Here's a fun party trick: The next time you're out with your friends at the Olive Garden or wherever it is that you chose to carbo-load, mention the word "bank." Say something like "I have to run to the bank after we finish the fourth bowl of breadsticks." Then sit back and look at everyone's face.
Their reactions will range from slightly irritated to flat-out upset. No one is excited about banks. No one's mouth involuntarily curls into a smile as they think about their financial institution and how much they love it. On a scale of one to ten, banks are about as beloved as Justin Bieber (sorry, Canada!).
The worse thing about this is that Gen Y doesn't only find banks (and to an extent, credit unions) loathsome, they find them irrelevant. Scratch, a consulting firm, discovered in a three year survey that millennials believe that the future will be littered with hover boards and space hotels, but will feature a noted absence of financial institutions.
"As consumers, millennials have been slow to accumulate wealth. They have huge debt. They're facing unprecedented underemployment. They've been relatively unaddressed as a generation by banks. All of a sudden, you see purchasing power by millennials growing to over $1.3 trillion," Scratch executive vice president Ross Martin told Fast Company.
The key conclusions from Scratch's report is that the sphere of banking is ripe for innovation and disruption, and I think that credit unions are where the revolution will begin. We can do it!
With amazing events like Crash The GAC and the CU Watercooler Symposium (not to mention the amazing Young & Free program), we've got a breeding ground of creativity and ideas that will allow credit unions to take the reins and move us into a new era of banking.
What do you think? Will the revolution start with credit unions, or am I being too optimistic? Let us know in the comment section below!
DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.