Taking a Generational Approach to Credit Union Communications

by | May 8, 2023

How to meet the changing wants, needs, and communication preferences of every generation with your credit union communications

Digital communication with Credit union

Your credit union members come from a variety of different generational segments, with different wants, needs, and communication preferences. While many credit unions prioritize building relationships with younger members, to create a lifelong relationship, true success comes from connecting with all members, across all stages of life.

The good news for credit unions trying to “do it all” is that every generation is a digital generation today, to some degree. In fact, a recent Ipsos poll indicates that a staggering 78% of consumers today prefer to bank digitally. With this move to digital-first banking comes an opportunity for credit unions to meet the digital needs of every generation of members through differentiated communication strategies. But first, credit unions must understand the state of digital adoption in each of these cohorts, and how that should influence a communication strategy.

You can rely on Doxim Customer Communications Management (CCM) for the latest technology and managed services you need for a competitive advantage.

Baby Boomers

The Boomer generation is understood by banking marketers to be the least technically-savvy generation. But they still use online banking. In fact, Javelin research indicates that 2 in 3 Boomers primarily manage their checking account in digital channels — just like younger generations. Interestingly, though, Boomer members prefer to bank online, but are less likely to use mobile banking, while the inverse is true of younger generations.

Some obstacles still stand in the way of Boomer adoption of digital banking. Compared to younger generations, Boomers may have more complex financial obligations, which can lead them to seek in-person or call center support. As older adults, Boomers can also experience an increased rate of disability, making accessible technology and accessible communications of paramount importance. And finally, Boomers are the generation most often targeted by fraudsters, so credit unions have a responsibility to both maintain the highest levels of security for their financial data, and to help educate this group on avoiding fraud.

To engage this generation through credit union communications:

    1. Ensure communications are accessible for members with disabilities, including those whose vision makes reading a screen difficult
    2. Provide links to digital financial planning tools, so Boomers can handle more finance-related tasks without stepping foot in a branch
    3. Make sure your online experience keeps pace with your mobile app experience
    4. Make security and fraud prevention a central focus of your educational communications
    5. Be sure that information from your communications is shared with other channels, like your call center, so members don’t have to tell their story more than once.

Learn how Doxim can help boost member experience by centralizing your credit union’s regulated communications. Connect with a Doxim CCM expert today!

Gen X

Known as the first generation to have grown up online, Generation X is very comfortable banking online, and are much more likely to bank via mobile app (57%) compared to in-person (18%) or online (24%). At the height of their careers and earning potential, and often juggling older parents and teens, this is a generation that is pressed for time.

Recent Aspire research indicates that Gen X and younger generations really care about the relevancy and consistency of the communications they receive. Gen Xers are known to be loyal to the banks that they work with, but this loyalty can be eroded by untargeted messages and disjointed service experiences that leave them feeling like an account number, not a valued member.

To engage this generation through credit union communications:

    1. Provide relevant and personalized information and 1:1 targeted offers that will genuinely add value to their busy lives
    2. Ensure that data is shared across the enterprise, so communications at all touchpoints are synchronized
    3. Allow members to choose when and where to receive communications


The Millennial generation is very comfortable with digital and mobile channels for financial activities. But their financial state is less comfortable, with 47% of Millennials indicating to Deloitte that they live paycheck to paycheck.

An alarming recent trend, noted by Steve Cocheo of the Financial Brand, is that megabanks, are snapping up Millennial and Gen Z clients from smaller regional banks and credit unions, a situation he attributes in part to their convenient and industry-leading mobile tools. Investments in mobile tools and partnerships with fintechs can help credit unions respond to this threat, as can communications about credit union values that are likely to resonate with socially conscious Millennial members and prospects.

To engage Millennials through credit union communications:

    1. Make sure your mobile banking app is top-notch, and don’t be shy about highlighting its features and benefits to both prospects and existing members
    2. Provide innovative programs and services to help Millennials make the most of their money. Consider providing value-added content, like personalized videos on budget management, right through their banking portal.
    3. Provide an array of self-serve options so the 1/3 of Millennials who are working a second job to make ends meet can manage their finances whenever and wherever they need to.
    4. Showcase your credit union’s commitment to its community and the environment. A recent BAI study suggests that over 50% of Millennials would switch financial services organizations for a higher commitment to Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

With Doxim’s future-facing Customers Communication Management (CCM) solution elevate your member engagement and maximize customer lifetime value, while driving cost out of your business

Gen Z

Highly digital and social media savvy, Gen Z’s banking needs are still emerging, but the picture is very different than what their parents and grandparents’ lives were like at the same age. Coming of age in a time of financial uncertainty and global upheaval, Gen Z feels both a desire for digital convenience, and deep suspicions about how their money is being kept secure.

Another thing is becoming clear about Gen Z – this generation has a real interest in financial health, and they are seeking tools and advice to improve their financial situations. 46% of respondents from Gen Z, when interviewed by Goldman Sachs, indicated that they wanted to develop and keep a budget, and a similar percentage (44%) told Chase that they were using credit monitoring services to learn how to improve their credit score. If your credit union can provide them with the tools and training they need to make the most of their money, you can entice them to become members for life.

To engage Gen Z through credit union communications:

    1. Consider adding interactive personalized video content to their transactional communications, to meet the Gen Z need for financial education.
    2. Ensure staff across your enterprise can access documents and data easily, so they can provide Gen Z with fast answers online, especially via text.
    3. Build trust with these security-conscious students and young professionals by proactively sharing how you keep their sensitive data safe.

How Customer Communications Management (CCM) helps you take a generational approach to credit union communications

Digital solutions

As a credit union leader, you are tasked with communicating effectively with all your members, from the smallest youth account holders to retirees managing their pensions and investments. Understanding how each generation of members prefers to contact your credit union and what they want to discuss is the first step in creating a comprehensive member communication plan that gets results.

The next step, however, is to operationalize that plan, and to do so in a way that is cost effective and offers opportunity for growth. To put an omnichannel communication strategy, you need a centralized system to ensure your communications are personalized and relevant, reaching members with relevant offers at the right moment, through the right channel. A modern CCM solution will allow you to reach members through channels including PDF, HTML, email, SMS, IVR, Web, print, and more, so you can create a communication plan as multi-faceted as your member base.

Doxim CCM can help you reach all generations of members

Digital communication

Doxim’s Customer Communications Management (CCM) platform enables credit unions to improve MX, increase MLV, and boost operational efficiency. With our CCM expertise across digital and print, Doxim will manage your complex data, eliminate the need for you to support disparate systems and manage multiple vendors, so you can focus on optimizing your communication touchpoints and winning the battle for the member.

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Josh Noble
VP Sales, Financial Services North America at Doxim
Josh is a solutions consultant by nature, focused on identifying customer communication solutions for financial institutions.
In his position as Vice President of Sales (USA), Josh leverages his experience to understand the needs, and propose solutions, for customer communications management in credit unions and community banks.

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