Christmas may be five months away, but that doesn’t stop me from making a wish list. While many credit unions lack the resources to implement what some may consider Gen Y member luxuries, we can still dream, right? Here are my top five products and services that in a perfect world, every credit union would offer us.
Mobile bells and whistles. Smartphones are practically an extension of Gen Y members’ bodies. I’d like to be able to do more than view my balance and transfer funds between accounts through my credit union’s mobile app. I want to use my iPhone to scan and deposit checks, which would save me a trip to a branch or ATM. If I need to pay a friend back for dinner or a group gift, I’d like to instantly transfer money from my account to hers. I’d love to pay my monthly bills in a single mobile transaction, and if I’m in an unfamiliar part of town, I want to know where I can go to withdraw cash without making a call or doing a Google search.
Robust budgeting help. With all the temptations out there, controlling spending is a common challenge for Gen Y members. I’d like to be able to access a tool on my credit union’s website that clearly explains how much I’m spending in various categories and shows me how I can change my habits to better fit my budget. The ability to access the tool from a smartphone or tablet while I’m out shopping would make the service even better.
Smart borrowing options. Gen Y needs to borrow money for three of life’s largest purchases: a car, a house and an education. I want my credit union to offer low-cost loans for each of these milestone buys and be available to answer any questions I have about the process. If I’m struggling to make payments on a loan I took on years ago from a non-credit union lender, I’d like my credit union to offer refinancing options that will guarantee to take the burden off.
24/7 problem solving. When I’m having a financial emergency (for example, I’m locked out of my account or I need to stop payment on a check or cancel a stolen debit card), I want to know the issue can be resolved right away and during non-business hours. That doesn’t necessarily mean my credit union’s employees must be available to answer phone calls 24/7. It means my credit union’s website and mobile app are equipped to walk me through and solve problems at my convenience.
A welcoming community of learning. Many Gen Y members are likely to find personal finance topics, such as saving for a home or retirement, boring. But if I logged onto my credit union’s website to find a packed calendar of free workshops and seminars, complete with fun incentives, such as contests and giveaways, I’d be more inclined to want to learn. I’d like to see my credit union’s marketing department dedicated to educating young members and developing a positive rapport between everyone involved.