Opportunities for growth remain abundant. To grow, credit unions must not only boost their appeal to consumers overall, but they also must target their messages and outreach approaches to different subgroups among potential members. They need to know where the strongest possibilities lie for attracting more members.
According to the Survey of Potential Members, three key market groups that credit unions simply cannot afford to ignore are:
Looking at consumer penetration by age groups, the lowest penetration levels are among consumers ages 18 to 24 and those age 65 or older. Only 23% of adult consumers ages 18 to 24 belong to credit unions. That’s similar to the 27% of those age 65 or older who belong. Nonmembers in these age groups are prime candidates for credit union membership.
Nonmembers younger than age 18 represent another prime opportunity. It’s estimated that about 19 million young potential members live under the same roofs as your adult members. Offer your adult members—parents, grandparents, and other relatives—incentives for signing up these younger consumers who represent your credit union’s future.
Instant iPad Service
Like millions of Americans, Brett Wooden couldn’t wait to get his hands on an iPad. He got one the day it first came out, as an early Father’s Day present from his wife.
Later, Wooden, business development manager at $837 million asset Unitus Community Credit Union in Portland, Ore., had an idea. Part of his job is going out to meet current and prospective members and to open new accounts. Why not take his iPad with him?
“One of the challenges I faced was that I had to do a paper application,” he says, “and then members had to come into a branch to fund the account. That’s time-consuming, and it was difficult to get people to do that.”
With the iPad, he could use the credit union’s online account-opening application and have the member fund the account electronically on the spot. Soon, after members
raved about the new convenience, the executive management team decided to buy iPads for all business development officers.
They use the iPads in the field to sign up members, take loan applications, and sell additional online services. “We can do pretty much anything on the iPad,” Wooden says.
Reaching out to young adults was the initial objective. “They want things instantly,” he says. “Plus, we’re meeting them in their environment, where they’re comfortable.”
Wooden has found the iPad account signups to be popular with older members, too. “Executives, for example, can’t get away to come into a branch, so we meet them right at their offices.”
Before using the iPads, the business development team averaged 67 new members per month with a cross-sell ratio of 3.3. Soon after starting to use the iPads, the new-account average jumped to 102 per month, and the cross-sell ratio rose to 3.9.
Overall, the iPads are a hit with members. During an on-campus event at Reed College, Wooden signed up 18 new members in only four hours.
“We’re often sitting next to bank representatives at these events,” he says. “Having iPads with us makes us stand out.”