In a competitive marketplace, attracting the youngest generation is not just good business; it’s a survival imperative. Millennials 18–24 years old have been a key focus for credit unions over the last 10 years—and for good reason: There are nearly 71 million millennials, born between the late 1970s and early 1990s, in the United States today. The potential for credit unions to capture a significant market share of this demo-graphic is pretty high by even the most conservative estimates or projections. And yet, the flood of new members has never really happened.
Why, then, have credit unions struggled in capturing the hearts and minds of millennials throughout the last decade? After all, the financial meltdown of 2008 should have been the turning point for credit unions to overtake banks as the primary financial institution of choice for young adults. The stigma of the word “banks” should have been enough to drive millennials toward credit unions. Do the youngest millennials understand the credit union concept as well as their parents and grandparents do?