Financial institutions need to engage youth to keep them.
From a financial institution perspective, we tend to focus on the products that will bring in revenue, like loans and credit cards. We spend much of the marketing budget on promotions, incentives, and other ways to drive in the customers to complete the sales. Because of this, there isn’t much left over for other things, like the 18 and under crowd. What most institutions forget to realize is that this generation is going to be the largest consumer segment yet to date. They are becoming financially independent much sooner than their parents did and rely on their peers for information on where to bank.
So how are we going to get their business? This is where having a solid youth banking program is important. Most consumers tend to stay with the bank they had their childhood savings account at. So creating a welcoming youth environment is important along with capturing their attention in some other ways:
- Be Involved: Attending youth related community events, school presentations, connecting with other youth organizations are great ways to have the younger crowd remember who you are.
- Swag Giveaways: Not a budget friendly tactic but it works! Find unique and fun things for when they open a new account, hand out in the classroom, birthdays, etc. Kids love to get free things.
- Be Relevant: Make sure the savings programs you offer provides some other benefits. Game Apps, websites, newsletters, etc. are great ways to keep providing financial education resources and keeping the youth engaged with your financial institution.
- Research Programs: There are many programs that a financial institution can “lease” every year to amp up their youth banking program and brand. These may provide mascots, content, technology, and more so there isn’t a lot spent on creating something new.
As cliche as it sounds, today’s’ youth is the future of financial institutions. We need to engage them at a young age and continue to as they grow to become financially independent adults that will need our products and services.