Credit unions must level up with Gen Z

The numbers have come out, and Gen Z is still available for the taking.

With just four percent of our youngest generation registering as members of a credit union, the cooperative movement still has a way to go to attract this youthful, but powerful age group. Sporting an estimated $360 billion in economic purchasing power – and no established loyalty towards any mainstream financial institution to date – the youngest consumer generation is primed to substantially impact the financial services industry for the foreseeable future.

They’re also feeling the growing pains of inconsistent financial health and literacy. According to PYMTS research, 66 percent of Gen Z are currently living paycheck-to-paycheck, with Millennials even further ahead of them at 73 percent. Adding to that uncertainty, these younger consumers face large-scale, more generalized pain points. This demographic often lacks essential financial education and literacy. According to FICO, Gen Z exhibits the lowest levels of credit education, with 29 percent of individuals in that age group unaware of, or even lacking, a credit score.

Embracing opportunity

Amidst such uncertainty, therein also lies hope and opportunity. This realization also means Gen Zers are also perfectly positioned for credit unions to become their financial institution of choice. It’s just that the current number of Gen Zers who are members is pretty low at roughly 19 percent.


continue reading »