The notion that credit unions need to increase their young membership in order to survive is a no-brainer. In 2013, the question won’t be whether credit unions should make a conscious effort to attract Gen Y. It’ll be: How can they do it in a way that hasn’t been done before?
Faced with a rapidly growing population of tech-savvy young adults, credit unions will begin developing more niche products for this demographic. Simply having a Gen Y-geared checking product and a Facebook and Twitter account is no longer sufficient. To stand out from the crowd, credit unions will need to take on creative initiatives, such as launching a new incentive-packed program or hiring an ambassador to reach out to young folks in their communities.
Speaking of hiring, expect to see more young adults with the name of a credit union on their resumes. More credit unions are realizing the importance of bringing fresh-out-of-college workers onto their teller lines, into their administrative offices and onto their boards and committees. The increasing number of young voices on credit union staffs will also lead to the development of Gen Y product and program firsts.
We’ve spent quite some time discussing the negative attributes commonly associated with Gen Y. These include the inability to be self-sufficient, laziness, impatience, general dissatisfaction with life and poor communication skills. Next year, it’s time to paint Gen Y as a generation of motivated individuals. Many of them picked themselves up off their parents’ couches a long time ago and did what it took to succeed, despite a sluggish economy.
But stiff competition for cushy, salaried jobs will likely lead many Gen Y members to pursue self-employment. If this is the case, credit unions will have an opportunity to cater to self-employed individuals with services such as retirement plans and small business loans.
As 2013 progresses, credit unions will become better at speaking Gen Y’s language. This is a generation that can’t recall a time when they did not rely on the conveniences of technology. More and more credit unions will see that matching the technology developments of the credit union or bank next door is a necessity, and they’ll keep learning how to communicate with Gen Y–in person, over the phone and electronically–in ways that they will understand.
More 2013 Watch
- Dec. 28, 2012 Marketing in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 27, 2012 Member Investments in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 26, 2012 Member Business Lending in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 26, 2012 Human Resources in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 21, 2012 Credit Union Taxation in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 20, 2012 CUSOs in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 20, 2012 NCUA Board in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 19, 2012 Cards in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 19, 2012 Mortgage Lending in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 18, 2012 Low Income Service in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 18, 2012 Bank Conversions in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 17, 2012 Student Lending in the Year Ahead
- Dec. 17, 2012 Auto Lending in the Year Ahead