The Decision Maker

The Digital Revolution: Prepare for the Millennials!

Posted by Nate Wentzlaff on May 1, 2015 10:53:00 AM

As a generation who has been raised online begins its financial journey, digital demands on financial services will begin exploding


The credit union industry is the middle of a digital revolution.  As technological innovations continue, members will shift toward digital channels to interact with their credit union.  Basic transactions continue to take place though online and mobile banking channels where members can take control of their financial needs.  Depositing checks, transferring money, and paying bills can all be accomplished through this channel.  Members no longer need to rely on the branch for basic transactions.  The main drivers of digitization are the millennials who were born at the advent of the internet.  Their lives have been surrounded by the interconnected digital world.  Consequently, they will demand a digital credit union that meets all of their financial needs when (and where) they need them.

Online/Mobile Banking

Online and mobile banking has revolutionized how the world banks by opening endless opportunities for innovation.  Fox example, the camera was imbedded into the smartphone to give customers the ability to take pictures.  Now, the camera has turned into a self-service bank teller.  Credit union members can reach into their pocket and complete transactions that previously needed a physical branch.  For most millennials, going to the branch is seen as a chore.  Branches are usually over-crowded at the time members can make it in.  Waiting in line to deposit a $100 check is yesterday’s problem.  Now, it is as simple as taking a picture and depositing the check through a mobile app.  The online/mobile platform has arrived just in time to meet millennial membership demand.

Social Media

The proliferation of social media is amazing.  When we first meet someone, we no longer ask for a phone number.  We simply look them up on Facebook and “friend” them.  This is changing how financial services consumers interact with the institutions they trust with their hard-earned money.  Millennials’ trust can be built and maintained online.  They trust a credit union who posts relevant content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  The more relevant and high quality content shared into the social media community, the higher level of trust millennials will put on particular credit unions.  Implementing a well-designed social media strategy will make or break a credit union.


The website has become the new front door of the credit union.  Members “walk in” through a digital front door and are instantly greeted by many eye-catching displays.  The great risk (or opportunity) is how easy it is for millennials to move between financial institutions.  Consumers can “walk in” to many different financial institutions on their laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  Each site will represent a different feel for the consumer just like branch design.  Designing a website that will catch the eye, and keep the visitor engaged, can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with a member.   It also allows a credit union to tailor their marketing offers for members’ various needs.  Ads that are tailored to members’ profiles (built through data analytics) will allow credit unions to improve their marketing campaigns.


An effective way to integrate the various channels of the credit union and establish a relationship with members is through a well-designed game.  The gamification of financial services will be the best way to engage the millennial generation.  Video games reached their zenith during the millennial generation’s childhood.  A game is designed to award a player for accomplishing certain tasks.  It is exactly what finance is for the “real world”.  Members are trying to accomplish certain tasks in their financial life and are hoping for an award upon completion.  Credit unions must build gamification into their digital strategy to guide membership into accomplishing financial goals.  Finance can be boring for millennials but adding a game will allow credit unions to achieve strategic goals while helping members become financially strong.

Data Analytics

Strategically managing and storing all the data on digital technologies will give credit unions a clearer picture of the road they have traveled, and how they can adjust going forward.  Data must be of the highest quality and designed with integrity in a data warehouse.  This will give credit unions the platform to develop a data-driven strategy for the future.  Designing analytics and enterprise reporting around all of the physical and digital channels will allow credit union management to gain a full view of how membership interaction with the credit union is changing.  Analyzing historical data over many years will provide credit unions with the ability to spot trends and change course as needed.  As the financial services industry becomes more data-driven, an analytics program will be necessary to gain the loyalty of a generation who is accustomed to immediate service.

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Topics: Marketing, Millennials, Data Analytics, Digital