Reaching Millennials Through Financial Education

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Trey Medbery, Everfi’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, gives us some insight on how to effectively reach millennials:

Our communities-and particularly the younger members among them-learn and bank differently than they did just a few short years ago. From ATMs to mobile deposits, technology has changed how credit unions and their members connect. Credit unions that lack a digital branch, or offer one that is substandard, can no longer compete-much less grow. And yet this same technology has reduced attention spans and made it difficult to connect meaningfully. Without traditional face-to-face interactions, how can credit unions engage and win over prospects?

The answer lies in that same technology. Credit unions must meet this demographic on their own turf by embracing the online and mobile technology that millennials have woven throughout their lifestyles, with tools tailored to fit their financial needs, technology expectations, and lifestyles. One example could be the assistance of credit counseling aimed at younger adults and millennials to improve the likelihood of saving and understanding the importance of paying off their debts, etc.

Credit unions that truly grasp this concept will find multiple opportunities to win over new millennial members, as well as cross-sell them on relevant products and services. Below are five strategies to consider when developing a millennial engagement plan for your credit union.

1. Make it short. Period.

Technology and mobile devices have changed the way we digest information: most users spend less than 15 seconds on the average website, while a tweet is limited to a mere 140 characters. Today, few of us have the time or desire to listen to long lectures or to digest massive amounts of information. Quick, to-the-point lessons are crucial for reaching multitasking millennials, as well as their busy parents.

2. Make it just-in-time.

To be effective, financial education must meet a current need. Your account holders don’t need to know about saving for college right after they’ve graduated, or about buying a house when they’re 19. Educational content must be available to your members and their families as they make relevant life decisions.

3. Make it mobile.

Today, much of our down time is spent on mobile devices. It might be hard to find time to hunker down at a laptop for a financial lesson, but while riding to work or school, standing in line, or just while bouncing from app to app, mobile education is easier and more palatable to millennials who are accustomed to having the world at our fingertips.

4. Make it authentic.

Millennials often have strong support for local businesses and social causes, but can also be jaded at times with attitudes toward traditional media and marketing, as “cynical do-gooders.” Millennials value authentic relationships, and once they choose a brand, they tend to be loyal and enthusiastic, recommending it to friends and endorsing it on social media. The rewards for connecting meaningfully with them can be substantial-for your FI and for them.

5. Make it relevant.

Educating your prospects provides an excellent opportunity to upsell related products and services-but there’s a fine line between helpful and pushy. To encourage marketing-savvy millennials to become your brand ambassadors, ensure that you upsell carefully, connecting them to products that are relevant to their interests and needs, and providing content that is informative rather than salesy.

It is important to consider all of the ways your credit union can improve messaging, marketing, and story to millennials. When truly taking a look at your strategy for catering toward these influential consumers, your credit union will reap tremendous benefits.

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MDC Owner Spotlight

MDC’s owner credit union Community First chooses EverFi for financial literacy program:

MDC owner Community First Credit Union partnered with EverFi to launch moveUP, the credit union’s new financial wellness program. Community First followed a detailed launch plan beginning with an internal pilot to certify employees who completed the program. Next, certified employees promoted the program personally to members by inviting them to participate in the moveUP program. Community First customized their education modules with an offer to schedule personalized appointments in the branch upon the completion of a module. They also created promotional events to raise awareness including The Debt Breaker Challenge focused on lowering debt, and Financial Wellness Day which promoted face-to-face financial education.

By following the marketing strategies listed above, Community First was able to achieve record-breaking results. Beyond the initial promotional success, the first moveUP Financial Wellness Day resulted in the most new accounts to be opened on a single day in the entire history of the credit union. They’ve also seen the biggest uptick in unsecured personal loans since launching the program, a beneficial long-term result helping to grow a healthy member base.


About EverFi

EverFi’s vision is to drive lasting, large-scale change to the financial capability of learners of all ages. We help credit unions make transformative impact on the livelihoods of their communities, consumers, and employees through online education, data and services.

Learn more about EverFi and using financial education to reach millennials and consumers at