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Attract younger members with digital technologies

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Credit unions face a challenge: their membership is aging, and members’ children are choosing other providers for their banking needs. If credit unions can’t attract new members, they won’t survive.

Credit union membership: 5 ways to appeal to a new generation

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How can credit unions attract the next generation? Offer digital financial services. Read on to learn how credit unions can reach a new demographic with the deployment of cloud-based message, video, and phone services.

Credit unions and the next generation

In a June 2020 report, research revealed 60 percent of credit union members’ children chose to bank at a different financial institution.

As younger Millennials and Gen Zers leave home, the likelihood they’ll use a credit union decreases significantly. The survey showed that one in five people under the age of 25 used a credit union; for people between the ages of 25 and 34, that number dropped to under 10 percent.

While credit unions have excellent traction with Baby Boomers, what happens when those Boomers age and pass control of their finances to their children? There’s no guarantee their children will keep their parents’ savings with a credit union, especially when they don’t use one themselves.

A failure to innovate hamstrings member engagement strategies

One of the primary reasons credit unions haven’t attracted a younger demographic is that credit unions have historically lagged behind other financial institutions in the area of innovation.

In a February 2021 study of credit union members, failure to innovate was the most commonly reported reason for member unhappiness. Credit union members are three times more likely than non-members to be dissatisfied with their financial institutions because they don’t have access to the latest technologies.

Over 15 percent complained interactions with their credit union were too complicated, while just over four percent noted they had to visit a branch too often for transactions. Nearly nine percent criticized poor data security.

All of these factors are particularly off-putting for Millennials and Gen Zers. They want financial institutions that deliver digital experiences; they don’t want to have to go to a branch every time they need to transact financial business.

Ways credit unions can attract new, younger members

To attract younger members, credit members must meet them where they are, and where they are is in digital spaces. Millennials and Gen Zers feel comfortable online. They’re accustomed to using mobile apps for banking (nearly 70 percent of Millennials use mobile banking).

For credit unions, entering the digital realm is a daunting process. Enabling digital communications for your credit union is the easiest and best place to start.

RingCentral for credit unions

The role of a financial services communications platform

A financial services communications platform offers unified communications platform capabilities (telephony, video, chat, internal presence indicator, and file sharing) with contact center features such as:

A unified communications platform goes a long way toward creating a welcoming digital experience for new credit union members by:

Offering more channels for members to connect to the credit union

Gone are the days when it was sufficient for a credit union to provide telephony and branch visits as the only options for member engagement. With a modern financial services communications platform, members have greater choice in how they communicate with their credit unions. They can call, but also text, hold a video conference, or message the institution on social media.

Providing self-service options

Banking customers between the ages of 18 to 26 rank self-service capabilities as more important than trust. They find self-service faster and more convenient than dealing with a teller.

A financial services communications platform helps credit unions implement self-service capabilities through chatbots and well-designed IVR menus. A chatbot can answer simple customer questions so that members get the information they need on their own terms. If the chatbot doesn’t have the answers, it will pass off the interaction to a human.

A well-designed IVR menu automates a number of functions so members can get help quickly. For example, a menu option could enable members to check their account balance or last 5 transactions. That’s possible by integrating banking software with the IVR solution.

Giving employees the information they need to help members

It’s frustrating when you call a business and the person at the other end of the line says, “I don’t know; I have to check with my manager.” When you ask when the manager will be in and the customer service representative says, “I’m not sure,” you know your problem won’t be solved any time soon.

A financial services communications platform makes it easier for employees to help members. With an internal directory and other collaborative tools, employees can connect to their colleagues in other departments who have the information necessary to solve member problems. Members don’t have to wait indefinitely for someone to get back to them.

Providing peace of mind for members with built-in security features

Between 2018 and 2020, 82 percent of credit unions were negatively affected by data breaches of local businesses. That means that a local business was compromised, exposing the data of credit union members.

Market-leading financial services communications platforms feature multiple layers of security, 24/7 platform monitoring, and a 99.999 percent uptime service level agreement for high reliability. Encryption between all endpoints keeps your member data safe from unauthorized users.

RingCentral digitizes credit union communications for a new generation of members

RingCentral’s financial services communications platform offers credit unions the digital capabilities credit unions need to stay relevant to a new, younger member demographic. Our secure, robust solution gives members flexible communication channels to connect with your credit union. To learn more, get a demo.

Originally published Sep 21, 2021, updated Sep 08, 2021

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