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Empowering Futures: How Credit Unions Can Leverage Tech for Financial Education


By Tanya Van Court, CEO/Founder, Goalsetter
May 10, 2024

In today's digital age, the financial literacy gap in the United States presents a critical challenge, particularly among younger generations who are navigating an increasingly complex financial landscape where tangible currency is less and less in use.

This gap underscores a pressing need for innovative solutions to foster financial education and inclusion. Credit unions, with their deep-rooted community focus and member-centric values, are uniquely positioned to lead this effort. By leveraging technology and digital tools, credit unions can bridge the financial literacy gap, empowering their members and communities with essential financial knowledge and skills.

Goalsetter’s "Are You Financially Smarter Than a 12th Grader?" report highlights the urgent need for financial education among America's youth. Traditional approaches to financial literacy are no longer sufficient in the face of evolving financial products, services, and the digital economy. In this context, credit unions have a significant opportunity to utilize technology to make financial education more accessible, engaging, and effective for all age groups, especially Gen Z and millennials.

Digital platforms and fintech collaborations offer a pathway for credit unions to modernize their financial education initiatives. For instance, social media channels like TikTok have emerged as influential platforms for financial education among younger demographics. A study highlighted in "Using TikTok to Target Gen Z" shows how one credit union successfully used TikTok to engage with younger audiences, demonstrating the potential of social media in financial education efforts. This example illustrates how credit unions can adopt similar strategies to meet their members where they are, using platforms that resonate with their daily digital interactions.

Furthermore, the integration of game-based learning and interactive financial tools can transform the way members, particularly younger ones, perceive and engage with financial education. Use of games in financial apps and platforms can make learning about complex financial concepts more appealing and retainable. Credit unions can develop or partner with tech providers to offer these innovative solutions, ensuring their members have access to engaging educational content that encourages proactive financial management.

Credit unions can also harness data analytics and AI to personalize financial education and advice. By analyzing members' spending habits, financial goals, and life stages, credit unions can offer tailored financial guidance and resources. This personalized approach not only enhances the member experience but also boosts the effectiveness of financial education by addressing individual needs and circumstances.

Community engagement and partnerships further amplify the impact of credit unions' tech-driven financial education initiatives. Collaborating with local schools, nonprofits, and community organizations can extend the reach of credit unions' financial education programs, ensuring broader community access to these vital resources. These partnerships can facilitate workshops, seminars, and events that leverage technology to educate community members about financial management, budgeting, saving, and investing.

As the financial landscape continues to evolve, so too must the approach to financial education. Credit unions, with their commitment to member welfare and community development, are ideally suited to lead this charge. By embracing technology and digital tools, credit unions can revolutionize financial education, making it more accessible, engaging, and relevant. This not only serves to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed for financial success but also reinforces the role of credit unions as trusted, forward-thinking stewards of financial well-being in their communities.

Connect with Goalsetter to learn more.

About Goalsetter

Founded by Tanya Van Court in 2016, Goalsetter is an education-first family finance and technology platform offering credit unions a 360° solution for reaching their next generation of members. A former Nickelodeon and Discovery Education executive, Tanya had a long career trajectory in creating digital products, but it wasn't until her 8-year-old daughter asked for an investment account and a bike for her ninth birthday that she realized her true calling. In that moment, she knew if she could get every kid in America to become a saver and investor instead of a consumer, she could change the world. And so, Goalsetter was born.