Are credit unions too local for Gen Y?

Matt Mills, the new Young & Free Indiana Spokesperson, just released a video that explains shared branching. It's excellent, take a look:

I have never heard the phrase "a credit union is simply too local" uttered before. I've known that accessibility is a significant barrier for young mobile adults, but I'd never heard it put so simply and bluntly.

For a century, credit unions have trumpeted how local they are. For some, it's the entire thrust of their messaging. For the next generation of members, it could be one of the biggest put offs.

Technology, shared branching and ATM networks go a long way to solving this problem, but the biggest hurdle is perception and understanding. Matt is an example of a typical 20-something and his opening line should make you think long and hard about your credit union's situation, "When I was first asked to join a credit union, my initial thought was NO WAY."

This begs two questions:

  1. How many of you are asking young adults to join? I don't mean on billboards, TV or banner ads. I mean really asking in person at events, through physical referrals. Credit unions are way too polite and never ask for the sale. It is critical to be where Gen Y physically is. Not just on Facebook, I mean at events and on campus.
  2. What are you doing to show that your credit union is not too local? This is a barrier to entry that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.


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