Target Young Adults Through the Right Channels

CUNA white paper examines strategies to attract and serve young adult members.

April 25, 2014

With 1.8 billion members, generation Y, also known as millennials, is the largest generation alive, representing not only significant buying power but also technological leadership and innovation.

A white paper from the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council offers credit unions ideas for gaining gen Y’s trust and loyalty.

Among the tools it offers is a list of products and technologies credit unions must provide to meet gen Y’s demanding expectations, which were shaped in a time of instant downloads and one-click access.

According to "Retail Strategies to Attract Youth," they include:

• Easy account opening. Millennials are twice as likely to open accounts online, the white paper says. Opening an account is the first impression a new member will get of a credit union, so it’s essential that it is an easy process that takes only a few minutes.

• Powerful online tools. Millennials want the ability to do all of their banking online so they never have to enter a branch. For many of this generation, strong online tools are what constitute “good member service” because many have never worked with someone directly at a branch.

• Mobile banking. Millennials have demonstrated a paradigm shift in traditional thinking: Where older generations ask, “If my phone works, why do I need a new one?” millennials ask,“ Are the new functions on the phone worth spending money on a new one, even though the one I have works perfectly well?”

They are constantly looking for and demanding the new best thing. As more consumers access the Internet through their mobile devices rather than personal computers, credit unions must offer creative and effective ways to allow them to do their banking on these mobile devices.

• New technologies. Global positioning, voice, integration across delivery channels, and more intuitive mobile capabilities are among the technologies that millennials expect to make their lives easier every day.

• Easy loan solutions. Gen Y faces financial challenges that other generations did not. Many millennials are un- or underemployed, burdened with student loan debt, but still anxious to become independent.

Borrowing money—for a car, house or for education expenses—becomes a top concern. Credit unions must find a way to make borrowing easier.

Visit the CUNA Operations, Sales and Service Council's website for more information.