This week had us thinking about all the ways credit unions improve lives in their communities – especially as California’s raging wildfires prompted Patelco Credit Union, Members 1st Credit Union, Sierra Central Credit Union, Golden 1 Credit Union and no doubt many others to step up and help. (Check out CUAid.coop if you want to help too.)
Of course, credit unions help their members and communities in a variety of ways including by promoting financial wellbeing. It’s a major win-win for outreach, engagement and profitability – or it should be, according to this week’s curated stories.
Why? Your members often want and need help managing their finances. A Raddon study found that almost half (44 percent) of 1,200 respondents identified themselves as “extremely” or “very” financially literate, yet more than half failed a 15-question financial literacy quiz that accompanied the survey, and only 6 percent scored an “A.” Millennials are more transparent about wanting help managing their finances, but indicate that they prefer to engage through personalized digital tools.
In keeping with the promise of community building and going beyond financial services, credit unions have a unique opportunity to serve as leaders in promoting financial wellbeing.
Here are five stories that help answer the question: can financial wellness lead to better member relationships?
Where’s the Marketing ROI on Financial Literacy Programs?
Can banks and credit unions use financial education as a competitive tool? According to a study by Raddon Research Insights, people who understand the basics of personal finance are both more engaged and more profitable for the banks and credit unions that provide financial education. Yet, many FIs will have to ask themselves whether their financial literacy programs foster positive engagement and brand differentiation – or whether the time may have come to get educated on the value of financial wellness programs.
Data’s Role in Personal Financial Wellness
Here’s an inspiring use for the data you’re working to collect and deploy: use it to help Millennials and other members in need of financial education. Where traditional financial education sometimes falls flat, open source data used to create consumer profiles can help members better understand their habits, uncover hidden opportunities to save, manage cash flow and investments, set and achieve long-term goals – and so much more.
New Campus Resource Center Dedicated to Students’ Financial Wellbeing
Nusenda Credit Union recently opened a resource center on the University of New Mexico campus specifically to help students master the elements of financial wellbeing through peer counseling. Already they have seen a positive response from students. As one student pointed out, higher education institutions offer plenty of classes, clubs and resources to meet students’ educational needs, but rarely are there resources dedicated solely to better money management.
Financial Literacy Is Key to Protecting Service Members
Military service members often struggle with unique financial challenges, both during active service and afterwards. Credit unions have the power to change that, says NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters. At a credit union conference in Virginia, McWatters called on credit unions to work together to continuously innovate their systems and improve the personal finance knowledge of service members and their families.
Credit Union Open Inside Library Already Attracting Users
Kane County Teachers Credit Union chose an unlikely location for its new branch: inside the Gail Borden Public Library in downtown Elgin, Illinois. Early reports showed the unorthodox location to be a hit, with new accounts being opened and more than a dozen loans made in its first few weeks after opening. Then again, why not? What better place to promote financial literacy than a library?
Be the financial resource your members need. Join the CO-OP team for a full day of inspiration and information on increasing engagement, promoting a smarter member experience and growing your credit union at a CO-OP Roadshow, coming to a city near you.