Credit unions are going through a difficult time at the moment, and it seems that the root of the problem is that they are being perceived in the wrong way. It is now being realized by professionals within the credit union sector that there is a need for a nationalized campaign to raise awareness about credit unions and to reduce the number of misconceptions that still abound about what credit unions are, how they work, and who should use them. There are numerous perception issues that affect credit unions, and these must be overcome to improve the way in which the public views them and to increase the number of members using their services. From busting the myths about the lack of online payments for credit union members to actually informing the younger generation that such a thing as a credit union exists, new strategies need to be brought into play if credit unions are to survive in today’s competitive financial marketplace.
What Is A Member?
Perhaps one of the things people find most confusing about credit unions is the term “member.” Although it has been used for generations, Millennials have a limited understanding of what the word really means and tend to look at the term as an obstacle instead of a benefit.
This means credit union leaders must now consider the way they explain how a credit union operates so younger people, who could be the next generation of members, aren’t put off by the term. They are now working on putting strategies in place to explain precisely why members are given that name and why it is a benefit and not a barrier.
Lack Of Sophistication
Another barrier that younger people see when considering credit unions is they are neither sophisticated nor large enough to cope with financial difficulties that are so often experienced in the course of everyday life. Credit unions are now working to explain how they can deal with all aspects of financial difficulty and can provide the necessary services people in difficult financial circumstances require.
Aren’t Credit Unions Only For Poor People?
One perception that is proving especially difficult to shake is the belief that credit unions are only there for poor people to use. And, an add-on to this is the concept that credit unions are actually taking money from less poor members to help those who are struggling. While it’s fair to say that credit unions are a valuable access point to financial services for those who are in difficult circumstances, they are there to serve the entire community, regardless of their financial status. Working on ways to change that misconception is essential.
Access To Cash
Perhaps one of the greatest barriers to younger people signing up for credit union membership is the perception that customers are unable to benefit from the same access and facilities they can enjoy when they use a larger bank or financial institution. Again, this is an incorrect assumption. Credit unions now increasingly have ATMs for speedy cash access and offer access to online payments for credit unions members. Many even have the ability to permit mobile banking. Raising awareness of this among younger people will encourage a new generation of members who demand the convenience that online payment processing and rapid access to money brings.
Although credit unions are going through a tough time in trying to inform younger people about their many benefits, by raising awareness of the many different facilities that credit unions provide their members, such as online payments, they can persuade the next generation to take advantage of their services well into the future.