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How Your Credit Union Can Reach and Inspire Gen Z

Credit unions not already engaging Gen Z are missing out on a whole group of potential members. In recent years, Generation Z, those born between the mid-90s and 2010, have entered the workforce and become one of the fastest-growing consumer demographics. Bank of America even predicts that by 2031, Gen Z incomes will be higher than those of Millennials.

Remarkably, though, fewer than 47% of Gen Zers report having a bank account, leaving an opportunity for credit unions. If you can convince Gen Z you have something to offer that other banks don’t, you could have a growing demographic of committed members. Here are ways your credit union can reach and inspire Gen Z.

Build financial literacy products

Financial education is a largely untapped resource for Gen Z. Though many of them haven’t received any form of education about personal finance, they are certainly hungry to learn. 39% of Gen Zers say they want guidance in money management from trusted financial institutions. If you can meet Gen Z where they are and provide useful financial advice, you can win their trust.

The best way to promote financial wellness is to start engaging individuals as early as adolescence. Credit unions are can do this by tapping into the resources of financial technology companies like Greenlight to create an app that streamlines parent-monitored bank accounts for kids and teens. Through the app, parents can teach their kids money management skills by tying allowance to chores and homework. They can also set savings goals and reward good money habits. This helps members build trust and loyalty with their credit union in the earliest stages of their financial journey.

Use TikTok to diversify your social media

It’s no surprise TikTok is the leading social media platform for Gen Z. According to the Pew Research Center, 48% of U.S. adults between 18-29 use TikTok, compared to 20% of adults between 30-49. But you can’t just hop on TikTok with lackluster dance videos – you need to create videos that are true to your brand values, tap into relevant trends, and showcase your humor and personality.

With any social media account, you’ll need to create content that is specific to the platform and audience. One thing credit union professionals recommend is going in with a specific purpose. Whether you’re sharing financial tips or relatable office humor, it’s important to know what you’re trying to accomplish or solve for each video. Credit unions on TikTok also can partner with influencers who align with their values and mission to expand their reach and diversify the type of content they create.

Enhance your digital banking experience

In this day and age, it’s hard to expect anyone to regularly walk into a bank branch. This is especially the case for Gen Z since 99% of them use mobile banking to view account balances, check credit scores, and deposit checks. That’s why your credit union needs to have a user-friendly app with regular enhancements to compete with other banks.

Consumers have high expectations when it comes to digital experiences. This includes wanting to use personalized banking apps based on their preferences and data. Credit unions can execute this concept by using real-time individualized financial insights, notifications for savings and investment opportunities, and alerts for balance changes. More in-depth predictive analytics can help members reduce unnecessary expenses and harness financial opportunities.

Promote your values

Nearly half of Gen Zers say they choose brands that align with their values. As a credit union, you’re likely rooted in your community and actively working toward social good. Don’t be afraid to let Gen Z know what you believe. If you are committed to diversity and equity or taking steps to fight climate change, make sure to say so — and not just in press releases and traditional media. If you can engage in places like TikTok and Instagram, this generation will notice.

This idea also translates well when it comes to recruitment efforts. The pandemic has shifted what a desirable work environment looks like. Whether you’re offering a flexible or hybrid work model, prioritizing internal growth and professional development, or engaging staff in charitable and volunteer efforts, your values can help your financial institution stand out in the job market – especially to younger candidates.

At Vibrant, it’s our job to understand demographic trends and help our clients make the most of them — and we believe this is a great moment for credit unions to connect with a whole generation. If you want to reach this largely untapped audience, we can help.