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How Credit Unions Can Meet the Needs of Gen Z

March 2023
By Equifax

Generation Z is the tech-savvy and socially conscious cohort born between 1997 and 2012. Gen-Z is beginning to establish its own financial independence. That being said, credit unions must take steps to ensure they remain relevant and appealing to this new demographic. This generation values tailored, digital experiences to their individual needs and preferences. They want financial services that are convenient, accessible, secure, and provide them with insights into their financial health. To appeal to this generation, credit unions should consider integrating some of the following strategies. 

1. Provide a frictionless digital experience - making it accessible

Gen Z is the first generation to have grown up with technology as an integral part of their lives. They access information and services quickly and easily through their smartphones. It's essential that credit unions offer digital and mobile banking experiences that are user-friendly, convenient, and secure. In fact, according to CU Times, 82% of Gen Z respondents said they would switch financial institutions if the alternative offered them superior digital experiences.

2. Provide personalized experiences - making it convenient 

This generation expects financial institutions to understand and meet their unique needs, while providing them with a desired digital experience. Credit unions can use integrated data and technology solutions to deliver exactly that. With the right data and solutions, credit unions can provide a truly personalized process. Each interaction can be tailored to a member's financial goals and preferences. For example, CU Times found 52% of Gen Z would switch financial institutions if lower fees were offered. Using the right data and insights credit unions can use a personalized approach to providing the right financial tools to members. This is one way credit unions can tailor themselves to Gen Z’s preferences. Unlike traditional, profit-driven banks, credit unions are good at offering personalized fees and rates. This is particularly appealing to cash-strapped, individualistic young people. There are many more personalization opportunities, from strategic marketing based on alternative data, to easier identity verifications, that credit unions can use to personalize the credit union experience.

3. Protect their data AND make authentication easy - making it secure

Credit unions need to develop data practices that make authentication easy, while not being intrusive. This generation values privacy. They are cautious about the use of their personal information. They want to feel a sense of how their data will be used, but don’t have the time to read through pages of fine print. So credit unions should focus on making authenticating identities, and paperwork as simple and intuitive as possible. This can sometimes be at odds with the need to mitigate risk. So how do we achieve the aim of being simple and intuitive without increasing exposure to potential fraud?

  • Automatically pre-populate forms and applications with authenticated consumer contacts - reducing keystrokes 
  • Using embedded authentication solutions - which can reduce the effort required for your members
  • Leveraging present contexts - contextual clues from real-time data signals provide the best member experience while managing risk

These effects multiply when you embed digital enablement across the member journey.  Allowing potential members to have more confidence that their data is secure. While making verification easier for the members and for credit unions.

Credit unions have always been about community. That sense of belonging is even more important to Gen Z. This generation values connection and a sense of shared purpose. It's essential that credit unions create a welcoming, inclusive environment that feels like a true community.

Credit unions have a unique opportunity to make a lasting impression on Gen Z by adapting to their needs and values. By leveraging technology and data to offer seamless personalized experiences, credit unions are speaking Gen Z's language. By protecting their data and fostering a sense of community, credit unions can remain relevant and appealing to this emerging generation.

About Equifax

Equifax is a global data, analytics, and technology company and plays an essential role in the economy by helping credit unions make critical decisions with greater confidence.

The unique blend of differentiated data, analytics, and technology from Equifax creates the insights that power decisions to move people forward. Equifax helps credit unions provide a seamless and positive experience during life’s pivotal moments — like applying for a job or mortgage, financing an education, or buying a car.

Their purpose is to help people live their financial best. Equifax strives to create economically healthy individuals and communities everywhere they do business. In a single year, their unique data and analytics changes millions of lives across the world.