Managing the Generational Gap of Your Credit Union Members

Written by Devon Wilson

November 15, 2019

When it comes to millennials and Gen Z, preferences for money management are changing.

Where millennials and Generation Zers grew up with digital literacy and simple solutions to common problems, baby boomers and other older generations have a different approach to finances. Most consumers, in general, are looking for convenience over security when it comes to consumer payment needs. Millennials are looking for student loan relief, first mortgages, mobile banking, and pet insurance. Baby boomers are looking for manageable ways to maintain their savings, but want to do it in traditional ways.

With the looming generational crisis on the minds of credit unions everywhere, it’s important to understand how the generational gap can be managed in the context of onboarding, retaining, and retaining older and younger generations with your services.

How to Manage the Generational Gap

The main tactic to uncovering how to reach different generations via the credit union industry is by meeting those generations where they are. With boomers, they are looking at more traditional advertising outlets and potentially still using physical banks. With millennials, they want the convenience of being able to access all their information from their phone. 

With younger generations, they want to know how student loans will affect them upon entering college. A good marketing strategy is teaching millennials and Gen Z how to bank. By holding informational sessions at local colleges or even high schools, those students will learn about the benefits of opening a credit union account and be more open to that financial option.

In addition, younger generations now have a different home buying experience. They want to know how they can purchase a home in an easy, mature way. They want to be careful with their money, but also have a reliable and convenient customer experience to clarify any questions.

Tailoring Your Services Toward Specific Demographics

Onboarding is the time to let a new member know that they have made the right decision. It’s also a moment where you can essentially bring a member into the fold. You can clearly lay out the instructions for accessing their accounts, as well as how to access customer service representatives or other information. By doing this, you’ll situate your credit union as a reliable, educational resource that will help members to become better with money maintenance. 

When it comes to onboarding, both generations have a similar goal in mind: they want to know that they are valued members of your credit union. When onboarding a younger member, they likely won’t need specific instructions for understanding how to use digital tools. Older generations will want to see clearly laid out instructions for accessing digital tools in managing their accounts. It may take them more time to understand how to utilize online banking tools, but they’ll appreciate the convenience as well.

Since younger generations spend longer periods of time looking at their phones and are more proactive about keeping their devices regularly updated, it’s crucial for credit unions to keep their apps, websites, and digital tools up to date. Gen Z is also known as the “omnichannel generation,” meaning that this generation fluidly switches between different internet channels. Gen Z is fluent in the Internet of Things and wants continued convenience, meaning that the channels your credit unions use as digital tools must be continually updated and optimized. If there’s an issue with technology, Gen Z wants a quick fix. According to a Cognizant/CGK study, Gen Z is typically willing to pay for technology services, as long as they work and provide convenience.

Acclimating and Staying the Same

Where older generations have a better understanding of money and less digital literacy, younger generations have more digital literacy. A report from Mintel reported that finances are one of the greatest stressors for Gen Z. 

Younger demographics want to have the same financial success that their parents’ generation saw, and older demographics want simpler, reliable financial services. By focusing on the differences between these two generations, your message will become clearer and more accessible to specific segments of your audience. Shoot us a message if you’re interested in learning more about how you can find solutions to these kinds of challenges. 

Recent Posts …

Empowering Financial Literacy: The Vital Role of Credit Unions

Empowering Financial Literacy: The Vital Role of Credit Unions

Financial literacy is a critical skill often overlooked in education systems, yet essential for effective personal financial management. With only 57% of American adults considered financially literate according to a new study from Zippia, credit unions are in a unique position to address this gap, benefiting both their employees and their members.

read more