A Financial Wellness Check-Up for Credit Union Business Growth

 A Financial Wellness Check-Up 

Produced By Courtney Zielinski, Integrations Management and Marketing Manager | August 23, 2019

This blog article first appeared in Credit Union Times

Securian Financial estimates over 50% of the current economic U.S. customer base will be under the age of 45 in the next ten years.  Importantly for financial institutions, younger generations, the attractive 18-34 year-old age group (Millennials and Generation Z), are growing up and preparing to enter the economy in a big way. As a credit union, are you prepared for shifting generational needs? 

Financial wellness is a universal goal everyone strives for, no matter age or circumstance. However, there are many topics to consider when specifically thinking about Millennial preferences, including:  differences in communication, financial challenges, and digital expectations. 

 

What Do Millennials Want?

But first, what are these generational trends and what do Millennials actually want from their financial institution? Based on a survey, KeyBank’s Financial Wellness Review found that consumers are seeking out tools that make managing finances and reaching financial milestones easier. While 72 percent of respondents with budgets in place are staying within them, 26 percent of those individuals would like to save more—pointing to a need for smart products to help sustain momentum towards achieving unique goals.

As a Millennial and credit union member myself, I say, “teach me, but most importantly, help me act.” But, action-- looking for a specific need in a consumer’s life and building a solution around that need, has been the missing link for credit unions. Based on my own analysis, the fintech sector is starting to do a better job of focusing on data driven action and financial outcomes for consumers.


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As a Millennial interested in building a sustainable and successful financial wellness journey, tools of interest to me include: 

1. Tracking Monthly Spend vs. Budget

Sure, I could pull my debit and credit card statements at the end of each month, manually categorize the transactions and enter the numbers into a spreadsheet. However, this approach isn’t ideal as it requires me to look at my finances in the rearview mirror versus making adjustments in real time. As a generation that came of age in the era of social media and smartphones, we’re naturally inclined to turn to technology for financial help; we know there is a better, more efficient way to accomplish our goals. We’re looking for a trusted toolset to, in real-time, aggregate and categorize transactions; leveraging that data shared to notify me when I’m trending towards exceeding budget or celebrate with me when I’ve stayed under budget.

2. Net Worth Tracking 

Again, I could manually pull these numbers across my financial portfolio each month and track in a static spreadsheet, but we live in a world of instant gratification. I want to be able look at my portfolio, from checking and savings to liabilities, equities and investment accounts, and understand progress towards my financial wellness goals. As an added bonus, since you have  data on my financial portfolio, an opportunity exists to guide me towards taking action:  “What products or services am I missing out on that could impact my overall financial wellness?,” “What could/should I be doing that my peers are doing?,” or “How do I compare to others like me?”

3. Retirement Planning

Millennials, not unlike any other generation, have questions, are intimidated by the long-term retirement savings battle, and are searching for answers.  Credit unions can be that resource, answering: “How much should I be saving now and in the future in order to accomplish my goals?” and “What will it take to retire comfortably?” While many Millennials aren’t yet facing the financial complexity their Baby Boomer parents are, there is still an appetite for financial advice (via digital channels), accurate goal setting, and taking the uncertainties out of retirement planning. 


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Who Will Provide Financial Wellness Support?

Instead of connecting to an unfamiliar fintech 3rd party to obtain these tools, who better to trust with my journey than my chosen financial institution? As I look around at the financial industry as a whole, I see countless opportunities for credit unions to connect with my generation. As your credit union starts to identify future business growth opportunities, consider this:

  • You already have the critical foundation of trust
  • You have the critical consumer base
  • And you have the critical data 

 

You are in a unique position to capitalize on the opportunity at hand.  

So, What's Next?

  • Build future business growth strategies that rely heavily on data. Leverage the data to understand each consumer and to help them make better financial decisions. Not only does this method move the needle towards making data-driven decisions, but also creates sticky consumer relationships that lead to additional product purchases and referrals over time.
  • Make it actionable, not just educational. Encourage consumers to set achievable daily goals that, if achieved, add up to big changes in their financial health over time.  Business growth opportunities exist for financial institutions that find ways to move financial literacy from knowledge to action.
     

How do you start? What are your key consumer segments? What are the pressing needs in the communities you serve? Leverage the data you already have. Understand the possibilities. Prioritize and, potentially, look for partners who have established the groundwork for some of these complex solutions. In today’s digital focused, fast-paced world, opportunities to help Millennial’s build a financial wellness plan are nearly limitless.

 

About Allied Solutions

Allied Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of insurance, lending, and marketing products to financial institutions in the US. Allied Solutions uses technology based products and services customized to meet the needs of 4,000 clients along with a portfolio of innovative products and services from a wide variety of providers. Allied Solutions maintains over 16 regional offices and service centers around the country, and is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

 


 

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Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.

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