Millennials and Gen Z don’t know what credit unions are. We said it years ago, and a recent study confirms it now:
Credit unions just don’t know how to acquire and support younger members.
Many credit union executives still use “Millennial” as shorthand for “youth,” but Millennials are now in their 40s. Many in Gen Z have graduated from college and are entering management roles.
If credit unions don’t start thinking about Generation Alpha—those born in the early 2010s to today—then credit unions won’t be around when Generation Alpha takes out their first mortgage.
Read on to learn more about Greenlight and how credit unions can bring in the younger members who will keep them relevant in the decades to come.
The Average Age of Credit Union Members
The average age of a credit union member is 53. In 20 years, the average member will be retiring. That means lower deposits, fewer new cars, and almost 0 new mortgages.
You can’t grow your credit union solely on the backs of retirees.
Growth-minded credit unions must invest in the members of tomorrow—not just in the members they currently have. That means Millennials, Gen Z, and yes, Generation Alpha.
But here’s the catch:
Not only do credit unions have a poor track history of marketing to youth—they also lack robust, modern youth banking capabilities. It’s hard to invest in the members of tomorrow when you don’t have what they’re looking for.
That’s where Greenlight comes in.
Greenlight + Credit Unions Unlock Banking for Kids and Teens
Greenlight offers a debit card for kids and teens. With Greenlight’s card and accompanying app, parents can teach their kids about responsible money management with financial controls.
So far, Greenlight has more than 6 million satisfied users, and they’re growing quickly.
That growth is spurred by a robust set of family- and kid-friendly features:
- Automated allowance;
- Chore payment;
- Gamified financial education;
- A debit card for kids with category-level spending controls; and
- Spending history and customized savings goals.
The above is the tip of the iceberg—you can see even more in the download below. But this is where things get interesting:
Greenlight is one of several fintechs that caters to the need for youth money management. It’s a hot, underserved market. However, not all fintechs that cater to youth partner with credit unions.
Greenlight does partner with credit unions, and they do you one better: they go co-branded. Consequently, kids and teens who use Greenlight become engaged, money-wise brand loyalists who become full members at the right time with Greenlight’s graduation program.
Generational Divides vs Wealth Transfer
Millennials still have among the lowest net worth of any generation. Gen Z is currently lower, but expected to surpass them within the next 10 years. Baby Boomers control by far the largest percentage of wealth in America.
Many credit unions are leaning into serving the older, wealthier generations. And they’re not exactly wrong to do so…
But let’s go back to the 20-year picture. Over the next 2 decades, roughly $84 trillion dollars will pass from wealthy retirees to their families and charity. It’s called “the Great Wealth Transfer,” and while it will affect Millennials most, it will have a ripple effect on all younger generations.
Furthermore, fintechs are increasingly the most trusted financial institutions of younger generations. That’s fintechs, not credit unions. It’s not just a static fact—it’s also a trend.
Accordingly, credit unions have an existential imperative to improve their track record with people under the age of 53. Plus, bonus points for doing it with fintech flair.
Organizations like Greenlight provide much-needed family financial tools to kids, teens, and their parents. They also keep credit unions relevant for Gen Z and Generation Alpha, which is key to any long-term growth strategy.
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