In a competitive market, attracting and retaining younger customers isn’t just a good idea, it’s a prerequisite for survival. So today, all eyes are on millennials. Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials are the largest generation, and they are moving into their peak earning and spending years.

Raised on the Internet and mobile technologies, millennials have different perspectives on life and money than their parents. Tens of millions of millennials came of age in the lead up to and during the Great Recession, and many blame banks, especially large banks, for what happened.

Remember Bank Transfer Day? It all began with a millennial and dissatisfied Bank of America customer who propelled her ire into a national movement to shift consumer deposits from big banks to community banks and credit unions. On just one day in November 2011 an estimated 40,000 Americans voted with their dollars, moving deposits to credit unions, according to CUNA, the leading U.S. trade association for credit unions. In the weeks leading up to Bank Transfer Day, credit unions signed up an additional 400,000 new members and received $4.5 billion in new deposits.

Credit unions have many things going for them in the race to win millennials as lifetime customers. Millennials are group-oriented and like to share. We have seen this played out with phenomenon such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Credit unions were born of a desire by people of like employers and professions, and neighbors, to pool resources and help each other realize the American Dream.  

The member-owned, non-profit cooperative nature of credit unions is a big draw for millennials. But organizational structure and philosophic bent do not make a sufficient foundation on which to build lasting customer relationships. That’s where technology comes into play. Millennials are the first truly mobile generation, having grown accustomed to performing routine interactions using smartphones and tablets, and they expect customized mobile banking solutions from their financial services providers. 

A survey last year by Mitek and Zogby Analytics revealed that 54% of millennials were using mobile deposit, while 40% wanted to be able to use mobile capture for other banking routines. More recently, 88% of millennials surveyed by the debit card company Chime said they avoid bank branches, preferring instead online and mobile access (40% and 48% respectively).

At Digiliti Money we are committed to helping credit unions, large and small, engage members, grow business and stay ahead of the competition with industry-leading solutions that help deliver customized mobile banking solutions. So I was happy we had an opportunity last week to showcase our state-of-the-art solutions at CUNA’s yearly Government Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. The solutions we demonstrated were well received, and included: Select Business™ (omni-channel merchant capture), Select Mobile™ Money (mobile money for prepaid), and Select Mobile™ Deposit-Express, our latest mobile deposit offering. 

Like all of our products, Select Mobile Deposit-Express simplifies the process of developing, deploying and servicing the solution for our clients. This unbranded solution, however, is designed specifically to minimize costs and accelerate the speed to market and ROI of mobile deposit offerings at small institutions. It achieves this by leveraging the same innovative technologies and processes that power Digiliti Money’s mobile solutions deployed by some of the largest banks and non-bank providers of financial services, including the nation’s largest credit union. Credit unions that offer this standalone, cloud-based SaaS solution practically eliminate start-up costs. Plus they gain access to strategic marketing support, 24/7 help desk and advanced risk mitigation tools (such as duplicate detection). With Deposit-Express even the smallest credit unions can roll out proven mobile deposit products quickly and effortlessly, and compete head-to-head with large institutions in the race to attract millennials and grow over the long haul.

The ability to connect with and grow relationships with millennials is an imperative for financial institutions large and small. So, too, is the ability to attract and retain millennials as the demographic ages. Now is the time to start that process, and mobile deposit is a great place to start.