digital banking technology for credit unionsAccording to a LinkedIn study, Millennials will change jobs an average of four times in their first decade out of college, compared to about two job changes by Gen Xers in their first ten years out of college. This in contrast to their parents and grandparents, who seemingly "stuck it out" for longer, with the mentality of "why leave a perfectly good job for an uncertain one." even if the promise of greater money and benefits was appealing. While the reasons for younger generations to job hop more frequently are not limited to just factors of pay and benefits, a study by Utah-based Thrive Communications found that over 20 percent of Millennials would actually quit a job if the employer did not offer fast in-office technology. Technology is such a central and crucial aspect of this generations' lives that businesses who do not adopt new technologies will not keep the hearts of younger generations for long. It is not so much a lack of loyalty as it is a shift in priority. For this very reason, credit unions who wish to attract and keep Millennial members must build a modern banking experience, and do it well. 

An overall digital strategy and implementation is not accomplished overnight, nor without a significant amount of planning and execution. The Financial Brand published an article recently entitled "5 Ways to Craft a Modern Banking Experience in Digital Channels," outlining how to deliver compelling user experiences across digital channels. The suggestion is that providing this experience will deepen the relationship with this generation known for being prone to jump ship, and build greater brand loyalty. Here are some ideas on how credit unions can follow suit:

1. Earn the Right to Communicate: Rather than trick your members through fine print or click-bait, invite members to opt-in to communications by stressing the benefit of staying in the loop. "Can we alert you to important information, such as suspicious activity in your account?" This might also extend beyond account security and into promotional or marketing genres. And when you do venture into that space, be sure to actually provide updates that are pertinent and not abuse the right you earned.

2. Personalized Marketing: Don't advertise a HELOC to an 18-year old member. Keep track of products and services, and the life stage of your member. Offer them useful information for where they are.

3. Continuing Education: Just because a member has been onboarded to your digital banking experience, it does not mean they use all of its features. As the member relationship grows, educate and introduce them to other features they can take advantage of within your mobile banking app.

4. Consistency in Experience: Keep all messaging consistent, whether it's from member services, loan officers, your website, mobile app, or marketing communications. Ensure the experience for the member has a consistent look and feel, no matter what platform they are using or who they are conversing with. 

5. Customized Onboarding: Be sure you are customizing the onboarding experience as well. Consider creating several personas that represent specific types of members that join your credit union. This might be a providing father figure or a mother looking to gain control of a families finances. Take these personas and use them to create unique onboarding experiences for your new members, offering budgeting tools and advice for some and information about youth CD accounts for others. 

Millennials will not tolerate the mass-produced, general content and experience that previous generations were exposed to. Older generations didn't have a choice. Millennials know they can get better and are quick to bail on providers that don't recognize them for their unique situations. There is no shortage of banking options available today. Combine that with an abundance of distrust towards impersonal organizations and it's plain that your service and experience need to be future-focused and driven by new technologies. While the demands of Millennials can get them categorized as "snowflakes", Winter is coming and your credit union needs to be ready.



Topics: Digital-Only Banking, Millennial

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