Student lending is an area that is only going to increase in need and importance. You have a four-year time period to build a relationship with the member so you're the first choice that comes to mind when it comes time for a car loan or a mortgage.
If you want to gain younger members, you also have to consider hiring younger employees. Recent graduates need jobs now, and the competitive playing field has leveled. Top students are left with few job options; snatch them up while they're still out there.
Financial literacy is a great way to show consumers the difference between credit unions and banks. When it comes to Gen Y, the best way to teach and engage young people is to develop relationships with local schools. By going into schools, you're guaranteeing that the students will show up, and you're opening the door to future partnerships and opportunities with the school.
With everything going on, it's easy to just put Gen Y on the back burner. The recession will end though, and if you want to come out in a good position, you can't just roll over and die. Now is the time to get innovative and look at avenues like Facebook and Twitter.
One of the biggest issues holding credit unions back is the inability for credit unions to collaborate on mass level. Over this past year, even more opportunities for credit unions have opened up, but I haven't seen a huge change in the overall presence credit unions have in the marketplace. I'd love to see the impact credit unions would have right now by together promoting one message in one big campaign.
The buzz is that Gen Y is the future, but to me, Gen Y is the present. You need to start thinking about strategies that will not only be innovative now, but that you can continue to build upon in the future. Gen Z is going to have a whole new set of characteristics that need to be looked at now so you can be prepared to offer them the services they need in the future.
With everything I've said, the bottom line is convenience. I need a branch I can go to close by, online services and ATM access where and when I need it. If you can cover all that, then everything else I've said should just be the icing on the cake.