As Millennial Clout Grows Credit Unions Can Leverage Their Natural Strengths



RANCHO CUCAMONGA, May 20, 2014 - Millennials, consumers born since 1980, know precisely what they want in a financial institution, according to a new study commissioned by CO-OP Financial Services, a financial technology company for credit unions based here.

The new survey, entitled "Unlocking the Millennial Mystery," takes a look at services and products offered by credit unions with a special focus on Millennials and their decision making in selecting a financial services provider. Highlights of the survey results were presented to attendees of THINK 14 in New Orleans, La., during the May 20 morning general session.

"Positive customer experiences (for Millennials) are largely driven by the basics - deliver on expectations and treat people with respect. Positive staff attitudes are more strongly recognized on a local scale. Both credit union members and bank customers are generally satisfied with financial institutions - credit union members much more so," says the study.

The study reported the attitudes of a 495-respondent survey sample, evenly split between credit union members and bank customers. These respondents had also indicated to researchers that they had switched financial institutions in the past 12 months, or were open to switching. 

According to the CO-OP study:

  • 81% of Gen Y credit unions members said that their institution provides an "outstanding customer experience" compared to 59% of bank customers responding so for their banks.
  • A total of 96% of credit union members said they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their credit union, while the figure was 88% among bank customers.
  • Credit union members are much stronger advocates for their financial institution compared to bank customers. The survey found a "net promoter score" (likely to recommend) of 38% among credit union members, with bank customers registering only 16%.

"The competition among financial service providers to attract Millennials is fierce and getting more so as technology-based products seem to change the market environment almost daily," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "By addressing the safe access and convenience demands of Millennials, and leveraging their traditional service strengths, credit unions can win the loyalty of this highly sought after consumer group."

CO-OP conducted the study of Millennials to better understand them as consumers of financial services. Key research objectives included 1) Defining the consumer's expectations of a financial institution; 2) Contrast those expectations with actual experiences, especially at credit unions; 3) identify the gaps between expectations and experiences; and 4) Clearly articulate what consumers want in a credit union brand. 

The study will be available in mid-June for purchase: $299 for the full "Unlocking the Millennial Mystery" research portfolio and $199 for a comprehensive research PDF. An executive summary will also be available at no charge on

To inquire about ordering CO-OP's "Unlocking the Millennial Mystery," write

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company helps credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit