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.
This 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 in 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.
And more credit unions will see that matching the technology developments of the credit union or bank next door is a necessity.