The Gen Z population is becoming a large player in the financial landscape and unfortunately many do not have the financial literacy and proper education to manage their finances. Some of the population banks with the bank or credit union that their parents have always been with, while others either do their own research or pick an online solution. Now, more than ever, is a crucial time for credit unions to market to and attract this valuable population. Credit unions are a great asset for the younger generation to set themselves up for a successful future. The biggest issue is that Gen Z does not know what a credit union is or how they can utilize the products and services offered.

We have talked in the past on how to attract the younger generation through technology and marketing so we are not going to talk about that today. What we want to focus on is what your credit union can and should do once you have successfully gained a new Gen Z member. Gen Z has completely different needs from the member that has been with you for 50 years. The long term members are the ones that still write checks and balance their checkbooks and come in to the branch to get physically get their account balance on a receipt. Very rarely does Gen Z do that. Most don’t even know what balancing a checkbook means. They rely on mobile technology to know everything about their account and their finances, within seconds.

Gen Z focuses on mobile applications and online ease of use. They rarely ever come in to a branch unless it is to sign loan paperwork or request cash that maybe was not available through the ATM for whatever reason. Gen Z will require modern technology when it comes to loans and applying for credit. They want to do all of it and sign it online. For your credit union to continue growing and attracting these new members in these modern times, you must adapt to changes demanded by the new members. Your core should be there to provide integrated technology in order to meet the needs and wants of the changing membership, while keeping the long term members in mind. It is important to improve and evolve but only to make the credit union better and partnering with the right technology partner is an important step in this equation.

At this point we understand that it takes technology and change in order to grow and partnering with the right vendors is crucial. What if you have a technology partner that has been great for a long time but has become slow in developing the technology to take your credit union to the next level? We understand change is difficult for your staff and members but without that change it would mean greater losses in the long run.  (I encourage you to check out the “Should you stay or go” video on our YouTube page here.) Change is hard but necessary and there are many credit unions we speak to each day that just don’t want to go through the change even though they understand they need to. Many times this change does not only mean better experience and more features for your members but also means better efficiency and cost savings for your credit union. Don’t be afraid of change and understand that Gen Z is a large population coming of age that needs your help in setting up their future financial success. Show them what a credit union is and how important it is for them to partner with you.