In the spirit of "getting real with Gen Y," I decided to put a little twist on the Gen Y Back Talk column. Instead of using this space to vent some of my rants and raves, I polled some of my Gen Y peers. There is no better way to get into the minds of Gen Y than to simply ask them what they think. I asked some Gen Yers three questions I think are important when it comes to understanding how to get new members: What is your primary financial institution? Why? And what would make you switch financial institutions?
My primary financial institution is Wachovia. I have a savings and a checking account there, as well as a Wachovia credit card. I chose Wachovia because it was close to where I live at home, so I could easily get there to withdraw money and make deposits. They also have a program for free student checking accounts.
One reason I might be convinced to change banks is the operating hours. My Wachovia branch closes at 3 p.m. on weekdays, is only open until 12 noon on Saturday and closed on Sunday.
If another bank that was close to my house had better hours, I might be willing to switch. Another reason I might change banks would be ATM fees. I hate how you get charged a fee by the bank when you use a non-Wachovia ATM, on top of the fee that the ATM itself charges you.
Keri Larson, 21
My main bank is Chase. I go there because I started an account at Bank of New York when I was 14 and Chase bought them. I also go there because there is a Chase on every corner. I would change for better rates on credit cards. I have a Chase credit card, and I think the rate is like 19%-20%.
Nik Behr, 27
Field Service Worker
Valley Cottage, N.Y.
I go to First New York Federal Credit Union, and I have a checking, savings and a credit card account there. I basically chose to go there because my entire family does. My mom, dad, grandfather and some of my aunts and uncles have accounts there, so it just made sense that when I opened an account I would do it there. I probably wouldn't have chosen to open up an account there if it wasn't for my family. It's located right by my house, which makes it really convenient. I also am happy with their online banking, which came in handy when I was in Greece and could easily access my accounts and everything. I would probably only change banks if my family did, or if I moved somewhere where there wasn't a branch nearby. So far my experience there has been really smooth, and I don't really have any complaints about it.
Nicole Manikas, 22
I go to U.S. Alliance Federal Credit Union, because when I was born my mom wanted to open an account for me, and it was easy for her to transfer money into my account there. I would probably change banks for better rates and if they gave me something like free coffee mugs.
Troy Musolino, 15
High School Student
Highland Mills, N.Y.
I go to Chase because it's so accessible. There are branches close to where I live and where I work. I would change for something like better rewards. I also like the Bank of America's keep the change program, so I would consider changing for something like that as well.
Bart Jacoby, 24