Tuesday, December 13, 2011 11:16:00 AM
MADISON, Wis. – New members garnered from Bank Transfer Day (BTD) activities present a golden opportunity for credit unions to capture the attention of young people, according to a CUNA economist.
"What matters is what we do with them and to make them feel like they made a good decision," Mike Schenk, CUNA vice president of economics and statistics, told CUNA News Now.
According to CUNA estimates, BTD activities garnered around 450,000 net new members (new members minus attrition—those who move or closed accounts) in September and October; and despite the original estimate being revised, the bottom line is there were unusually high numbers of people joining credit unions, Schenk pointed out.
Because social media were a driving force behind the BTD movement, it seems reasonable to conclude that a disproportionate number of the new members are young, Schenk said.
"This is good because our research shows young people generally don't know a lot about credit unions, and this [BTD] could help change that," he explained.
According to a 2011 CUNA Survey of Potential Members, 67% of general consumers and 97% of those aged 18-24 are not familiar with credit unions, and that compares with 60% of the general public in 2006.
The overarching idea for credit unions is to provide good service, Schenk said. "And it would obviously be useful and important for credit unions to market to new members the idea of refinancing their existing loans at the credit union," he added. "Credit unions should make the credit union difference—the financial and nonfinancial benefits—obvious and cross-sell the products that the members haven't brought over."
For the full CUNA News Now article, click here.