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Author: Craig Simms

Author: Craig Simms

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beneficiary designation

Three Key Questions to Ask Before Completing a Will

Both wills and beneficiary designations are integral parts of an estate plan. It doesn’t matter if you have $50,000 of property and assets or $5 million, understanding the difference between these “pass-along” vehicles is important.

Credit Unions Adding Free Financial Education Tools to Attract Members

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Credit unions are increasingly using digital financial wellness tools to attract younger members and retain and delight older clients. Complementary online tools, competitive products and effective, multi-platform member communication are keys to credit unions retaining their branding advantage as a true “bank alternative.”

Go “Hybrid-Digital” 

OK, so I made up the Hybrid-Digital term. But at its essence, combining digital tools with superior voice-to-voice and face-to-face interactions for members will continue to distinguish credit unions in a crowded online and offline banking marketplace. This unique combination of communication and support allows members to choose how they want to interact with your institution. The Credit Union Times concurs. “Consumers may continue to embrace this digital life, as automated self-service becomes the norm. Consumers may also find they miss in-person experiences and seek out valuable “human-first” interactions. Neither of these worlds is unlikely – and neither is inevitable. More likely we end up with some mix of the two.”

Integrating the hybrid-digital mindset into all member touch points is critical in driving new memberships and retaining loyal customers. According to CU Insight, credit unions that are successful in driving new memberships across various age demographics have four things in common. They:

  • Embrace technology
  • Provide financial literacy
  • Offer competitive products
  • Offer wealth services and advice, tailored to targeted age groups

Let’s break down the first two of these initiatives and discuss how credit unions can grow membership by deploying both of these as part of a larger marketing and communications strategy.

Embrace Technology

Young customers want digital access to products and tools for sure. But don’t underestimate the value of making technology available for older members. One of the “COVID-effects” has been an acceptance and even preference of age 60+ audiences to have digital tools and account access available from the comfort of their barcalounger. These tools can include:

  • Online banking enrollment (checking, savings)
  • Online applications for loans, credit cards, etc.
  • Online and offline financial fitness tools, including webinars, seminars and online tools and learning vehicles(see below)
  • Finance calculators including loans, college planning and investment goal platforms

Support Financial Literacy

Credit unions provide consumers a different way to bank, based on establishing a unique relationship with members. They have an opportunity to empower members by offering competitive, beneficial financial products and adding free financial literacy resources and programs.

Some of these financial education programs, like Bonzai, present fun, interactive platforms for financial learning and are presented right on the “learning” portion of the credit union website. Other financial fitness options include presenting complementary, viable, online document management tools like wills, advance health directives and personal financial information storage platforms.

Financial literacy programs can be powerful tools across multiple target audiences:

  • Adult members via online tools, in-person and virtual seminars
  • Students, via in-school “lunch and learn” sessions and educational materials
  • Educators, via course materials or even credit union employees teaching special sessions for high school students as part of an economics class, for instance.

The Value of End-of-Life Planning Tools

One example of an online tool that is extremely valuable to members, especially those age 40+, is a last will & testament. Only 42% of Americans have a will in place, and that number gets even smaller at younger age groups (only 36% of those ages 30-49 have a will). 

Credit unions have an opportunity to enhance member financial fitness, add value to existing memberships and attract new members by offering a complimentary online last will & testament and associated end-of-life planning products like an Advance Health Directive and Financial Power of Attorney. LifeLegacy customizes these tools to meet the branding needs of each institution and even allows additional questions to be embedded in the will to better understand the member’s needs and potentially drive new product sales. Members receive this benefit for free, and the participating credit union pays an annual subscription fee to host the wills platform.

For more information, contact Craig Simms at craig@lifelegacy.io.

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beneficiary designation

Three Key Questions to Ask Before Completing a Will

Both wills and beneficiary designations are integral parts of an estate plan. It doesn’t matter if you have $50,000 of property and assets or $5 million, understanding the difference between these “pass-along” vehicles is important.

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