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Technology Trends to Attract Younger Members

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By Kelly Flynn, National Director, ADVANTAGE
June 6, 2024

In the modern age of banking, credit unions face stiff competition and must embrace digital capabilities to remain competitive in their market. This need is especially pressing when trying to attract tech-savvy consumers and the younger generation to become members.

The average age of a credit union member is 53. To keep growing credit unions must continually be working to attract new members. And attracting younger members is a tall order. According to a survey, Millennials and Gen Z are less likely to bank with credit unions than national and online banks.

Gen Z (Zoomers)

  • 26% are credit union members
  • 36% opt for national banks such as Chase, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo


  • Only 14% are credit union members
  • 28% prefer national banks
  • 31% prefer online banking

Millennials and Gen Z, two of the largest living generations, will comprise 72% of the global workforce by 2029. As digital natives, Millennials and Gen Z have high expectations for availability and convenience. Understanding what types of deposit accounts, digital technology, and loan offers will appeal to these generations is essential for staying relevant in the long term.

Understanding Purchasing Behaviors and Preferred Payment Methods

Millennials and Gen Z collectively wield a staggering $350 billion in purchasing and spending power in the U.S. alone. Tapping into this potential is a game-changer and can lead to significant boosts in account balances and non-interest income. So, what is the key to attracting these younger generations? Embracing innovative technologies.

Contactless Payments

The pandemic not only made contactless payments essential but has accelerated widespread adoption. By 2027, $4.7 trillion (about $14,000 per person in the U.S.) will be transacted through contactless methods. This shift is not just a fleeting trend; it signifies a profound transformation in financial transactions. Over 60% of Zoomers and 51% of Millennials already use digital wallets.

Recommendation: This evolution encompasses more than just tap-to-pay and digital wallets; it also integrates peer-to-peer payment platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Cash App, and Venmo. How credit unions handle payments must fundamentally change in order to keep up with the demand for faster, more convenient solutions.

Digital Applications and Seamless Technology

Online giants like Chime, Ally, and Discover Bank have solid mobile banking applications. 71% of consumers prefer to manage their accounts through a mobile app or computer. For younger consumers, seamlessly integrated digital capabilities are a top priority.

The good news is that 75% of Millennials would switch financial institutions for a better mobile banking experience. They expect clean, easy-to-navigate interfaces requiring minimal effort to accomplish tasks, quick transactions and interactions, minimal loading times, and consistency across devices. As a financial institution with a community focus, show consumers that you have considered their modern needs.

Recommendation: Delivering smooth interoperability between legacy systems and apps and services is table stakes. Cater to the lifestyles of your membership and younger generations by providing financial literacy tips in your application. Cater to the lifestyles of your membership and younger generations by offering conveniences such as tech that simplifies group expenses and payments through integration with apps used for dining, travel, and entertainment. Or consider a subscription management solution that can help members manage and track their subscriptions and recurring fees.

Adapting Technology to Drive Change

When devising a strategy for adopting more technology, you should evaluate your long-term goals and the top demands of your target members. Millennials and Gen Z increasingly seek digital data protection and automated personalized financial guidance.

Younger generations appreciate a user-friendly interface and intuitive design, which enhance their banking experience. 53% of Gen Z show interest in AI-enabled banking services such as AI-driven chatbots and live agents and the ability to conduct face-to-face consultations with credit union staff representatives through video calls.

Notably, 63% of Millennials and Gen Z believe technology enables them to better oversee their finances, making enhanced digital experiences more imperative than ever. Credit unions can support them by integrating budgeting tools to track spending, set goals, and monitor savings, as well as automated savings programs and providing resources such as articles, videos, and webinars on financial topics.

Consumers expect personalized experiences tailored to their unique needs and preferences. Leveraging big data and AI can help offer:

  • Customized Financial Advice: Suggestions based on spending habits, savings goals, and financial behavior.
  • Tailored Products: Personalized offers and products that cater to individual needs, such as student loans or travel credit cards.
  • Behavioral Insights: Providing insights into spending patterns and offering recommendations to improve financial health.

For example, predictive analytics can help you offer proactive advice on managing finances, while chatbots and virtual assistants can provide instant support and streamline customer service.

To remain relevant and competitive, you must embrace and adapt to the technological preferences of existing members, Millennials, and Gen Z. Today’s consumers demand convenience, availability, and advanced digital capabilities. The financial landscape is evolving rapidly, with the rise of contactless payments and the necessity for robust mobile applications.

As the financial needs and preferences of younger generations continue to shape the industry, credit unions that prioritize and perfect these technological trends will secure their place in the future. Embracing innovation and adapting to digital transformation is crucial for credit unions that aim to meet the demands of the next generation of members and thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

To learn more about modernizing your digital offerings, creating a successful digital transformation plan, or how to initiate an evaluation, watch our latest webinar, Technology Roadmap: Top Considerations When Evaluating Vendors.

About the Author

Kelly Flynn has decades of experience guiding credit unions with their products and service offerings. Her expertise includes identifying cost-effective solutions that create additional operational efficiencies, improve competitive positioning, and grow the bottom line.

Connect with ADVANTAGE to learn more.


ADVANTAGE, powered by JMFA, is dedicated to empowering financial institutions with strategic solutions for growth and success. Our comprehensive services include overdraft program consulting and compliance, checking account acquisition strategies, contract negotiation expertise, and consulting for technology strategy, evaluation and selection. With a rich history of serving credit unions nationwide, we are committed to delivering exceptional value and fostering long-lasting partnerships. Choose ADVANTAGE, to elevate your performance, identify new opportunities, and build more value.