The World Council of Credit Unions' "International Lessons for Young Adult Membership Growth" guide offers 12 growth strategies complied from credit unions in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Kenya, Mexico, Poland, and the U.S.
The strategies, as reported in CUNA’s News Now:
1. Provide core services online and via mobile
Young adults expect to use the latest technology to manage their finances, just as they use these channels for information, entertainment, socializing, and payment services.
2. Respond to expectations for convenience
Many young people are unbanked but not unconnected.
When credit unions offer easy bill payment services, their relationship with members becomes stronger, opening the door to other financial services.
3. Design products for life transitions
Young adults face constant change as they pursue their education, start careers, get married, buy a home, or have children.
These transitions pose opportunities to offer sticky financial services.
4. Differentiate with social responsibility
Young adults prefer to belong to institutions with strong ethical reputations that pride themselves on "doing good."
5. Shift to a culture that “wows” members
Young adults expect things fast and easy, and respond more to experience than product.
6. Turn young employees into ambassadors
According to the Filene Research Institute, young employees tend to embrace credit union ideals but are often uncertain about how to articulate them.
When young employees clearly understand the credit union difference, they can become ambassadors for the organization. Help them communicate that message.
7. Represent youth in governance
If credit unions are serious about serving young adults, young adults must be represented in the boardroom.
8. Embrace diversity
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gen Y is the most ethnically diverse generation in history.
Accordingly, tailor product design and delivery to different communities.
9. Motivate peer recommendations
Use a marketing and service strategy that rewards young adult members by enlisting their natural tendency to connect and bring in new members through peer recommendations.
10. Initiate incentive programs
Because of their social connectedness, young adults tend to rely more on references from one another than on institutional reputations.
By creating incentives that not only provide lower rates but also improve the entire borrowing experience, young adults are more likely to be long-term loyal members and spread the word about service.
11. Engage on social media; don't just post
Through social media, young adults make connections that previous generations could only dream of.
As a result, credit unions have a distinct opportunity to connect.
12. Offer financial management and literacy tools outside the classroom
According to the Filene Research Institute, young adults' financial literacy is typically low—even among those with high levels of education and income.
Although they might not admit it, they could use assistance with debt management.
(Via CUNA E-Scan)