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Filene Examines CU Loyalty Among Young Adults
MADISON, Wis. (8/9/13)--Creating loyalty among the 18- to 34-year-old demographic remains a challenge for credit unions, but credit unions that meet the challenge will be rewarded with long-time, productive members, according to a new Filene Research Institute report.
To measure member loyalty, "Next Generation Needs: Examining Credit Union Loyalty Among Young Adults," uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback from 19 credit unions, ranging in size from $100 million to $10 billion in assets. It splits adult members into three age groups: 18- to 34-year-olds, 35- to 54-year-olds, and 55-plus. Young adult NPS scores were the lowest of the three groups.
Analysis of young adults' qualitative feedback and scores from credit unions that achieved high NPS scores with 18- to 34-year-olds turned up three priorities:
  • Service and respect. Members feel that high-quality service and support are important and agree that their credit unions do a good job of providing it. About 40% of Promoters (those most likely to recommend their credit union) from both top- and bottom-performing credit unions used the word "service" when asked the primary reason for their "likelihood to recommend" rating.
  • Easy and convenient. Younger members don't want to expend much effort to bank with their credit union. The keyword "easy" showed up twice as often among top-performing credit unions as among bottom-performing credit unions.
  • Assistance in understanding personal finance. The most common request regarding financial capability is how to establish solid credit. Some of the most passionate comments came from members who built their credit and finally got a credit union loan for their dream car or first home.
Among respondents who feel ease of doing business is important, online and electronic services are key factors, the report said. The top-performing credit unions scored well on reliability and usability. Their systems are easy to use and work as advertised. But even members at these credit unions have wish lists. They want mobile check deposit, external account transfers, online account opening, instant withdrawal of bill payments, check image viewing, pending transaction viewing and budgeting tools.
Branches still matter to young adults, the report said. They use them just as often as their older peers, and additional branch location requests were common among both top and bottom performers. Easy access to funds is another top priority and one of the main perceived differences between national banks and credit unions. Educating members about mobile apps to quickly find surcharge-free ATMs is one way to combat the perception of inconvenient access to their money.

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