How credit union members spend (and save!) their money

If a genie popped out of your morning cup of coffee and said that he was going to grant the ability to read your credit union members minds, would you accept? Ok, so it could be risky, or slightly awkward. But, imagine what could be learned from seeing inside their minds and getting a glimpse at their opinions of the economy, their personal spending habits, and their near-term plans for spending and saving…you know, the keys to putting together successful marketing and growth strategies for your credit union. Now would you accept? I’d venture to guess your response would be something along the lines of …“yes, please!”

You probably already make some informed guess-timates about what your members are spending their money on, if they plan to invest this month, or if they are planning a summer “staycation” versus flying/driving to the happiest place on earth (a.k.a. Disney World).  But without calling them up each month to find out, or spending half of your marketing budget to fund research to find out for you, you’re probably, more times than not, taking a shot in the dark. Fortunately for those of us that are not greeted by genies, there is something that currently exists to help you get into the minds of your members.  It comes from one of our Preferred Partners, Discover.

Here are a few of the most recent results from Discover’s U.S. Spending Monitor report for Credit Unions (a teaser if you will 🙂 ):

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Credit Card Portfolio Growth Strategies for 2012

Guest post by Kevin O’Donnell, Vice President of Credit Issuance, Discover Network

As 2011 draws to a close, it has been another challenging year for credit unions and their members. Credit unions are focused on two goals: (1) continually seeking new ways to serve their members’ changing financial needs; and (2) growing membership specifically with Generation X and Y.

One product that is often overlooked during this exercise is the credit card program. A May 2010 Javelin Strategy & Research study asked credit union members which product they valued most. Ninety-four percent said credit cards.

For credit unions, the opportunity to revitalize their credit products begins at the acquisition stage, but continues through activation, card usage and loyalty. When revitalizing a credit portfolio, it is important to understand what members look for in a credit card product. Research has identified four key elements that members value most: 

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Top Six (Free) Webcasts in the NAFCU Services Library

Our partners are on the front lines with credit unions every day, and while you may only have experience with your credit union, the odds are that our Preferred Partners have worked with hundreds or even thousands. They can bring perspective and common problem-solving to bear on practically any topic.

At NAFCU Services, we try to help the knowledge transfer process by capturing the expertise of our Preferred Partners in digital format—in webcasts, webinars, podcasts and white papers that are archived in our NAFCU Services Partner Library. We are up to 180 and counting, and best of all they are free to ALL credit unions!

Check out our top six most popular webcasts over the last couple of years:

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How credit unions can attract and retain next generation members

Guest post by Kevin O’Donnell, Vice President, Discover Network

How well do you know your members? According to a recent Millward Brown study, the average age of a credit union’s members is about 46 years old. Fifty-one percent are women, and more than half earn between $25,000 and $75,000 per year. Nearly 60 percent are married, and about a third have children living at home.

But here’s something to chew on: Just 8 percent of credit union members are between 18 and 24 years old, the coveted Millennial demographic.

You could say that small statistic doesn’t matter much. After all, as the Millennials age, they’ll likely join credit unions in numbers to match their parents and grandparents — or not.

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