Change happens. Sometimes (relatively) quickly.

Four facts that may rock your world

Plenty of CEOs and Boards act as if nothing has changed in the 70+ years since their credit union was founded, and that it will probably continue along as it has for another 70+ years. (Insert mental pic here of CEO with feet up on desk, eyes half closed.)

I’d tell them they might not want to get too comfortable, because these four facts just might shake up their plans for the future:

1. Millennials now outnumber Boomers. 

According to the US Census Bureau, Millennials (born between 1982 and 2000) now number 83.1 million and represent more than a quarter of US population, while Boomers clock in at a measly 75.4 million. Which group will be more important for future loan growth, I wonder? Perhaps even more interesting, 44.2% of those Millennials are part of a minority race or ethnic group (other than non-Hispanic/white), and this trend promises to continue as over 50% of the youngest Americans (under 5 years) are as well. If your CU looks to grow, you probably need to build a strategy based on your future members, not their grandparents.

2. One of three workers is actually a freelancer.

As American companies continue to shed payroll and benefits costs, more people have turned to freelance, part-time and temporary jobs. Today, over a third of the workforce is independent, and experts are predicting that number to hit 40% by 2020. What does that mean to your bottom line? Your credit process for auto, personal and small-business loans may be obsolete and need to be modified to work for a member that freelances. It also means you are vulnerable to competition that understands this market. Companies like Uber are filling the gap on auto loans for people without great credit scores, approving their freelance drivers to not only buy a car through the company, but also making their monthly payments out of the fares they collect for them.

3. Equal rights matter – Millennials are paying attention.

Same-sex marriage is now legal nationwide, but civil rights laws affecting gender expression and sexuality are still catching up in many states. Now’s your chance to lead the way – equal rights are an extremely important issue to all those Millennials up there in fact #1. Credit unions and their CUSOs should review processes, policies, and applications for potential conflicts to make sure that all are truly welcome.

4. Your competition isn’t the bank across the street.

You’ve probably heard that Amazon is planning to offer checking accounts, and Walmart offers several financial services. How many of your members carry a PayPal debit card or use Square’s Cash app? How many of your members use payday lending? If you don’t know find out, and get up to speed. Rocket Mortgage promises quick, painless mortgages — are you still stuck with reams of paper and weeks of waiting? The credit union difference is timeless, but processes and products need to keep up. What’s your plan?

Change happens. Sometimes (relatively) quickly.

And while no Strategic Plan can foresee the future, it can be built with the flexibility to adapt.

Just be sure you go into the future with your eyes open.

Also published by CUInsight.



Kent Dicken

Email this article to a friend or coworker.