How Credit Unions should target Millennials – It’s Not What You Think.

Millennials are a demographic that all credit unions should be focusing on.

The Competition

With any business, new competitors are always on the horizon, and staying ahead of the game is important. Credit unions are seeing increasing pressure from digital banks. In Canada online banks, like President’s Choice and Tangerine, are gaining market share with a key demographic – millennials.

The Demographic at Risk

Currently millennials are between the ages of 13-35, which means they are in stages of their lives where big financial decisions are made.

Are they starting university?
Getting their first job?
Buying their first home?
Saving for a wedding?
Having a baby?

When encountered with these decisions, many millennials look to their parents for advice and see an old antiquated system in the big banks. Then, they turn to one of their trusty phone/computer/tablet and start to do some research. They find it’s easy to pop information into a form and enroll with an online bank.

Many credit unions can be just as savvy, but can’t just rely on the features of online banking to support its membership growth.

How to Compete

Credit unions have a huge advantage over digital banks – Their storefronts. Many would say that storefronts are more of a liability with the cost of their overhead than an advantage. A physical location combined with a digital journey is where your members can truly experience what it’s like to be a credit union member. Now ask yourself, what do your credit union members experience when they engage with you digitally or walk in the door?

Think about what would make you choose getting a Starbucks coffee over a Tim Hortons coffee. Each store offers its own selection of hot beverages and delicious snacks. It is the experience of a Starbucks coffee that really makes the product attractive. It’s that custom cup with the drinker’s name written on the side, and a hand crafted order specifically for that person.

While credit unions are not selling a physical product, they can still benefit by providing a unique experience inside their stores. It is the experience that many of us will remember long after we’ve forgotten what the product or features were.