Posted by Mr. Dean Borland, SCMS, CUDE, VP Product Development, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 7/1/2015

In March 2014 the Pew Research Center released a study titled “Millennials in Adulthood: Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends.” The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that studies and reports the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The March 2014 study provides SIX insights that might be useful to credit unions seeking to attract Millennials.


Millennials are less attached to traditional political and religious institutions than previous generations, but they connect to personal networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups through social and digital media. Half of Millennials consider themselves to be political independents and 29% are not affiliated with any religion. However, Millennials stand out for voting heavily Democratic and for liberal views on many political and social issues ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

Millennials are “digital natives,” a term used to characterize the way Millennials have seized on the new platforms of the digital era – the internet, mobile technology and social media – to create personalized networks of friends, colleagues and affinity groups.[1] Millennials are the only generation (of adults) for which these new technologies are not something they have had to adapt to.


Millennials are burdened by financial hardship, but they are optimistic about the future. The soft job market created by the Great Recession caused many Millennials to pursue additional academic enhancement, leaving them with high levels of student loan debt. For those not fortunate enough to pursue higher education, poverty and unemployment are common. In either case, Millennials have lower levels of wealth and income than their two immediate predecessor generations had at the same age. However, an overwhelming majority (eight in ten) say they currently have enough money to lead the lives they want or expect to in the future.


Only 26% of Millennials are married. In contrast, 36% of Gen Xers and 48% of Baby Boomers were married when they were where the Millennials are now. Most unmarried Millennials (69%) say they would like to marry, but may, especially those with lower levels of income and education, lack a solid economic foundation upon which to build a family. More than a few Millennials continue to receive financial support from Baby Boomer parents, including food and lodging, well after completing their education. The question for credit unions is not “if,” but “when” Millennials will begin to mirror the consumption habits of previous generations – building households by buying homes and durable goods for which borrowing is almost always necessary.


Millennials are America’s most racially diverse generation, a trend driven by the large wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who have entered the U.S. for the past half century. Roughly 43% of Millennial adults are non-white, the highest share of any generation. About half of newborns in America today are non-white, and the Census Bureau projects that the full U.S. population will be majority non-white sometime around 2043


When asked, “Would you say that most people can be trusted or that you can’t be too careful dealing with people,” just 19% of Millennials say most people can be trusted, compared with 31% of Gen Xers, 37% of Silents, and 40% of Boomers. According to the Pew study, the racial diversity of the Millennial generation may partly explain low levels of trust. A 2007 Pew Research Center analysis found that minorities and low-income adults had lower levels of social trust than other groups.[2]

Despite a distrust of people and detachment from traditional institutions, Millennials are about as likely as their elders to have a favorable view of business. They are also upbeat about America’s future, with 49% of Millennials saying the country’s best years are ahead, a view held by 42% of Gen Xers, 44% of Boomers, and 39% of Silents.


Few Millennials believe that Social Security will provide them with full benefits when they are ready to retire. About half (51%) of Millennials responding to the Pew study believe they will get no benefits from Social Security and 39% predict they will get benefits at reduced levels. However, like older adults, 61% of Millennials oppose benefit cuts as a way to address the long-term funding problems of Social Security.

These and other traits and idiosyncrasies will have a bearing on the kind of appeal(s) credit unions will have to make to attract Millennials to credit union membership.



If you need assistance with Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, policy development or board member education, OnBalance is here to help.  To learn more about all of the products and services we offer visit our website or contact Karen Houston-Johnson at, Howard Bufe at or Dean Borland at

[1] Rainie, Lee and Barry Wellman, 2012, “Networked: the New Social Operating System,” MIT Press, April.

[2] See Pew Research Center, “Americans and Social Trust: Who, Where and Why,” February 22, 2007, Pew Research Center, “Trust and Citizen Engagement in Metropolitan Philadelphia: A Case Study,” April 18, 1997 and Smith, Sandra Susan, 2010. “Race and Trust,” Annual Review of Sociology, 36:453-75.  

Categories: Strategic Planning & Consulting
Posted by Mrs. Cheryl Sayers, Director of Training Remote Transaction Resources, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 6/29/2015

Landscape and outdoor photography is about being at the right place at the right time.  These photographers are dependent on elements they cannot control.  I don’t know about you but, I can only stand still waiting for the perfect picture for a short time before my legs begin to cramp or go to sleep.  I’ll end up waiting till another time to get that perfect picture of a red bird and her babies!

There are entrepreneurs that have been at the right place at the right time when starting their businesses.  People like Sam Walton whom started the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas.  He had a vision.  He focused on the needs of his customers and the communities they lived in.  He wanted to help them in saving money and to live better lives.  Walmart started as a small retail store.  It has now grown to a “Super Store” suppling consumers with clothing, groceries, technology, car service, gardening, and other subsets inside these locations.  The company he started now employs 2.2 million associates, they serve more than 200 million customers each week, they have over 11,000 stores, and are located in 27 countries.

Bucee'sBuc-ee’s is a Texas grown business that the founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin a Texas A&M graduate began in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1982.  It is said the name of the store came from combining Mr. Aplin’s nickname and the name of his Labrador retriever.  Hence the store name became Buc-ee’s!  The focus of these stores was to have cheap ice and clean bathrooms.  Not always an easy feat for a corner gas station and convenience store!  I have traveled plenty and I know the top item on my list when stopping.  The bathroom had better be clean and have plenty of toilet paper!  Did you know the New Braunfels, Texas location was named the 2012 “Best Restroom in America” by Cintas Corporation!?  They now have 35 locations and promote their own merchandise!  You know the ones.  The t-shirts and baseball caps with the “beaver” on them.  Not to mention so many other items!

The Washington Post did an article in January about a very unique truck stop.  Rob Marsh is a decorated U.S. Special Forces medic.  He is a survivor of the firefight in Somalia that the movie “Black Hawk Down” was made from.  He returned from serving his country to be a practicing “country doctor”.  He works alone and pays many late night house calls to his patients.  He rarely gets time off from his busy schedule.  In 2012, Marsh was approached by Robert Berkstresser the owner of “TA Petro Truck Stop” in Raphine, Virginia to open a clinic inside the truck stop.  Now I never myself thought about it but, when does a truck driver get to stop and get the medical attention he/she needs?  They too are required to complete physicals and drug tests.  These guys and girls spend a majority of their lives on the road!  They don’t get home often enough to establish a primary-care physician.

These two saw an opportunity at the right time right place to help each other.  Marsh had a private practice that was getting more difficult to keep and Berkstresser saw a neglected population that needed a service.  The clinic has grown and they plan to improve it and what it offers.  They will be adding staff and space so that he can take care of more patients.

What services does your credit union offer to give your members the “Right place at the right time” feeling?  How do you provide them with the “One stop shopping experience?”

You can put yourself in the right place at the right time more often by identifying an area in which you have the necessary skills and knowledge to capitalize on sudden opportunities.


Buc-ee’s TexasMonthly Magazine, February 26, 2013

Cintas Corporation

Washington Post

Photo Credit: Houston Press - The Best Things to Eat at Buc-ee's

Categories: Financial & Auditing, Marketing & Printing, Research, Sales & Service
Posted by Vicky Salkeld, Vice President of Sales, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 6/26/2015

If your credit union isn’t constantly working to expand your products and services, you’re missing out on some amazing opportunities. Even if things are going great now, your members will eventually lose interest if you don’t keep things fresh and updated.  Sure, change can be hard. It can be time consuming and even a bit risky. But, it is necessary. There are many reasons you should expand services, but some of the best ones are:

Members Needs Are Always Changing.  It’s easy to be comfortable where you are. But members’ needs (and wants) are always evolving. Be aware of these changes and determine how you can meet their needs

Reach New Members. Credit Unions are always looking for new members. It could be that a new product or service could be just what your potential member is looking for.

Stay Current. Like it or not, competition drives a lot of what you do. When your members see advertisements from your competitors, it makes them think about what they don’t have. Rapid advancements in technology keep everyone on their toes.

Remember the Product Lifecycle. Introduction, growth, maturity and decline.  Just because a product or service was once popular with your membership doesn’t mean it will always be. How many travelers checks have you sold lately?

Increase Loyalty. When your members know your credit union is constantly working to develop better products and services, they’re more likely to stick around to try them. Member loyalty is a key ingredient to long-term success.

Increase Your Bottom Line. Look to your existing products to gain inspiration for new ones that can increase earnings. What is it about these products that your members like? Use those ideas to brainstorm and develop new products.

Give ‘Em Something to Talk About. You’ve promoted auto loans since the beginning of time. Give your members something new. Generate a new interest in your credit union. The best and easiest way to do so is by constantly offering members and potential members something new and exciting.

Now that you’ve been reminded of the best reasons to always expand your products and services, get to work on it now. It’s a win-win situation. Your members have access to better products and services. Your credit union will see new levels of success for many years to come.

Categories: Business Partners, Marketing & Printing, Sales & Service
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