Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much the financial landscape has changed over the past few decades. Back in the old days, many financial institutions could count on the idea that the children of their customers would someday become second-generation customers.
But a recent report by the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) revealed that this is simply no longer the case. Today, over half of Millennials and members of Gen Z bank with a different organization than their parents. Fortunately, the same report provided plenty of hints about what you can do to attract new members from both age groups.
View Technology as an Opportunity Instead of a Challenge
When it comes to younger members, the World Council of Credit Unions has good news and not-so-great news. The unfortunate news is that the average age range of 71% of credit union members worldwide is 45 – 64.
The good news is that, if you’re a credit union managing to attract younger members, you’re definitely ahead of the curve! But what if your numbers aren’t so flattering? Let's go back to the BAI report, which asked customers about their banking preferences.
While 58% of older customers still prefer to open an account at a branch location, the majority of Gen Z and Millennials said they’d prefer to open one on a mobile app. And while just 22% of Boomers would be willing to ditch their current financial institution for one that offered a better mobile app/digital experience, 60% of Gen Z and 63% of Millennials would jump ship for this very reason.
Yet, with all the emphasis that younger customers are putting on technology, only 9% of banks currently describe their digital customer service as excellent. While this may initially sound bleak, it’s actually the stuff opportunities are made of.
Getting ahead of the curve on technology is still enough to make a huge difference when it comes to attracting and maintaining a whole new generation of clientele. It can also be a great way to scale your member base, as there’s no longer any need to stick to members in your immediate geographical area.
Help Customers Achieve Their Goals Easily
Rather than despair over the rise of challenger banks and neobanks, maybe it’s time we started asking what makes them so attractive. While some offer new incentives like cashback, others simply offer small features that make a big difference.
One of these features is automated savings or round-ups. A study from the Financial Health Network reveals that this is where the integration of fintech can be incredibly helpful.
Financial apps like Spave offer your members the opportunity to effortlessly connect to the accounts they hold at your institution. They’ll then enjoy several customizable ways to save, including automatic round-ups and scheduled savings transfers.
This is a great way to offer the same benefits as many popular online banking apps, while still offering the convenience of in-person branches. Although it may sound like a small shift, automatic saving options can go a long way toward helping customers achieve their goals.
Setting aside savings can feel like an unwelcome task when monthly expenses are piling up. Options like round-ups can make it seem a lot more manageable by allowing your members to build a nest egg with spare change from everyday purchases.
Embrace and Share Your Values
In many ways, today's young people are the future members of a credit union’s dreams. After all, credit unions have emphasized the importance of community focus since before it was cool.
Millennials and Gen Z have a very similar set of values, which BAI’s study highlighted beautifully. 49% of Gen Z and 61% of Millennials said their financial organization of choice showed a commitment to environmental, societal, and governance (ESG) issues.
56% of Gen Z and 70% of Millennials said their organization was committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The point is that now is no time to be shy about the values that matter to your union!
Plenty of potential customers out there are looking to do business with a financial institution that embraces the things that matter to them the most. That’s why Spave also offers your members several different ways to put donations towards their favorite charities and non-profits on auto-pilot.
Want to Join Forces?
At Spave, we’re always looking for credit unions like you to partner with. Don’t hesitate to reach out today to see how we can work together through our partnership program!