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Credit Unions Appeal to Millennials

I graduated from college in ’82 and went to work for a law book publisher in NYC. With my first paycheck, I opened checking and savings accounts where my parents banked, European American (later purchased by Citigroup). Before long, I started seeing fees and charges on my bank statement every time I turned around. A dime here, a quarter there, sometimes even a whole dollar! I mean it all added up. Really?
Frustrated, I consulted the social media of the day—my friends; some of whom were members of something called a credit union.  Intrigued, I visited the nearest one I could find and became a member. It was that easy.

It seems like just yesterday but that was quite a few years ago and still, to this day, I’m a grateful, loyal credit union member. I am a baby boomer, which at one time was the largest generation ever. Now, we have the millennials. There’re more of them and most are über-educated and successful, and all of them are way more tech savvy than we could have ever imagined.

It’s no wonder then that this year, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) dubbed April National Credit Union Youth Month. Leveraging the theme, Credit Union Strong,” the concept is designed to help CUs show younger prospects why they are the number one place for financial fitness. As an extension of Youth Month’s Credit Union Strong theme, next month CUNA will select and give away at random 10 FitBits to 10 participating credit unions. The chosen CUs will then select a winner from its entrants.

In conjunction with Youth Month, CUNA also hosts the National Youth Saving Challenge™, designed to get millennials in the habit of setting savings goals and helping them reach those goals. Last year, this effort’s payoff was that 125,188 young members deposited more than $23.5 million into their savings accounts during this national event—with 8,420 of those being new accounts! Read about why credit unions take the challenge.

This baby boomer’s advice to credit unions: Why wait for millennials to find you? Reach out and let them know that you have what they want and need: Easy to use apps, e-products and individualized personal service. Add a palpable reward (maybe a gym membership or FitBit) and they soon may be lining up outside your door to join their predecessors as grateful, loyal members.


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