5 Ways to Get More Credit Union Members (Part 1)

By admin | Credit Union

May 08
Tips to Drive Credit Union Members

In the previous year, more than half of financial credit unions across the United States had negative median membership rates, according to the information released by the National Credit Union Association. Among the 25 states that suffered from negative membership growths, New Jersey stood out with the state’s financial credit unions posting a -1.9 percent growth—the highest median loss in the country.

There are a number of reasons that can contribute to a financial credit union’s negative membership growth. Changes in life situations such as a change in marital status and moving to a different city or state dictate why members leave certain financial credit unions and look for new ones. Their new financial needs including the opening of a new savings account or finding a mortgage provider are significant issues to many financial credit union members. When they feel that their current financial credit union no longer complements their financial needs, they start the hunt for new ones that offer the products and services that can cater and satisfy them.

Financial credit unions might fear that they are losing their members to national banks. However, only five percent of financial credit union members express interest in moving their money to a national bank, while six percent are considering of opening new accounts in a different financial credit union. That is an incredible news for financial credit unions all over the country in general. A new study conducted by the University of Michigan also discovered the steady growth in consumer confidence with financial credit unions over the past two and a half decades. At present, estimates show that about a third of the American population has financial credit union memberships. In addition to that, while 54 percent of financial credit unions across the United States posted negative median membership growths in the previous year, financial credit union savings account balances amounted to over a trillion dollars in the same year. This implies that Americans still trust financial credit unions.

To a certain extent, financial credit unions often have the control over where many people choose to go. These factors include a wide array of products and services, convenient locations, and impressive reviews from people that they interact with. These three factors are standards in the financial industry. If your financial credit union aims to see an incline in your membership growth, you need to exert effort toward attracting people, both previous members of other financial credit unions and those who have the slightest idea about how financial credit unions work.

Here are five ways to get more credit union members:

1) The Credit Union National Association’s white papers have a surprising solution to how financial credit unions can draw a new generation of members. Since the current members of financial credit unions across the country are in their middle age or are approaching their retirement, it is imperative for financial credit unions to attract millennials comprised of people in their late teens up to the early 30s. This new generation of members can assure financial credit unions that they will remain relevant in the coming decades.

According to the Credit Union National Association, it would make financial union credits strive to be different. The financial industry is admittedly saturated with credit unions that are offering nearly identical products and services. No matter how outstanding one financial credit union’s products and services are, there is no guarantee that potential members will flock to them because the similarities they share with other financial credit unions make them a statistic rather than a standout.

Unique programs are what draw people who currently have memberships with other financial credit unions and those who do not. The Credit Union Association used a federal financial credit union located at the University of Massachusetts, for example. This particular credit union offers college students a $300 loan to purchase a bicycle for only a $50 down payment. Its unique program does not stop here, though. Once students have paid off their bicycle loans, they are offered a chance to convert it into a car loan. Its members who have successfully purchased a car using the auto loan conversion that they are offering are then encouraged to donate their old bicycles to nonprofit organizations.

This demonstrates what the book Retail Strategies to Attract Youth, which was co-written by Kelly Parks and Lisa Taylor Phelps, suggested. According to the book, in an industry that cannot wait to embrace recent technologies, financial credit unions will immensely benefit from finding something that will separate them from the pack. This distinguishing feature – either a product or a service – is what will turn a financial credit union different from other financial credit unions where people go to.

2) The Credit Union National Association’s Operation, Sales & Services Council offers another strategy that can boost a financial credit union’s membership growth. This strategy particularly targets the millennials but also can be applied to recruiting older people to sign up for financial credit union memberships.

While the first tip suggests finding that one thing that will make a financial credit union stand out from its competitors, the second suggestion is all about making it easy.

The Credit Union National Association acknowledges the reality that the generation of millennials is flooded with an overwhelming amount of online content. By making it easy to search for information regarding products and services that will meet their ever-evolving financial needs, financial credit unions can draw millennials in. Many financial credit unions offer certain products and services that are branded as the best new things in an attempt to attract a new generation of members. However, these best new things tend to complicate and sacrifice the ease of use for flashy features, which are merely variations of already existing products and services from competing financial credit unions.

Most, if not all, financial credit unions offer online banking and smartphone apps. While these complementary services were enough to attract young people a decade ago, they have become one of the basic standards these days. The common problem with these services is that they can be quite difficult to navigate. Between a smartphone app that is filled to the brim with cool features and another that is easier to navigate, most people will choose the second option because it can make their lives easier.

Brent Dixon of the Filene Research Institute said that “the most important factor is to make it easy to business with” financial credit unions. Apart from offering the millennials with competitive products and services, financial credit unions must also provide convenience and flexibility. Another thing that the young generation is clamoring is the seamless transition across multiple platforms, such as desktop and mobile.

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