Financial education is a vital resource that benevolent banks and credit unions often provide as a consumer benefit, but its value extends beyond that. Consumers who are financially literate are major assets to their financial institution. According to a Raddon Research Insights study, when consumers become more financially informed, curious and engaged, they also become more profitable to the institutions that provide them with that education. Financial education is about reinvesting in the community and it’s also about ROI. The two can coexist.
Financially literate consumers are the ideal consumers. They feel their institution provides education for the greater good, rather than for their own benefit; they are more open to advice and guidance from their institution; they exhibit higher usage of most savings and investment products, and they are more self-sufficient and less likely to occupy bank employees’ time. What’s more, over one-third of consumers say they want this resource and they want it from their primary financial institution most.
EVERFI research on financial services consumer loyalty backs up the findings of the Raddon Research Insights study: 80% of consumers say they better understand the products and services provided by their financial institutions after taking a financial education course; 64% say they think about their finances differently after taking a financial education course; 56% say they are more likely to use the products and services provided by their financial institutions after taking a financial education course.
The consideration should not be whether or not you should offer a financial education program. The question should be: What is the most effective way to do so?
A successful financial education initiative requires a combination of high-quality programming and effective promotion. To make the most of your initiative, the Raddon report suggests: starting outreach early in a consumer’s financial life; offering education in digestible chunks; prioritizing the most popular topics (financial planning, retirement, wealth management); and rewarding customers when they successfully apply what they learned in your program.
More than 730 financial institutions have chosen EVERFI as their financial education partner. EVERFI’s program consists of a customizable, digital platform with 50 “bite-sized” learning modules covering critical financial topics, such as Budgeting, Credit Scores & Reports, Auto Loans, Retirement 101 and many more.
One Florida-based partner used the EVERFI tools as part of their moveUP financial wellness program offered to the general public. Their philosophy was to reach consumers early on in order to build a pipeline of savvy, credit-worthy potential future members. They heavily promoted the initiative and the first six weeks of the program included: a record number of new accounts opened on a single day, the biggest uptick in unsecured personal loans to date (41% increase from year prior), and 736 in-branch appointments sourced from 1,382 completed modules (53% conversion rate).
A Midwest credit union with 44,000 members aimed to engage millennial consumers, with little to no credit history, through its First-Time Auto Buyer Program, publicized through billboard ads, in-branch materials, targeted emails and social media. Not only did the credit union use EVERFI’s program to educate prospective car buyers, but they also granted reduced interest rates to those who completed the program. In its first 18 months, the program yielded $3.2 million in loan production for the credit union.