Does your branch support millennials?

first_imgMillennials use branches 50% more than Baby Boomers. Do your branches support them? One of the biggest questions in retail banking is “What will happen to branches as demographics shift to younger generations and technology becomes more ubiquitous?” Study after study shows retail banking on the decline as technology steadily pulls banking services out of the branch, leaving members with fewer reasons to visit their credit union in person.  When polled by BAI, only 17% of millennials preferred banking in a branch compared to 27% of Baby Boomers. The numbers drop even further with Gen Z who, unlike most Millennials, grew up with mobile banking. But hidden behind these statistics is a trend that will help you turn your branch network into a differentiator and attract younger members to your credit union: the services that people want in a branch are fundamentally evolving. I’ve got a surprising statistic for you. According to the Financial Brand, Millennials use branches 50% more than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Think about what’s being automated by digital services: routine transactions, check deposits, EFTs, etc. These are cost centers, services that don’t drive value for your credit union, and both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are moving to digital platforms for these services as well. So why are Millennials visiting branches more often than older members? They, and Gen Z, are more likely to be facing major financial milestones in their lives, such as taking out or refinancing student loans, buying a first car, or applying for a mortgage. Even Millennials, who are more comfortable with all-digital banks, strongly prefer to take out loans in person. It’s true that mortgages and other loans are being offered digitally, but these types of financial milestones in a person’s life come with a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety. There are so many questions to ask and researching online quickly results in information overload. But a recent study of credit unions by Harvard Business School found that staff in a branch are able to instantly cut through consumer anxiety with a conversation, and that members are 16% more likely to finish the process of taking out a loan when they have access to in-person services. Surprisingly, this also applies to digital-only members. Though they don’t actually take advantage of in-person services, their availability brings peace of mind. There is no question that retail banking is going through a transitional period. Many financial industry commentators see overall transaction volumes dropping as a sign that the branch is fundamentally changing, but the higher value transactions that take place in the branch are still going strong. To capture and retain Millennial and Gen Z members, credit unions need to adapt to these changes by moving away from traditional bank branch environments to developing conversational spaces that can support these interactions more comfortably and efficiently. 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jay Speidell Jay Speidell is the Marketing Manager at Momentum, a strategic design-build partner that takes a people centric approach to helping credit unions across the nation thrive. Web: Detailslast_img

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