How Credit Unions Can Reach Gen Z

How Credit Unions Can Reach Gen Z

The future of your credit union depends on it.

The newest generation, Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2015, makes up $143 billion in buying power. That’s about 40% of all consumer shopping. WOW. Clearly, attracting this demographic is essential to the success of your credit union. As Gen Z gets older, they will require student loans, if they don’t already—as well as cars, homes, and other standard financial services in the near future. Enhancing your communication with these 20-something-year-olds is what will be the difference between you and other credit unions and banks. 

At Newcleus, we aim to understand your credit union’s needs and what might be on your agenda to speak about during board meetings. We strive to understand your credit union at the fundamental level, and we aim to support you in every aspect of your business. With this inhow-credit-unions-can-reach-gen-z mind, we’re providing the following tips to help you few attract Gen Z members today. 

Low-interest student loans

Gen Z is graduating college with more student debt than any generation before them. With the cost of education and housing skyrocketing, and entry-level income remaining virtually the same, this generation has a lot on their plate in managing their finances. 

Something that this generation values, but will likely be elusive, is stability. The anxiety associated with striving for financial stability, especially now, during an economic downturn, is a crippling challenge for this generation. Helping this generation with low-interest student loan support can help alleviate a large source of anxiety. Also, helping this group develop a plan to address student loan debt and guidance on achieving a path to financial stability should pay lifelong dividends to the credit union in terms of member loyalty.

High-interest checking and savings

The modern landscape is different from what Baby Boomers experienced in terms of saving money for the future. The penny-pinching mentality no longer appeals to younger individuals raised in a consumer-centric economy. Gen Z believes that saving in small ways can add up to larger savings over time, without putting their lives on hold to pay off existing debts. 

With high-interest checking and savings, you can show them how to do exactly that. High interest-accounts offer an easy way to accrue wealth without putting off the fun events life has in store for them. 

Financial guidance to ease their fears

Addressing the stresses of early adulthood is a great way to attract Gen Z. Many individuals in this generation are still financially supported by their parents and worry that money problems will continue to hold them back from achieving financial independence. As they’ve watched millennials deal with similar financial challenges, like student debt, Gen-Z’ers want to do better.

Advice from their parents may not be relevant for how the financial landscape operates today—which is where you come in! As a credit union, a trusted source of expertise necessary to understand how to be responsible in this environment, you can provide realistic, conflict-free tips. Helping teach this generation to limit their expenses without limiting their social life? Or how to manage the cost of living while building an emergency fund?

Get involved in social issues

The demand for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is driven by Gen Z. These individuals are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in the U.S. to date. Gen Z is also especially picky when it comes to companies they support. If your credit union doesn’t align with their social beliefs, political beliefs, and their values, they may not choose to support you. In order to become more attractive to this generation, be sure your hiring practices, customer base, the suite of services, messaging, locations, and philosophy all embrace diversity.

Go digital

Gen Z is the first generation of digital natives who do not know a world without smartphones. Everything for this generation must happen fast and in the palm of their hands. They likely do not want to call you to contact you, or even make a trip to your actual location. High-quality digital services, high-speed websites, text-chat interfaces, and robust banking options are a necessity to attract and retain these members. 

Pay attention to your social media

Gen Z, like millennials, is focused on social media. In order to remain relevant, you need to have a strong brand presence that provides a peek into who you are as a credit union. This generation is concerned with authenticity and honesty. How can you show them your authentic presence through social media?

Allow these individuals to see a look inside and outside your credit union. How do you impact your community? How do you impact your employees? Gen Z wants to see funny, honest, behind-the-scenes posts that relate to them. As a credit union, traditional marketing has been about the organization or the services/products you provide.  You need to show the inside of the organization and develop a first-person representation of the organization for the world to see and interact with.

Commit to your community, and share it!

Social responsibility is highly important to this generation. Luckily, as a credit union, that is embedded into everything you do. Now, however, it’s not simply enough to be involved and committed to your community—you need to actively show people! Show Gen Z how social responsibility is not an obligation that you check off. Show them that support of your community is part of your very reason for existence, your mission, and it drives your credit union forward.