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

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.

UKFCU: Boosting Member Financial Wellness with Digital Financial Education

As a member-owned financial cooperative, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union has an especially vested interest in their members’ financial decision making. Understanding that financial education technology could make a big difference for their members, they tapped into EverFi’s expertise to design digital financial education courses and implement a large-scale outreach initiative.

How the U. of Kentucky Credit Union launched an incentivized digital financial education program that boosted engagement and promoted auto loan sales.

Download EverFi’s case study, Driving Member Wellness Through Online Education: The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union

With EverFi’s digital financial education training modules, the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union was able to offer accessible financial education without taxing their limited staff resources. And, as an incentive for members to participate, they decided to offer a quarter-point interest rate discount on a new auto loan for any member who completed four training modules. This reward not only boosted participation, but it also had the added bonus of helping to promote auto loan sales.

The program proved to be hugely successful, with more than a third of the visitors to the credit union’s website taking time to engage with the auto loan discount program. Among members who registered for the program, 87 percent completed at least one module, with 37 percent completing the entire program.

The online education content has also helped the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union improve their digital presence and connect with hard-to-reach millennial members. Thanks to their partnership with EverFi, they’ve found a solution to member financial wellness where truly everyone wins.

To learn more about how the University of Kentucky improved member financial wellness and their digital financial marketing strategy with EverFi, read Driving Member Wellness Through Online Education: The University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union.

5 Tips to Reach Millennials Through Financial Education

Financial institutions are realizing that they must embrace innovative methods to engage with their audiences—and nowhere is this more true than with the millennial generation. As a demographic that is both less likely to seek professional financial advice and more likely to score low on financial literacy tests, providing millennials with technological options for receiving financial education—anytime, anywhere—is becoming a critical way for financial institutions to connect with this critical audience.

5 Tips to Connect With Millennials Through Financial Educuation

Download our report Reaching Millennial Consumers: Using Financial Education as Content Marketing

Here are five tips for connecting with millennials through financial education:  

Keep it short

Long lectures and lengthy programs aren’t likely to capture short attention spans. Leave it quick and to the point.

Make it relevant

Don’t bombard your audiences with information that isn’t relevant to their current stage of life. Instead, target current needs, like building credit and starting savings accounts.

Embrace mobile

For the generation that grew up with cell phones, if something’s not available on mobile, it might as well not exist. Optimizing education programs for mobile devices means that millennials can learn anytime, anywhere—whether commuting on the subway or standing in line at the grocery store.

Be authentic

Millennials value authentic interactions and are more likely to spot disingenuous intentions and “salesy” tactics. Here’s the good news: they’re also more likely to act as brand ambassadors for companies and organizations they believe in. Be informative and helpful—not solicitous—and you’ll be building a customer for life.

Don’t push

Since millennials tend to be marketing-savvy, be careful with how much you attempt to push or upsell early on. Rather than attempting to sell to them outright, allow your informative content to earn their trust, and then target only the most relevant offerings to them.

Research shows the millennial generation to be bright, open, and eager to expand its financial capability. When done well, financial education programs can connect with millennials and build lasting relationships.

To learn more about using financial education as a method of content marketing, download our report Reaching Millennial Consumers: Using Financial Education as Content Marketing.

4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities

For banks and financial institutions, engaging underbanked communities is key to spreading financial education and maintaining compliance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Fortunately, by leveraging technology and embracing the needs of students and young adults, reaching underbanked communities has never been more possible.

Download Guide: 4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities

Download our free guidebook, Technology is the New Branch: 4 Solutions to Reach Underbanked Communities, and learn about the trends, statistics, and strategies that will help you better meet the financial needs of your community.

Here are four solutions for using financial education to connect with the underbanked:

  1. Go mobile. Mobile usage has skyrocketed over the last several years, but enacting a comprehensive mobile strategy for financial education is especially important for reaching people with low-to-moderate incomes. Since smartphones are less expensive than computers and can perform most of the same functions, many use them as their main source of technology.
  2. Scale with digital. To reach more people in a way that is both scalable and cost effective, embrace digital learning. By providing financial education programs online or through an app, more people can have access to the information they need.
  3. Break down language barriers. A 2014 study by the National Council of La Raza found that 33 percent of Spanish speakers selected their bank with language accessibility in mind. Offering financial education solutions in multiple languages helps eliminate these barriers.
  4. Think beyond credit scores. According to FICO, 53 million people—the majority of whom are millennials or low-to-moderate income households—don’t have a credit score, making this standard that banks and credit unions use to evaluate consumers problematic. Instead, certificates and test scores for financial education courses could be used to determine credit risks for underbanked populations.

Employing strategies to reach underbanked communities means the next generation will be more informed and confident about their financial decision-making—and these four solutions are a great place to start. Learn more about how your financial institution can better reach underbanked communities.

To learn more about EverFi, visit us at EverFi.com/FinancialEd.

The Future of Community Reinvestment Act Compliance

Since Congress signed the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) in 1977, financial institutions have had a legal obligation to provide banking access and education to communities—particularly underbanked communities—within their geographic footprint. That obligation has not changed over the years, but the communities, as well and the ways in which financial institutions meet their needs, has. This relationship will continue evolve alongside technology. Here’s what the CRA future has in store.

Download Our Guide the Evolving Bank Branch: A Look at Tomorrow’s Community, Technology, and CRA

Download Our Guide the Evolving Bank Branch: A Look at Tomorrow’s Community, Technology, and CRA

 

Streamlined evaluation process

Technology has offered companies unprecedented access to data—and that data is becoming easier to gather, sort, and transmit. This will allow for a much simpler evaluation process and, potentially, an automated data collection system that would make the reporting and compliance process easier and more transparent for both FIs and regulators.

Increased access to financial education

Financial education is crucial to successfully engaging with underbanked communities and helping young people become financially capable; for FIs, providing that education is becoming easier and more accessible as technology improves. Not only does greater education accessibility help FIs maintain CRA compliance, but as financial education service platforms become more personalized and customized, more data can be collected about individual learners. This will help FIs measure both the effectiveness of their programs and the financial wellness of their communities.

Greater focus on the the individual

Thanks to this increased ease of data collection, expect the requirements of the Community Reinvestment Act to become significantly more individualized in scope. With so much information about the individual available, it’s likely that financial capability will be determined by more than just a credit score. Instead, FIs can determine loan risks on a more individualized basis, allowing for a greater number of underbanked populations to qualify for services.

Data-driven processes and predictive analytics are already changing the playing field. In the future, expect these two factors to play an increased role in not only how CRA regulators evaluate compliance, but how FIs engage with the communities they serve as well.

To learn more about how FIs can meet and exceed Community Reinvestment Act requirements through technology and financial education, visit EverFi.com/FinancialEd.