This post authored by Taylor W. Wells, Communications Director with On The Mark Strategies

The Financial Brand Forum is always a terrific event for banking and credit union professionals to gather, network and learn from a diverse array of keynote and breakout speakers. This year’s event in May at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was no exception.

One keynote speaker highlighted the up-and-coming Millennial generation and provided the audience with a series of startling statistics. Stats, while sometimes guilty of being tedious and boring, can also help serve to give us a kick in our complacency. The following stats about Millennials should do that for your bank or credit union.

  • 73% of Millennials would rather open a financial products or services account with an online company like Google, Amazon or Apple over a traditional bank or credit union
  • 33% of Millennials believe they don’t have a need for a bank or credit union at all
  • 32% of Millennials would give up sex before they gave up their smart phone

What can financial institution professionals derive from the statistics?

Action Item #1: You’d better make your bank or credit union as is easy to work with as Google, Amazon or Apple. With Google, a few taps of your fingers brings you the collective knowledge of the world (and quite a few cat videos). With Amazon, just a few clicks and virtually any item you might need for home or office is on its way. With Apple, you’ve got the power and status symbol of smart phones, tablets and desktops to help you accomplish personal or business goals. Your bank or credit union must strive to fill that financial products and services niche in the same way. No consumers want the hassle of lines, waiting or poor service. Your financial institution must be as fast and reliable as Google, Amazon or Apple if it wants a shot at retaining Millennials’ business.

Action Item #2: You must also prove your relevancy to Millennials. Give them a reason to use you and need you. More importantly, give them a reason to like you. Let’s face it – banks and credit unions just aren’t sexy. But they can fill a need in a consumer’s life (especially a Millennial) that warrants keeping them around. Maybe you’re the only place that will give them a second chance checking account, or maybe it’s financing for that much-needed vehicle. Or it could even be credit score counseling and education. However you can do it, you must prove to Millennials that they not only need you — but they should also like you.

Action Item #3: Good luck with this one. Priorities, people!

Most of the speakers at this year’s Forum spent at least some time talking about Millennials. Your bank or credit union is wise to prepare for their full-blown financial arrival soon.