Don't Underestimate the Power of Financial Education


Don't Underestimate the Power of Financial Education

Does your credit union offer enough financial education to members? Financial education is a key part of a financial institution’s marketing mix. According to a recent survey from EverFi, about 80 percent of participating credit unions say they include financial education as part of their marketing strategy, and 63 percent say they have a dedicated financial education marketing budget.

Who is financial education for?

Among banks and credit unions, marketers continue to place more and more emphasis on financial education because it not only helps current members, but also attracts new members. Members, especially millennials, continue to demand content that would help them with personal finance obstacles. They’re looking for this educational content because they need it.

A recent study by the Harris Poll found only roughly two in five adults follow even a rudimentary budget. More than one in four adults do not save anything for retirement and 20 percent of survey takers say the current economic climate has caused them to save less than in previous years. Although millennials are more likely to save money than older adults (35+), they are also twice as likely to make credit card blunders.

Benefits of Financial Education for Financial Institutions

What do they need?

In general, millennials are concerned about student loan debt, are not contributing enough to their retirement accounts and are stumbling when it comes to dealing with their credit cards. Thirty percent of millennials are overdrawing checking accounts and 53 percent carried over a credit card balance in the last 12 months.

Clearly millennials are a big audience who are receptive to financial education. However, they’re much more open to this kind of education from apps and social media than from what they perceive as “big and traditional” financial institutions. This doesn’t mean there are not opportunities for credit unions to reach millennials through targeted financial education, especially with many millennials just a stone’s throw away from big milestones like purchasing a home.

Opportunities for credit unions

  • Content database
    • Millennials desire financial advice but prefer to search for it on their own. Instead of sitting down with an advisor, this generation would much rather turn to online sources where they can gather information quickly. Credit unions should consider building a content repository where millennials can easily access this content. A healthy mix of text and video is also beneficial to members of all ages.
  • Content designed specifically for life’s big events
    • Millennials are expecting to grapple with big milestones, like home ownership or starting a family. Content created specifically for life’s biggest events will help attract an audience more than content covering basic finance fundamentals, which are already available widely elsewhere.
  • Content that is easy to access
    • Content that is not easily found is useless. Credit unions should put content at the forefront of their marketing, making it easy to search for and quick to access, especially across their online marketing channels.

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