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Next Generation Needs: Examining Credit Union Loyalty Among Young Adults

This report looks at average Net Promoter Scores among consumers of various ages at banks and credit unions. The report compares high-performing and low-performing credit unions to determine why some receive such high marks and how your credit union can use those insights.

Executive Summary

There’s an often overlooked difference between what attracts members and what keeps members. Credit unions regularly earn the financial services industry’s top honors for loyalty and satisfaction. It’s one thing to measure loyalty in general. But here the researchers are interested in the drivers of credit union loyalty among the coveted young adult demographic. If young adults are so important, and they are, we should know what they want.

What is the research about?

This report uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback from 19 credit unions, ranging in size from $100 million (M) to $10 billion (B) in assets. Further, it splits adult members into three age groups: 18- to 34-year-olds, 35- to 54-year-olds, and 55+. For comparison, the research looks at average NPSs among those age ranges at banks and credit unions. Credit unions win handily. The report also compares high-performing credit unions with low performers to tease out why some credit unions receive such high marks and how your credit union can use those insights.

What are the credit union implications?

While young adults’ NPSs of credit unions are the lowest of the three demographic groups—53% compared to 55% and 63% among older members—they are still far better than banks’ NPSs: 12% compared to 22% in each of the older groups. Analysis of young adults’ qualitative feedback turned up three priorities:

  1. Service and respect
  2. Ease and convenience
  3. Help understanding financial basics, such as how to establish credit

Young adults want an institution that provides high-quality service and support, that acts in their best interests, and that makes conducting business easy, in that order. The good news is that credit unions score well on all three counts. But the biggest gaps between young adults’ stated importance and agreement that the institution performs well are in “acts in best interest” and “makes conducting business easy.”

This report is sponsored by Member Loyalty Group, BECU, Spokane Federal Credit Union, and Wright-Patt Credit Union.