On-Campus Branches Face Challenges and Need Creative Ways to Succeed
Credit unions with branches on college campuses are in a unique position to attract new Gen Y members. But proximity alone doesn't guarantee a relationship. Getting students through the door takes ingenuity-and is not without challenges.
For one thing, incoming freshman aren't as easy to sign up these days.
With the constant stream of media from their many gadgets, another challenge can be simply getting students' attention.
"Students are hard to get through to," said Jim Kelly, senior vice president of marketing at University of Iowa Community Credit Union. "Every generation that comes along has been marketed to more than the last. They have become adept at zoning the messages out."
Unlike CU of Ohio, UT Federal Credit Union doesn't worry much about banks on campus. That's because at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UTFCU is the only financial institution on campus. In the summer of 2009, the credit union won a bid from the university to fill the space left from a merger of the bursars' two locations into one. Although other banks have ATMs on the campus, UTFCU has the most machines and the only branch.
UTFCU uses its "only bank on campus" distinction in its UTK branch logo and student microsite. The CU said the branding helps educate students and parents about the flexibility of a credit union.