The following business briefs are from CU Tomorrow, a Filene Research Institute clearinghouse for credit union young adult strategies. Click the links below to access the business briefs and/or previously recorded webinars.RELATED RESEARCH: 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index – This report details the results from the 2012 Gallup-HOPE Index and shares student opinions on their economic future and the access they have to the education and experience needed to realize their aspirations.
Demographics is destiny. Credit unions face myriad marketplace uncertainties, but one thing is certain: Existing members will always grow older. Demographic shift is one of the few sure things in the world of business. Generation Y, commonly understood as those born between 1980 and 1995, comprise the largest demographic surge since the late 1940’s and already they are reshaping both the workplace and the marketplace. Understanding their needs on a local and specific level will help credit unions attract and retain Generation Y members.
Young Americans are inundated with credit card offers and many of them are barely treading the water of the resulting debt. College students in their final year carry an average of $2,864 on their cards, according to data from student loan giant Nellie Mae. Graduate students, on average, carry more than three times as much.
Credit unions need to serve Generation Y. It’s not enough, however, to send good financial products and cutting edge delivery into the marketplace without a team that can follow up with even better products five, ten, or fifteen years from now. Recruiting talented young professionals is necessary for credit unions to further serve their memberships and continue to grow.
Services like Capital One’s Card Lab, which allows customers to individualize features like APR, rewards, and the card image, confirm an opinion expressed regularly in Filene’s 30 Under 30 group: Young adults enjoy custom products. This brief surveys more than 20 credit unions across the country that have transaction accounts geared toward young adults.
Financial services advertising represents nearly a quarter of online ad impressions. If you’re not reaching potential young members as search for financial answers, somebody else surely is. This step-by-step guide for launching and maintaining online advertising campaigns shows you how even a little budget can go a long way toward member and product growth.
Credit union volunteers, particularly board members, are overwhelmingly older than 50. Credit union boards can invite young adult perspective in a number of ways, including presentations from consultants, research from credit union staff, or broader research about the young adult market in general.
Credit unions need young adults, and young adults need credit unions. Nowhere is this more clear than from the financial headlines that have documented many lenders’ speedy withdrawal from the student loan business. Many student lenders, including some of the largest, have begun to pull back from lending to community college students. More than 40%—6.2 million out of 14.8 million—of American undergraduates attend community colleges. Even though secondary market funding has dried up during the credit crunch, the consumer need remains.
Connecting people online has become big business. Companies, including some credit unions, have captured the popular imagination by allowing users to write their own opinions, film their own antics, or leave very public comments on the Internet. This new trend, called “social media,” has become a powerful marketing tool.
Young adults, responsible or not, are very likely to get at least one credit card during the transition period after high school. Credit unions that decline to offer or to market their own cards to young adults may miss the chance to build a relationship and a responsible credit user during that key transition phase.
This report highlights 10 business plans created by the 30 Under 30 group, each of which aligns a facet of young adult life with credit unions’ needs. From recruiting programs to innovative savings products, and from volunteer panels to employee consulting, this national group of rising credit union talent shows what kind of innovation is needed to keep credit unions relevant and essential for a new generation of members and leaders.
In this brief, Filene surveyed more than 200 credit union professionals younger than 30 and gained insights into their relationships with their employers. These young professionals are impressed with their credit union’s commitment to their members and communities. On the other hand, many of the employees surveyed believe that their pay is not competitive and that they work with outdated technology or processes.
Gen Y is a key market segment for credit unions to reach in this recession. Its members still need loans and, compared with older Americans, fewer are deleveraging. This brief explores a retail delivery concept that uses modern branching to attract this elusive segment.