A 70 year old man happened upon a genie one day who promised to grant him a single wish.  Without hesitation, the man cast a mischievous grin toward his aging wife and chuckled, “I wish I had a woman that was 20 years younger!”   Poof!  And just like that, the man was 90 years old.

Credit unions are also trying to tap that fountain of youth.  Those that succeed in attracting younger members soon discover that they, like the 70-year old man, must also radically change.  But it’s not a tummy tuck transformation.  It’s not hair implants or a new sports car.  Credit unions that drink from this fountain must actually become younger, changing the way they think and the way they invest in technology.

Here are three tips for your credit union to attract younger members:

  1. Learn to surf:  Waves of opportunity with the younger generation roll by quickly.  So quickly, in fact, that by the time you feel the pull of the current, you’ve already missed the wave.  As you study trends and identify the right waves to catch, move quickly.  Just a moment’s hesitation can leave you flailing and exhausted as the crest of the wave rolls beneath and you watch your competitors glide ahead with relative ease.  Social media and marketing professionals note each wave’s potential to achieve “critical mass”, a “tipping point” whereupon the adoption of the new technology or service can become self-sustaining – like riding a wave.  Early adoption of technology is a key factor in achieving critical mass, and credit unions should time their investments and launch of new services with that in mind.bigstock-Surfer-on-Blue-Ocean-Wave-Gett-47236375-1
  2. Live in the moment:  In other words, be there.  Youth today have the world in the palm of their hand.  If you are not there – you are not in their world.   Mobile technology is no longer a novelty.  It’s not just something that you offer.  For the younger member in particular, that app icon on their mobile device carries as much weight and relevance to them as your physical facility did to your founding members.   If they want directions, they say “Siri, take me there.”   If they want a loan, they will say “Siri, give me money”.  Recent innovations in mobile lending technology have made that very nearly possible.  Of all the waves that a credit union cannot afford to miss, the mobile lending opportunity is the big kahuna and the one most likely to attract and keep those younger members.
  3. Break the law:  Technology gets cheaper over time, right?  Moore’s Law dictates it, or so we’ve been taught.  So, we could wait to invest in mobile lending, I guess....  Now ask yourself, “How much did you pay for your last smart phone?”  (The cheapest iPhone 5 now retails at $649!)  In fact, the price for mobile services is not likely to fall anytime soon, and certainly not before this wave reaches its critical mass.  Credit unions need to break the rules and invest early to maximize their return.

The bottom line is that reaching the younger generation requires that your credit union reclaim its youth.  As you return to adolescence, you may even go through an awkward phase, but you’ll get through it.  Make the change.   Don’t look back.  Try something new.  Believe in yourself, and other young people will too.

Mobile Lending is the Big Kahuna, no doubt.  The first thing that nearly 80% of Americans do in the morning is look at their smartphone.  So of course any application that can be mobile, shoud be mobile.  We invite you to learn more about Mobile Lending from FLEX and sign up to schedule a 15 minute demo of our innovative Mobile Lending technology for your Credit Union.

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Topics: Mobile Lending

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