainstream and build new and lasting relationships. An estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants currently live in the U.S., and the Hispanic demographic will continue to grow.
To get started building infrastructure for long-term growth among Hispanics, De Dios encourages credit unions to follow four steps:
1. Conduct a readiness assessment. Ask questions such as, do we have a welcoming culture? Do we have bilingual capacity? Do we offer small-dollar loans? Do we accept alternative forms of identification?
2. Develop a strategic growth plan. Identify relevant target markets and the tactics and strategies needed to communicate to them. Create a task force, build buy-in, and set goals.
3. Make operational adaptations. Put in place the people, tools, and processes needed to accommodate Hispanics successfully.
Adapt to meet their needs. Offer the financial products they need today, such as small-dollar loans, and transition them over time to more mainstream products.
4. Build partnerships. Identify potential community partners working with Hispanics in your area. Consider if your missions overlap and whether you can work together. Then mobilize your community outreach personnel and organize events.