As a minority and having grown up in a predominantly immigrant community, I know firsthand the struggles that families face in regards to financial services. Knowledge of and accessibility to credit unions was not something I knew about when opening my first bank account. Fast forward to a decade or two since then, and many minority groups face similar barriers of not being aware of financial services and resources.
Many credit unions lack the tools to properly market to minority households, meanwhile, large banks and predatory lenders have long tapped into this demographic and are making large profits as a result. Credit unions collectively share a desire of making a positive impact on members’ financial lives, especially underbanked and underserved communities like minorities. In an effort to help bridge this gap, I’ve outlined five quick tips on how to help your credit union better reach minority households.
5. Provide Financial Education
To bring your efforts full circle, providing financial education helps both members and institutions alike. Members that are better educated in financial matters can make better choices and can ultimately lead to more engaged member relationships. A large number of credit unions already offer financial education to their members with the help of industry partners that offer great financial education products, content and modules (such as EverFI, SavvyMoney, and GreenPath). However, these tools only work under the assumption that members are fluent in English, literate, have access to internet and/or mobile devices and are familiar with where they can find them. Alternative methods could involve hosting in-person workshops either in a branch or in a community hotspot, or publishing educational videos in other languages via popular social media channels.