What do Millenials want?

As baby boomers continue to retire and require fewer loans and financing needs from Credit Unions, Millenials are the new prime targets for most institutions. The main problem is that Millenials have a serious lack of understanding when it comes to financial issues and require quite a bit of leeway and hand-holding.

Before we get into what Millenials really need though, let’s fill you in on who they are. A Millenial is typically defined as someone born between 1980 and 2000 and are sometimes referred to as “Generation Y”. Right now, this generation is about 10-30 years old and within striking distance of their peak borrowing years. Hence, it’s critical to hit their radar now to set your Credit Union up for success in the coming decades.

So how do you best attract a Millenial? What makes them tick? A recent study by CUNA has a few recommendations.

Formalize their commitment.

Focus on millennials in your mission statement and strategic plan.

Woo them while they’re young.

It’s easier and less expensive to win the hearts and lifelong loyalty of an 11-year-old than a 21-year-old.

Communicate. Listen to young members.

Ask them frequently about their financial goals and habits. Don’t worry about “speaking their language.”

Provide financial services.

Base your efforts on the financial services that young people need, want, and can use: saving and investment accounts, transaction services, and credit.

Enlist their aid.

Form a youth advisory panel to generate ideas for service design and marketing tactics.

One surprising key to picking up Millenials? It’s not all about being the most technologically savvy Credit Union on the block. In fact, most studies indicate that they prefer a Credit Union that provides better service (won’t talk down to them, waives occasional fees and is “fair”) to ones that have the newest gadgets on their websites.

While the best way to attract Millenials is up for debate, the fact that every Credit Union in the country needs to focus their efforts on making them members is not. This generation has the potential to make a bigger economic impact than their parents and will help fill in the gaps left behind by Boomers.