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Credit unions focus on finding younger members

Big banks may have the marketing budgets to draw in younger consumers, but they may not offer all the advantages millennials seek. Credit unions are increasingly reaching out to new generations and demonstrating the value they can offer their members, as more young people remain unsure of where to turn for sound financial advice and money management options. This is especially true after many millennials saw the recession wreak havoc on the economy and cost some families their savings.

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 to head to a branch every time they need to check their account balance or make a deposit. 

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 machine 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. Members love having the option to use a self-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 financial institution boost its membership rates.

April 15, 2013