Join our webinar June 7th 1PM

Financial Education as a Digital Marketing Tool

Join our webinar June 7th 1PM

Join our webinar on June 7th 1PM EST to learn about how you can leverage financial education.

Four Reasons Why Financial Institutions Should be Paying Attention to Financial Education

Increasingly, financial institutions are leveraging digital financial education to market products and services to a highly targeted and responsive audience. In fact, a recent EverFi survey found that 89 percent of banks and credit unions are already using financial education as a part of their digital marketing strategy, while 45 percent are planning to increase their budget in this area. If you’re not investing in financial education as a digital marketing tool, here are four reasons why you should be:

  1. Consumers interested in financial education are hot leads
    Consumers who are seeking out financial education are already expressing interest in financial services—meaning they have “self-selected” as hot leads. By offering valuable, reliable information, banks and credit unions are positioning themselves as trusted sources of information, and are perfectly positioned to (very selectively) pitch relevant products and services.
  2. Financial education offers highly segmented audiences
    Offering digital financial education programs tailored to different topics and life stages allows banks and credit unions to segment this audience even further. For instance, a young Millennial learning about student loans might also be interested in an auto loan for their first car, while a mid-career earner researching retirement plans might be interested in learning about other investments.
  3. Going digital means accessing your audience anywhere, anytime
    Providing online financial education programming allows your institution an unprecedented reach—banks and credit unions can access their audience anywhere, anytime—via mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and other devices.
  4. Everyone else is doing it
    We’ve already learned that 89 percent of all financial institutions already provide online financial education. With that in mind, the most compelling argument for investing in this marketing tool might be that if you aren’t offering it, your customers will quickly find someone else who is.

Bottom line? In today’s on-demand digital world, if your marketing plan does not include digital financial education, you’re missing out on the chance to both attract and retain customers. For more information on how to leverage financial education for marketing, join our webinar June 7th at 1PM EST.

Financial Capability

The Evolution of Financial Literacy into Financial Capability

With Financial Literacy Month coming to a close, it’s time to ask an important question: should our industry be striving for more than just “literacy?”

In today’s world, we carry around a wealth of financial knowledge in our pockets. Our smartphones ensure that we’re never more than a few screen taps away from the answers to all of our questions. If you think about, carrying a smartphone is like having a bank or credit union branch in your pocket. Yet we’re still celebrating Financial Literacy Month like nothing has changed—when, in reality, a lot has changed.

Taken at its most basic definition, literacy is the ability to read and write. And while an understanding of financial products and terminology may have been a worthy goal for bank and credit union customers in the past, the bar needs to be raised for a world of technology and complex financial decision-making.

Tune in to our webinar on April 25th, 1-2pm ET to hear more on why your bank or credit union should focus on financial capability this Fin Lit Month.

Tune in to our webinar on April 25th, 1-2pm ET to hear more on why your financial institution should focus on financial capability this Fin Lit Month.

A Brief History of Financial Literacy

The first acknowledgement of a need for financial literacy might be this letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson in 1787 (since we at EverFi are in Washington DC, we love this kind of historical reference). However, the term itself wouldn’t start to gain popularity until after the 1914 passage of the Smith-Lever Act, which focused on providing citizens with necessary learning experiences, including financial education.

For the majority of the 20th century, financial literacy continued to be a relevant term. But most financial educational tools were text-based, so absorbing this knowledge involved a lot of reading and writing. As it did for many industries, technology soon changed everything.

Smartphones Change Everything

On January 9, 2007, the very first iPhone was announced, and everything changed. Now, people can get the knowledge they need quickly and easily; anything you want to know can be found in seconds. And with more information available, people are able to do more research before making important decisions.

Beyond access to knowledge, smartphones also give people the ability to take action from the palm of their hand. They can read Amazon reviews to research a product, then purchase it with a single click. They can download their bank’s app and have access to financial education, then put that education to use right away by making changes to their accounts. These interactions go well beyond simply becoming literate; instead, smartphones allow users to achieve proficiency and take immediate action.  

Moving Beyond Financial Literacy to Financial Capability

Consider a customer who is aware of both bank services and check-cashing services—the latter of which can be predatory, tacking on huge service fees. The customer already has the financial literacy to know that each option exists. But to achieve true financial capability, this hypothetical customer needs the confidence and strategic attitude to make the connection that a banking product would be a better choice for their long-term financial health.  

That’s why we think it’s time to replace financial literacy with a more impactful term: financial capability. Financial capability is the set of knowledge, attitudes, habits, and confidence in one’s ability to control one’s finances that a consumer needs to build his or her financial wellbeing. In other words, it’s not just a matter of being literate about your financial options—it’s having the capability to use that literacy to make good decisions.

In order to change the conversation surrounding financial education standards, we need to change the industry expectations. So, in April 2018, let’s not celebrate Financial Literacy Month anymore. Instead, let’s raise the bar.  Let’s plan a big, impactful, and action-oriented month.  Let’s have Financial Capability Month.

P.S. – Download our mini guide, Developing Financial Capability Across Every Stage of Life: Why Financial Education Should Start Early, to learn how your financial institution can improve its financial education initiatives.

Financial Marketing and Millennials: By the Numbers

For financial institutions seeking to attract the millennial demographic, using technology is the key—especially technology that is optimized for mobile devices. Not convinced? Here are some mind-blowing statistics around millennials and mobile that you should know to influence your financial marketing strategy:

Financial marketers looking to engage millennials must leverage mobile technology as part of their financial marketing strategy.

Financial marketers focused on engaging millennials must leverage mobile technology as part of their financial marketing strategy.

  • Millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) have the highest rate of mobile usage of any other demographic.
  • A whopping 97% of millennials have used a mobile device to access online content. For 1/5 of millennials, mobile devices are the only way they access the Web.[1]
  • The average adult checks their phone 30 times a day. That sounds like a lot. But the average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times a day![2]
  • Does your website work well on all devices? Because 40% of people will abandon their first choice of a search result if it isn’t mobile friendly.[3]
  • Are your emails optimized for mobile, as well? We hope so, because 91% of people checking email on their phones will ignore marketing emails if they are not optimized or linking to pages that are mobile-friendly.[4]
  • When it comes to financial education, we here at EverFi found that 36% of our adult users used their phones to access our financial education content—in 2017 alone.
  • Does your bank or credit union offer financial education? Because millennials are 24% more likely than Baby Boomers to value financial education from their bank as an important feature.[5]

Taken together, these statistic make it clearer than ever: banks and credit unions that want to attract millennials should be focusing on providing a great mobile experience for this demographic.

For more information on how to connect with this “mobile generation,” download our new white paper, The Financial Marketer’s Guide to Acquiring Millennial Consumers Through Mobile.

 

[1] 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus. (n.d.). Retrieved December 16, 2016, from http://www.comscore.com/ Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2016/2016-US-Cross-Platform-Future-in-Focus

[2] SMW Staff (2016). Millennials Check Their Phones More Than 157 Times Per Day | Social Media Week. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://socialmediaweek.org/newyork/2016/05/31/millennials-check-phones-157-timesper-day

[3] De, D. (n.d.). Financial services in a mobile-fi rst world. Retrieved December 16, 2016, from http://forum2016.com/ wp-content/uploads/presentations/Financial_Services_In_a_Mobile_First_World.pdf

[4] Van Rije, J. (n.d.). The ultimate mobile email statistics overview. Retrieved December 16, 2016, from http://www. emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics

[5] Study: Millennials Value Financial Education, Guidance and Mobile Account Access from Their Financial Services Providers. (2016). Retrieved December 16, 2016, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/study-millennials-value-fi nancial-education-guidance-and-mobile-account-access-from-their-fi nancial-services-providers-300346661.html

Marketing to Millennials: What Not to Do

As the millennial generation ages into more prominent jobs and accumulates greater wealth, banks and credit unions are quickly realizing they need to improve their financial marketing strategy to attract this elusive demographic. But despite the fact that this generation seems to be online at all times, it takes more than a fancy website to make a connection. While many financial institutions have been online for years, attracting millennials requires a full understanding of this demographic to drive impact.

Millennials learn and bank differently than previous generations. Learn how your financial institution can attract this elusive demographic.

Millennials learn and bank differently than previous generations. Learn how your financial institution can attract this elusive demographic.

Here are two of the most common financial marketing mistakes that banks and credit unions make targeting millennials:

  • Neglecting Mobile

Always on-the-go, millennials today are more likely to be surfing the Web on a device than they are on a computer. Yet many financial institutions still neglect to ensure that their websites and marketing materials are optimized for mobile devices. When designing anything that will live online, from website menus to online programs, ensure that your designs are compatible with mobile devices of all sizes—and will work in different browser types (including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and IE). Better yet, consider designing for mobile from the start.

  • Overly Long or Text-based Content

Millennials are fast-moving multitaskers. They want to maximize the “downtime” in the cracks and crevices as they move through their daily life: sitting on the metro, waiting for a friend at a bar, or even in the final moments before drifting off to sleep. Help them do that my creating content that is short and to-the-point. For best results, consider infographics, videos, and short, crisp articles that relay maximum information.

How To Improve Your Millennial Marketing Strategy

Banks and credit unions that want to connect with the millennial generation would be wise to meet them where they are—which, today, is online as they’re out and about. But it has to be done right. For more tips on how to avoid marketing pitfalls, check out our mini-guide

 

SOS: Why Your Financial Marketing Strategy Needs Saving

The internet is awash in articles about digital marketing, but many banks and credit unions are still not taking full advantage of technology to connect with customers and prospects. But today, if you are not leveraging technology to make your services as accessible as possible, you’re losing out to the competition. Let’s take a look at three important points on why financial institutions need to incorporate technology into their financial marketing strategy:

93 percent of 13-year olds check social media at least once daily. Learn why financial institutions need to incorporate digital into their financial marketing strategy.

93 percent of 13-year olds check social media at least once daily. Learn why financial institutions need to incorporate digital into their financial marketing strategy.

Consumption of technology is only increasing over time

While the millennial generation started the trend for technology usage, the following generations are rapidly outpacing them. According to a recent report, the average tween spends nine hours a day on an electronic device, and another study found that 93 percent of 13-year olds check social media at least once daily. Financial institutions that want to attract the newer generations need to be maximizing technology now.

New players are entering the financial playing field

Technology has allowed non-traditional entities to compete in the financial space. These new players often have no actual brick-and-mortar branch—instead, they offer instant access via websites and mobile apps. Consumers are already turning to these non-traditional entities to pay bills, transfer money online, and search for loans.

It’s not too late to join the digital revolution, but it soon will be. Banks and credit unions still have an advantage—trusted brand names and connections with Baby Boomers and Generation Xers who may advise their children to use the same institution. But the time to act is now. Financial institutions that ignore these new players and new technologies risk becoming irrelevant in the near future.

Financial institutions are positioned to take advantage of digital financial education

Banks and credit unions have another built-in advantage: financial education. Since brick-and-mortar financial institutions are already considered trusted sources of information, they should be leveraging this trust to offer financial education as a way to reach current and prospective customers. Programming that is highly relevant to consumers’ needs and available in real-time via a range of devices allows consumers to learn when they’re standing in line or sitting on the subway. Technology allows consumers to reach you anytime, anywhere—and your financial education should do the same.

For more information on how to leverage technology as part of your financial marketing strategy to reach new customers, download 10 Key Imperatives of Financial Digital Marketing: A Financial Services Marketing Guide for Improving Your Millennial and Consumer Engagement Strategy.

Uplift and Enlighten: Community Financial Education

For Washington Federal, giving back to the community is a vital part of their company mission. And by teaming up with EverFi, Washington Federal was able to create an outreach program that delivers community financial education to those who need it the most.

8,000 students taught. 37,000 hours trained. One underserved community reached. Learn how Washington Federal gives back with community financial education.

Download our guide, Supporting Communities Through Financial Education, to learn more.

Individual employees play a key role in the bank’s outreach program, as they have first-hand knowledge of what the needs in their own communities are. EverFi makes it easy for employees to volunteer by setting up visits and providing learning modules tailored to specific demographics—whether it be seniors, low-income families, or college students. As Ann Hall, vice president of community relations, puts it, “EverFi takes care of so much, so that we can go out and do what we do best: help our community improve their financial decision making – especially with those who need it most.”

Washington Federal knows that it is also critical to reach the next generation, so EverFi helped the bank launch the Washington Federal Financial Scholars Program, which offers online financial education programming to schools at no cost. To date, the program has reached more than 8,000 students who have completed more than 37,000 hours of training. And the work is clearly paying off—at the end of the program, students showed an average improvement of 87 percent in financial knowledge.

With the ability to provide accessible, high-quality online financial education through their partnership with EverFi, Washington Federal now has the freedom to focus on what’s most important: helping the most vulnerable members of their communities improve their financial wellness.

To learn more about how EverFi can help your institution create a successful and meaningful community financial education program, request a free demo.

How to Use Education as a Financial Millennial Marketing Magnet

As millennials move up the career ladder and begin making investments, attracting them as new customers has become critical for the health of banks and credit unions. But wooing this elusive demographic remains a challenge. For financial institutions, offering digital financial education and mobile-accessible services are the keys to a successful financial millennial marketing strategy. Here’s how and why:

Wooing the elusive millennial remains a challenge for financial institutions. Download our guide, 10 Key Imperatives of Financial Digital Marketing, to learn why education as financial millennial marketing can help, and how.

Wooing the elusive millennial remains a challenge for financial institutions. Download our guide, 10 Key Imperatives of Financial Digital Marketing, to learn why education as financial millennial marketing can help, and how.

Millennials expect their banks to be digital and mobile

For this digitally savvy generation, being able to access information on-demand is crucial. According to a recent FICO survey, 63 percent of millennials already use mobile banking apps. If you’re not providing a seamless digital and mobile experience, millennials will find a financial institution that is.

Millennials want and seek financial education

Compared to other demographics, millennials are 24 percent more likely to consider financial education an important feature of a financial institution. Given that research also shows that millennials have less financial knowledge than other generations, on-demand financial education, available through a variety of devices, is a cornerstone of any financial institution marketing strategy.

Making your institution mobile-friendly also helps attract other demographics

Although they are leading the charge, millennials are not the only ones using technology. As an added bonus, making more of your financial institution’s services digital and mobile-friendly will also help attract other demographics. According to an EverFi study, 1 in 5 parents expect that banks will help teach their children about money; increasing that number will expand your financial institutions’ role in families’ lives, building cross-generational loyalty.

For more information on how to optimize your financial millennial marketing strategy through technology, download our free white paper, 10 Key Imperatives of Financial Digital Marketing.

How Your Bank Can Improve Family Financial Wellness

Recent research from EverFi has revealed significant gaps in family financial capability in the United States, with only 43 percent of all parents reporting that they feel prepared to talk about finances with their children. Fortunately, as trusted sources of financial information, banks and credit unions are perfectly positioned to help families fill these financial literacy gaps. Here are five ways your bank can make a difference.

Only 43 percent of parents feel prepared to talk about finances with their kids. Learn 5 ways financial institutions can foster family financial wellness.

Only 43 percent of parents feel prepared to talk about finances with their kids. Learn 5 ways financial institutions can foster family financial wellness.

Provide resources for financial education

Ideally, the financial education you provide should cover three audiences: children, adults, and parents talking to children. Make sure these resources are available as an unbiased set of resources and resist the urge to sell to your customers.

Make these resources readily available

In addition to offering financial education to your loyal customers, your bank should also make your resources readily available and searchable on your website for new prospects.

Educate employees

Your employees are on the front lines of meeting with customers, so making their personal financial education an on-going process ensures your customers are getting the best engagement and information possible.

Embrace banking for kids

Along with offering financial education for kids, your bank can also promote entry-level accounts for young people interested in learning financial capability on a small scale. This allows kids to practice working with financial institutions and learning about money—early on.

Support financial education in schools

School-based financial education can make a big difference in improving financial capability. By supporting and promoting these programs, your financial institution can increase accessibility to education for underbanked communities—and also help to fulfill your CRA requirement.

 

For more information on EverFi’s research into family financial wellness, and how financial institutions can get involved, download our free white paper, 5 Strategies Every Bank Can Use to Improve Family Financial Capability, here.

EverFi and BB&T Congratulate Winners of the 2016-2017 BB&T Student Blog Contest

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-2-24-20-pmThis past winter break, BB&T and EverFi selected and recognized four winners of the 2016-17 BB&T LEGACY: A Leadership Challenge blog contest. Students from over 800 high schools that participated in BB&T Financial Foundations program in Fall 2016 were eligible to enter. After completing the BB&T Financial Foundations program, students had the opportunity to download and play LEGACY: A BB&T Leadership Challenge, BB&T’s digital leadership app. Students were then invited to answer one of three questions that asked them to reflect, analyze and share their thoughts and opinions on leadership. Winners were selected based on their ability to effectively convey their thoughts, quality of their writing and their originality. All four winners demonstrated impressive understanding of what it means to be a leader.

Raven, a student at Wakefield High School in North Carolina wrote about the relationship between a leader and his or her community:

“I learned new tactics to be an effective leader in the community such as exercising patience, asking questions to understand the needs of the people, and allowing individuals to make their own decisions with the information provided. An individual’s approach to these methods could add or subtract from their legacy. An effective leader is not merely knowledgeable, but open to receiving help from others in the community. Legacy highlights the power of combining ideas to create a better society. In the interactive game, a single individual’s passion for construction allows for the dreams of his neighbors to come to fruition. Everyone’s unique talents can be utilized for the benefit of the community while providing them with a rewarding livelihood.”

Lyric, a student at North Springs High School in Georgia shared how LEGACY allowed her to recognize a leader in her life:

Teacher Ms. Daniel presents winning student Lyric with her award.

“After completing the leadership challenge, I realized I have a lot of inspirational leaders in my life. The one I will describe is my teacher, Ms. Kimberly Daniel. The app showed me that leaders have a lot of quality characteristics, but I believe the most important three are patience, decisiveness, and persistence….After seeing her coach my team and all of our different personalities, I saw all the patience she had. In basketball you have to choose your team with confidence and know which players work well with one another. Coach always knew who to put in and when in order for our team to be successful. Lastly, I can honestly say she has mastered the consistent component of her leadership qualities. Even though she doesn’t coach anymore, she still faithfully comes to my games and tells me constantly what I can do to be better and play at the next level.”

 

 

Celia, a student at Echols County High School in Georgia talked about an inspiring leader in her life:

“Coach Ade looks like a human hulk. He was intimidating to say the least. He is the leader that everyone wants to know. He doesn’t dictate your every move. He is patient and ready to lend a hand. However, those traits are not what makes Coach Ade the leader Legacy taught me about. Coach Ade is special because he knows my boundaries better than I do. He makes sure I understand that being able to come back tomorrow, painless and without a cane is the goal. However, we still celebrate tiny gains. I don’t complain when I feel pain, but Coach Ade still knows when I’m hurting. He will always respond with a question, which makes me really consider what I am doing. Coach Ade is positive and never gives in to me wanting to push past my abilities. Upon completing Legacy, I realized how much Coach Ade resembled the character I played. He is an uplifting soul, who puts his athletes before his self. He has shown me that I can be capable and still keep within my boundaries. Throughout Legacy, many characters were crowned Victorious People. Legacy needs another Victorious person. His name is Coach Ade and he is my leader.”

Peter Okolocha,  a student from Meadowcreek High School in Georgia described what he believes makes and defines a leader:

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

Winning student Peter with his teacher and family.

“Leaders are not born but are made by their experiences, successes and failures. Ideally, a leader is an individual that has built up their credibility, empathy, and excellent communication and decision-making skills. Credibility is one of the major foundations of being a leader. Credible leaders are often consistent and reliable in their thoughts, beliefs, and behavior. They are steadfast in their choices and refuse to reversing decisions…Leaders are often perceived as assuring, confident, and motivational individuals that contribute a lot to their environment and workplace. They elicit the best in people around them. They learn from their mistakes and failures in order to strive for something better. Legacy: A BB&T leadership app has been and still is a valuable asset in analyzing attributes and skills tied to being a leader and how to become one of the best.”

Congratulations our four winners, who each received a $500 gift card, their teachers who received a $250 gift card and to their schools.  

 

10 Tips to Improve CRA Performance in the New Year

10 Tips to Improve CRA Performance in the New Year

Staying compliant with the Community Reinvestment Act is crucial to the health and success of all banks. But why stop at simply meeting a standard when exceeding requirements can benefit your institution from a business perspective? By improving your CRA performance, you not only remain compliant, but can also take advantage of a growth opportunity in the new year.

10 Tips to Improve CRA Performance in the New Year

Download EverFi’s guide: 10 Big Ideas to Improve Your CRA Outcomes

Here are 10 tips for better CRA performance in 2017:

  • Stay ahead of the curve. Standards for complying with the CRA are going up, so now is the time to position yourself to exceed expectations.
  • Prioritize financial education. Investing in financial education for students and adults—especially underbanked communities—can have a big return for financial institutions by bringing in new customers and creating additional customer loyalty.
  • Make sure you measure. You want to be able to prove your initiatives are working. Setting measurable outcomes is the best way to do this—and it makes it easy for your CRA evaluator, as well.  
  • Interact. Use technology to engage with your target audiences—anywhere, and any time—through various mediums, including videos, games, apps, and others.
  • Test before and after. To determine if your education initiatives are effective, test participants’ financial literacy both before and after each course. This also makes it easy to demonstrate success to your CRA evaluator.  
  • Gather valuable data. Make sure the data from your measurable outcomes and results is readily available for when regulators ask. The more information, the better.
  • Don’t be afraid to go digital. Investing in online courses allows you to reach many more learners at a lower cost—anywhere, any time. Not only is interactive online financial education more scalable than classroom education, but it also has a higher return on investment.
  • Don’t wait. Making improvements to your CRA program now means you won’t have to scramble after receiving a “Needs Improvement” rating.
  • Maximize your return. Giving back to the community through effective financial education programs also creates brand loyalty and attracts new customers—that way, everyone wins.

Technology has made it easier than ever before to reach new audiences and to measure program effectiveness. Learn more about how EverFi can help you with CRA performance by downloading EverFi’s guide, 10 Big Ideas to Improve Your CRA Outcomes.