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Millennials – An Untapped Goldmine for Credit Unions

BY KEVIN FLANAGAN

Is your credit union tapping into the financial gold the Millenial generation represents? To hit pay dirt, you’ll need to provide such members with prompt and highly personalized customer service. Discover some of the perhaps unexpected means of striking it rich with this demographic.

It’s easy to make generalizations about various demographic groups. For instance, Baby Boomers are technology-phobic. Members of Generation Z, who are still mostly in high school and college, were seemingly born tweeting.

And then there are the Millennials. Generally identified as being between the ages of 21 and 35, this demographic is fast becoming America’s most powerful consumer group. And that certainly makes them an attractive target for virtually any business.

But who are Millennials and why are they important to credit unions? Well, they’re a group whose habits are somewhat difficult to generalize. While most of them came of age in the digital world of smartphones and online music, they aren’t completely devoted to an all-online lifestyle. And from the perspective of credit unions, Millennials represent an untapped goldmine of potential members.

According to consulting firm Deloitte, by 2020 Millennials will make up an estimated 50 percent of the global workforce and are expected to control between $19 trillion and $24 trillion on a global scale. That type of financial power represents an incredible business opportunity for credit unions.

As wealth transfers to Millennials – who are surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest demographic in the United States – credit unions are well-positioned to provide this generation with the prompt and highly personalized customer service they desire. The timing is right, as Millennials have begun to reach the stage of life where they are making major purchasing and financial planning decisions.

While Millennials are a generation that embraces the latest service models, such as Airbnb and Uber, research shows they still want to have in-person conversations with well-informed experts before making major financial decisions. In fact, among the major demographic groups – including Baby Boomers (between 55 and 71 years old), Generation X (36 to 54 years of age) and Generation Z (18- to 20-year-olds) – Millennials are among the most likely to come into a branch to conduct a financial transaction.


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