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It’s a Money Thing: Clever Financial Education Content Increases Engagement

Financial overconfidence can lead to expensive financial blind spots for Gen Y. Offering clever, creative, and easy-to-digest content can help credit unions connect to and attract Gen Yers.

  • Cynthia Campbell Impact Director at Filene Research Institute
  • Annamaria Lusardi Professor and Academic Director at the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University

Executive Summary

As credit unions build strategies for growth, most are exploring opportunities to attract and retain the next generation of members. According to CUNA’s 2014–2015 National Member and Non- Member Survey, the average age of credit union members is 48.5 and only 7% of credit union members are in the 18–24 age bracket. The industry has been talking about this challenge for many years. The It’s a Money Thing pilot was developed in an effort to put research into action so that credit unions can better engage their future members.

Since the recession of 2008 many players have rushed to the financial literacy marketplace. In January 2010, President Obama created the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and charged them with “assisting the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions” (President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability 2013). The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency, was created in 2011 and holds the primary responsibility for regulating consumer protection with regard to financial products and services.

Over 20 states now require that per-sonal finance be integrated into their high school curriculum (Jump$tart Coalition 2013). It is part of most credit unions’ missions to provide financial education to members, but with most traditional financial literacy approaches, it can be hard to get the attention of members of Generation Y (Gen Yers), who not only are busy but are living a life full of digital “noise.”