3 strategies to consider when onboarding millennial members

You may be thinking there’s no time to consider your credit union’s onboarding strategy right now. While it’s essential to take care of urgent member needs today, it’s still important to set your sights on creating memorable, value-added experiences for new members. Doing so will remain key to the long-term growth of your credit union.  

Consider a millennial onboarding strategy

When it comes to your members, you know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for everyone. By taking a segmented approach to your onboarding strategy, you can ensure you’re providing the necessary financial guidance to meet individual member needs – especially those of millennials.  

Why focus on millennials? 

One in three Americans is a millennial. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials passed baby boomers as the largest adult generation in the workforce – based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates as of July 1, 2019.1 

Numbering 72.1 million, millennials are defined as those ages 23-38 (in 2019).1 And, what older generations considered important is not the same for millennials, especially when it comes to banking and their personal finances. 

Recent studies report millennials are feeling financially challenged – and they aren’t always feeling financially savvy:

  • 70 percent of millennial respondents said they need help with their financial planning.2 
  • Of the 28.4 percent of millennials with undergraduate student-loan debt, 72.2 percent are stressed.3

Many are also concerned they might have to borrow from friends or family, and because they lived through the 2008 financial crisis – they lack trust in the financial services industry. 

Meet millennials Ben and Carla – and a new opportunity for your credit union 

Ben and Carla are recently married and just bought a new car from a local dealer that helped them with financing through your credit union. Neither of them knows much about credit unions. They just know they got a competitive interest rate and are excited about driving their new car.    

Here is your opportunity to build Ben and Carla’s trust, expand their financial knowledge, and provide them with relevant messages for years to come.  

#1 Strategy: Build their trust

Trust is key to creating a long-term relationship with Ben and Carla. Remember, they may not trust financial institutions after living through the 2008 financial crisis. Here is how you can build their trust:

  • Offer them a personal financial consultation by phone, video, or in-person.   
  • Take time to understand their financial goals and help them develop a plan to get there.
  • Give them a tour of the tools and resources your credit union offers to track their progress.
  • Educate them on credit scores, and why it’s important to keep track of their scores.
  • Share how they can protect what matters most by adding credit protection to their vehicle or other personal loans.

Strategy #2: Capture relevant information

Keep track of what you learn about Ben and Carla. With their permission to capture what you discuss, you can turn valuable information into actionable insights and personalized messaging.

Strategy #3: Communicate, communicate, communicate 

Stay in touch with Ben and Carla with regular communications. Millennials crave personalization, but don’t go overboard:

  • Offer tips on how to save and build credit. 
  • Highlight products and services to help meet their financial goals.
  • Focus on digital tools and resources
  • Use stories to demonstrate and share how other millennial members are achieving their financial goals. 



1. Fry, Richard. “Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation,” Pew Research Center.org, April 28, 2020.
2. Jayakumar, Amrita (of NerdWallet). “Millennial Money: Don’t let anxiety rule your finances,” APnews.org, October 29, 2019.
3. Hoffower, Hillary. “Millennials and Gen X are both stressed, broke, and in debt,” Business Insider, October 10, 2019.

Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc., and its affiliates.

Kristi Nelson

Kristi Nelson

Kristi Nelson leads Lending Solutions at Securian Financial. Her team helps credit unions improve their digital lending experience with credit protection products. She is a Fellow in the Society of ... Web: www.securian.com Details