Credit Unions are missing a golden opportunity with Gen X and Y. The average age of a credit union member is 47, but more than 27% of the U.S. population is younger than 20. So what are credit unions doing to accommodate these untapped demographics?
Gen X and Gen Y are the future of credit union membership. As Gen X settles down and Gen Y enters the workforce, these two groups are credit unions’ next mortgage and auto loan holders.
Perpetually online via smartphones and social media, Gen X and Gen Y have high expectations for responsive customer service and instantly accessible information. They want to engage and interact with companies on a daily basis through new and innovative platforms.
Credit unions need to take advantage of technological trends or they risk falling behind and missing the opportunity to be Gen X’s and Gen Y’s long-term financial partners. One answer lies in providing these generations the tools and support they need to succeed in this new economy. This path can help credit unions reach growing audiences and develop a stronger relationship with these new members.
Gamification is a technological trend that has been successful for many companies across sectors such as healthcare, fitness, retail, education, and media. Gamification is the use of game dynamics and game thinking in non-game environments to increase engagement, loyalty, and fun. It uses both intrinsic motivation — the desire to learn or master a skill — and extrinsic motivation — rewards, money, and praise — to engage and inspire a person to complete a desired action.
Integrating game mechanics into your credit union’s products and programs is not difficult. Credit unions can create a simple friend and family referral program, set up leaderboards, identify the strongest advocates, and then reward members in different ways. They can also create internal competitions and reward the employee who generates the most leads for a certain product.
Innovative new technologies are emerging to help credit unions to meet these emerging needs at a low cost. One such tool is SaveUp — which has won early recognition in the credit union community for its approach to engaging users to make smarter financial decisions.
In 2012, the Filene Research Institute conducted a pilot program with 14 credit unions. Forty percent of participating members reported that SaveUp made them more aware of their credit union’s products and services. Ninety-five percent said they believed their credit union was interested in their financial health and progress.
Credit unions can use gamification to engage members, build stronger relationships, and, of course, bring in a new generation of tech-savvy members who want the latest and greatest ways to look at their finances.
To learn more about the SaveUp program, please visit SaveUp.com/partners.
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