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Attracting and Retaining Young Adult Members

This report addresses youth market issues and develops workable strategies to attract consumers in the under-30 age category.

  • William Kelly Center for Credit Union Research at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Executive Summary

Financial institutions have yet to unlock the secret to serving young Americans effectively. Whether by choice or by chance, financial service providers often overlook the tremendous potential of this market segment. The under-30 age group represents enormous present and future buying power, and it is a key component of credit union success in tomorrow’s competitive arena.

To better understand this market, the Filene Research Institute brought together research experts and credit union practitioners. This monograph reports their research findings, operating experiences, and recommendations.

What is the research about?

In this report, research experts and credit union practitioners come together in a workshop designed to develop workable strategies to attract consumers in the birth-to-30 age group. The discussions centered on the size and scope of the youth market, research findings from a variety of sources, demographic and lifestyle characteristics of potential young members, and financial product use by these age groups. Participants assembled a number of methods through which credit unions can reach out to younger consumers, and capture their business now and in the future. Details of those discussions are presented in this report.

What are the credit union implications?

Organizations bound to succeed over the long term have this characteristic in common: they pay close attention to who their customers and members will be not just next month or next year, but in the next decade, and in decades beyond. The implication for credit unions is clear, to succeed in the long term, they must provide products and services that are meaningful to younger members, those in the under-30 age group.

Young members are key to the future of credit unions. They are the nucleus of lending services as well as asset accumulation programs. They comprise the largest potential market for financial services ever, reaching financial independence in numbers larger than even the baby boom generation. And their spending power is formidable.