12 Jun 2024

| By

Sreedhar Tatavarthi

State of Credit Unions: Key Insights & Trends

As Gen Z emerges as a significant force in the consumer market, their preferences and expectations are reshaping the landscape of various industries, including banking.

To understand how well current banking institutions are meeting these demands, we conducted an in-depth evaluation of over 100 Credit Unions across United States.

Our findings paint a vivid picture of the current banking landscape's readiness—or lack thereof—to meet Gen Z's needs.

From mobile responsiveness and the criticality of load speeds to the necessity for personalized, self-serviceable features, our research uncovers the gap between expectation and reality.

1. Mobile Friendly:

Speed is crucial – a page load speed over 2 seconds can cause users to bounce, as 92% of Gen Z  users multitask while online.

We measured page speeds using “PageSpeed Insights” (a Google tool), and found that 96% of credit unions scored less than 50 in mobile performance.

This is based on benchmarks such as First Contentful Paint, Largest Contentful Paint and Total Blocking Time.

2. Clear & Concise Content:

With Gen Z’s short attention span, seamless navigation with shortest number of clicks and concise content is key.

57% of credit unions lacked fixed navigation menu on their mobile sites, leading to excessive scrolling to find the information crucial for Gen Z users.  

3. Personalize Content:

According to BAI 2024 Banking Outlook, lack of personalization is identified as one of the top 3 biggest frustrations with digital banking.

The case for personalization in banking is irrefutable, but none of the credit unions report the use of AI to personalize content.

In a recent article, we highlighted why the time of personalization in banking is NOW!

4. Self-Serviceable:

Many individuals from Generation Z have reported feeling socially anxious, showing a preference for digital communications rather than face-to-face interactions.

However, 26% of credit unions currently do not offer the capability to open an account online and start banking immediately.

5. Virtual-Assistants:

Approximately 60% of Gen Z consumers prefer credit unions that provide advanced digital services, such as online chat functions.

Yet, just 51% of credit unions today feature some version of online chat, and many of these are not yet powered by AI.

6. Social Proof:

Gen Z places significant emphasis on social validation in their business decisions.

With 77% of consumers influenced by social proof and 55% of Gen Z persuaded by influencer endorsements, it becomes crucial for banks to highlight testimonials, reviews, and influencer partnerships.

This is particularly important on platforms favored by Gen Z, like TikTok.

Nevertheless, 81% of credit unions fail to feature testimonials from the younger generation on their homepage.

7. Financial Education:

Gen Z prioritizes knowledge, with 53% aiming to enhance their financial literacy.

To appeal to this demographic, credit unions could offer educational resources, advice on managing finances, and tools such as calculators for home ownership or attaining financial stability.

By delivering consistent, targeted content, credit unions can position themselves as authorities filled with experts who provide essential insights.

Yet, only 66% of credit unions currently provide educational content aimed at Gen Z, and moreover, 34% of credit unions lack helpful financial calculators.

8. Modern Design:

Engaging Gen Z demands a captivating storytelling.

Banks ought to emphasize storytelling, adopting a conversational tone, minimalist aesthetics, modern imagery, and impactful icons.

However, 94% of credit unions still present an outdated, overly intricate design lacking a storytelling approach.

Our findings illuminate a stark contrast between Gen Z's expectations and the current digital offerings of most credit unions.

As this generation's influence continues to grow, banks face a critical juncture: adapt swiftly to embrace digital innovation, personalized services, and engaging storytelling or risk being left behind.

This journey toward digital transformation is not merely about technology but about forging deeper connections with the next wave of consumers, ensuring their financial needs and expectations are not just met but exceeded.

Are digital hurdles slowing your deposit growth? Symphonize helps banking institutions elevate their digital customer experience to match Gen Z's expectations. Click here to book a quick 30-min discovery call and let's tackle it together!

About the Author

Sreedhar Tatavarthi

Sreedhar Tatavarthi is an accomplished IT executive with a robust 20-year career, predominantly in the banking sector. He specializes in leveraging technology to revolutionize banking experiences, particularly for Gen Z customers. His work encompasses digital transformation, enhancing customer service, and implementing strategic tech initiatives to foster growth and innovation in the banking industry.

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Christian Financial Credit Union
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Huntington National Bank
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Meridian Medical Management
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Thales Group
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Meridian Medical Management
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