Position your credit union for millennial generation with a merger

5 Strategies to Position Your Credit Union for Success with Millennials

The World Council of Credit Unions reports that the average age of members to credit unions is 47 in U.S. This makes drawing in Millennials more important than ever as aging members reach retirement. With current membership in credit unions sitting at just over 200 million worldwide, the challenge for today’s credit unions is to add to those memberships over the next 5 years. Millennials are the target generation, so learn how to strategize to attract these members.

Prioritize Digital Delivery

Young adults – Millennials – stay current on technological trends, and most of them are early adopters of mobile technology. This means they want convenient and mobile access to most banking services. This should make app development and mobile banking a major priority for credit unions everywhere. Young adults already use their phones to source entertainment, information, social media and shopping. They don’t want to have to switch gears for banking.

Expand Payment Options

With the switch to EMV enabled credit card machines imminent, and the younger generation’s experience using a variety of payment methods, credit unions need to understand that Millennials are more likely to whip out a digital wallet than any other generation. They already use ecommerce platforms regularly, so offering payment solutions for use on the go is a great way to attract these users. Online and mobile bill payment options, along with peer-to-peer payments ideal for splitting a check, help attract a younger audience.

Build Bigger Brand Recognition

A merger with another credit union offers a relatively quick expansion option. Not only do two credit unions join their memberships, they free up resources to fund marketing campaigns. A merger can also allow two credit unions with different strengths to build a better service platform. For example, if one credit union is on the forefront of mobile technology and the other already excels in multi-channel service delivery, it could be a very good strategic match.  Many credit unions today find themselves constrained by the resources and expertise to deploy and market the technologies required by the millennial generation.  Together both credit unions can be stronger.

Incentivize Banking

Millennials are just hitting the point in their life where they might buy a house or upgrade to a brand new car. This means they are going through loan processes for the first time. Today, they have the option to explore funding from a variety of sources, before they ever talk to a realtor or walk onto a lot. Lack of experience with lending can make the process painful for first time borrowers. Word-of-mouth is a big part of today’s young adult culture with the explosion of social media, so bringing these potential brand ambassadors on board is a big part of the lending market. Adding incentives that go beyond low rates and target the pain points of the first time borrower can help turn every new loan holder into a marketing machine.

Educate the Next Generation

Millennials tend to have a fairly negative view of banks, so you need to educate them about their options. Posting information in a newsletter and sending out mailings is unlikely to get their attention, but sending out the same information one social media platforms, mobile devices or well read blogs can help garner a bigger audience.

If you successfully implement these strategies, you have the opportunity to create lasting relationships with a younger generation. Get the word out, show them what is on offer, drive toward more service options, switch to multi-channel banking services and consider a merger to position your credit union toward success with today’s young adults.