May 1, 2013, Mt. Prospect, IL – Generation Y, also known as millennials, is 80-90 million strong and widely regarded as one of the most coveted market segments. Millennials are tech savvy multi-taskers that value convenience and personalized service. They’re also responsible when it comes to personal finance: according to a recent TD Ameritrade survey, members of Generation Y reported starting to save for retirement at age 24.
But millennials are also at crossroads: many remain unsure of where to turn for sound financial advice and money management options; this is especially true following the recession that wreaked havoc on the economy.
Credit unions (CUs) have a unique opportunity to engage with new generations and demonstrate the advantages they can offer members over big banks. Cummins Allison, the leading innovator and provider of coin, currency and check handling solutions, offers CUs tips on how they can attract and retain younger members.
Strong customer service is still a must
Credit unions are known for providing their members with some of the best service possible, and while older generations are known to appreciate this personalized and prompt attention, younger demographics are also responsive to this type of service. This makes it critical for credit unions to have the latest currency counting machines available so they can spend less time managing cash and more time addressing member needs.
Service may be related to how a member is treated by employees, but it also reflects in the options offered by a credit union. Millennials may love having the option to use aself-service coin counter machine rather than wait in line with a jar of heavy coins. If this option is free, it may further enhance a budget-conscious millennial's view of a credit union and encourage him or her to talk up the experience on social media or in person, which can further help a credit union boost its membership rates. The machines also enable tellers to develop a relationship with current or potential members; the simple exchange of a receipt for redeemed cash at the teller window is an opportunity for a personalized, high-value exchange.
Millennials seek convenience and technology
A credit union hoping to attract younger members needs to know exactly what millennials are looking for. Convenience is a major factor, according to a Filene Research Institute report. Young people seek easy access, meaning not only does their financial institution of choice need to have ATMs in multiple locations or at least offer a reimbursement for ATM fees, but they also want their financial institution branches in optimal locations.
Technology is another major factor for millennials seeking a new financial institution, and as this is a generation that grew up with the web, it's likely they'll demand online money management options. This also plays into their need for convenience, as having access to their financial information at home or on their smartphone is much more accommodating than being forced tohead to a branch every time they need to check their account balance or make a deposit.
Looking Beyond Generation Y
Many credit unions have also started to build customer loyalty with even younger generations. For example, Hopewell Federal Credit Union offers an account uniquely tailored to their self-service coin counter’s use – the Kids Account. This successful program is an interactive way for kids to count coins and, in turn, get excited about saving money by depositing what they’ve counted into their own account. While there is steep competition to attract the coveted millennials, credit unions may find there are very few financial institutions that are focused on creating service offerings to attract new members at even younger age.
With the right technology and customer service solution in place, credit unions are well positioned to entice millennials to become new members. For more information on the latest check, currency and coin handling solutions, visit www.cumminsallison.com
About Cummins Allison
Cummins Allison is a global leader in developing technologies which count, sort and authenticate currency. The U.S.-based company has a 125-year heritage of leadership in technology and product innovation and currently serves the majority of financial institutions worldwide, as well as leading organizations in retail, casinos, law enforcement and government. The company holds more than 350 U.S. patents and has ongoing research and development (R&D) investments double the industry average. Cummins Allison is headquartered near Chicago, IL with R&D centers near San Diego, CA and Philadelphia, PA and wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France. The company also has an extensive sales and service network with more than 50 offices in North America and is represented in over 70 countries. For more information, visit www.cumminsallison.com.
Carol Moore – Vice President Marketing
Cummins Allison Corp.
Outlook Marketing Services, Inc.