Future-Proofing Your Credit Union: Preparing for the Next Generation of Consumers

Discussions on reaching Millennials and Gen Z have become commonplace in the finance world, but a micro-demographic group including individuals from both groups is establishing itself as a unique market for credit unions to reach: The Zillennial.

Whereas Millennials consist of those born roughly between 1981-1996, and Gen Z consists of those born between 1997-2012, Zillennials are those born between the early 1990s and the early 2000s. Sociologists estimate this micro-demographic makes up 30 million people in the US. So how can credit unions reach this demographic, and how does marketing toward Zillennials differ from marketing solely toward Millennials or Gen Z?

Here’s a closer look at strategies for capturing the attention and loyalty of this dynamic group.

1. Addressing Savings and Security Concerns

Zillennials have grown up during turbulent economic times, witnessing both the Great Recessions in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic.  As a result, they are particularly focused on financial stability and preparedness.  Credit unions can appeal to this savings mindset by:

  • Offering attractive and user-friendly savings products:  Develop savings accounts and investment options that are not only competitive but easy to understand and access through digital platforms.
  • Providing savings advice and education:  Offer resources, such as webinars, articles, and financial literacy programs, to help Zillennials make informed decisions about their financial future.
  • Emphasizing security:  In a world where online security is paramount, credit unions should highlight their commitment to protecting members’ financial information and transactions.  This includes securing both the front-end user experience and the infrastructure behind it.
  • Educating members about security:  Go beyond offering security features; actively educate members on how to avoid common scams, protect their identities, and ensure their digital financial interactions are safe.

2. Leveraging Digital Comfort

Zillennials, straddling the digital pioneer and digital native generations, are highly comfortable using digital devices for various aspects of their lives, including managing their finances,  To cate to their digital preferences:

  • Invest in an agile digital banking platform:  Ensure your online and mobile banking interfaces are customizable, user-friendly, and capable of meeting the high expectations of Zillennials.
  • Streamline P2P payments:  Quick and easy person-to-person payments are crucial.  Implement a seamless P2P payments system and promote it actively to Zillennials members.
  • Show, don’t just tell:  Consider including a screenshot or demo of your mobile banking interface to illustrate its clean design and ease of use.  Visuals can be persuasive in attracting new members.

3. Embrace Social Media

Zillennials are avid users of social media, making it a prime channel for credit unions to connect with them.  To effectively use social media for engagement:

  • Create a strong social media presence:  Establish profiles on popular platforms and maintain an active presence to reach Zillennials where they spend their time.
  • Balance product awareness with education:  Use social media not only to promote your services but also to provide valuable financial education resources.  This can include tips on budgeting, saving for a home, or managing student loans.

In conclusion, to future-proof your credit union and attract the Zillennials generation, it’s crucial to align your strategies with their savings priorities, digital preferences, and social media engagement.  By offering secure, user-friendly digital banking experiences and combining them with financial education and a strong social media presence, credit unions can effectively reach and serve this emerging demographic.

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Sarah Jess

Director, Business Development