Two-thirds of adults in the U.S. say that money is a significant source of stress in their lives, according to the American Psychological Association. And money-related stress is more prevalent in younger adults, which means it’s time to start talking about financial wellness benefits and strategies for your credit union.
Financial wellness is a hot topic in the world of personal finance today. Financial wellness is all about ensuring you have the financial stability and security necessary to achieve your goals and live a fulfilled life. Credit unions are playing an ever-growing role in helping people reach their financial wellness goals due to their unique structure, services, and commitment to their members.
Why Credit Unions Should Lead with Financial Wellness Programs
Financial wellness is the state in which someone finds themselves with enough money available for their expenses (bills, debts, and emergencies) as well as some ability to plan for and build their financial assets for future endeavors.
Financial uncertainty is at an all-time high, and so is the general public’s distrust of big corporations and banks. So why should credit unions lean so heavily into financial wellness initiatives for their members? Because they are already perfectly positioned to do so.
Credit unions have so much more data and knowledge of the communities and individuals that they are serving, and that means your knowledge of the local financial climate is better than that of a big bank.
But it’s more than just curating a great Resources page on your credit union website. You can help your members learn how to keep up with and understand transactional data and help them find solutions to their specific financial issues.
Your members don’t want general, one-size-fits-most advice – they can get that from Google. But what you can offer them is a personalized approach to financial wellness programs, whether it’s classes that teach financial education or one-on-one meetings to help someone improve their credit score to apply for a car or home loan.
A Human Approach is Powerful
Your members are real people with real struggles. They want tailored assistance and insights that help them navigate their financial future with confidence. According to NCR, more than half of all banking members want their primary financial institutions to give them personalized financial advice.
Simply sharing links and resources with helpful information isn’t enough. Think of it like this: if everyone could learn best from a written resource, there would be no need for teachers. So, what makes teachers so valuable? It’s the human connection and the ability to break down subjects in a way that can reach students of different ages, learning capabilities, and more.
Your credit union caters to people in all types of financial situations. Like the elderly couple who own a home in the country and live simply, without much dependence on technology. But it also caters to the Gen Z college student who has almost never carried cash in her life and uses digital banking to pay all her bills. The financial wellness resources you’ll share with these two different member types can use several of the same principles, and you can humanize your approach to meet each of their needs.
Financial Wellness Can Strengthen Communities
Financial literacy isn’t just being talked about in the financial industry – it’s also a hot topic in education, from primary school to adult evening classes and college programs. You may be wondering why that is, and here’s the reason: financial wellness benefits not only individuals, but it can also strengthen communities.
Financial literacy and education for adults (regardless of their personal financial situation) helps them learn more about managing personal finances, build better futures for themselves and their children, and also allows them to give back to their communities through charity and products or services they offer through newly opened businesses!
Financial literacy is also being taught more in schools (an effort credit unions can help with if they choose to). This creates a better understanding of how financial decisions should be made over the course of a decade, a person’s life, or even generations. Basic financial education and literacy can help set teenagers and young adults up for a lifetime of success.
Creating opportunities for people to start learning about financial wellness through every stage of their lives is a great way to strengthen the personal and economic aspects of the communities you and your credit union serve.
This also helps strengthen communities by creating opportunities for people to be open and honest about their financial struggles – something that is becoming a larger part of the financial wellness movement. Mental health and work-life balance are now larger motivators than high salaries, and that means being smart with your money also has a mental and emotional component to how your members are making financial decisions, from everyday purchases to long-term investment and retirement planning.
Help Your Credit Union Members with Financial Wellness Services Powered by IMSI
Your members have all come to your credit union for different reasons and with different financial plans. They have different preferences for your financial products, services, packages, and expertise. And IMSI wants to help you meet those needs.
IMSI offers online self-service forms that help you collect the information required to fulfill member self-service requests. You can customize them and integrate them with your other online banking services.