Now that the number of millennial consumers in the market outnumbers Baby Boomers – 83 million according to U.S. Census data – credit unions know it is time to get serious about reaching this audience. One positive characteristic of this demographic for credit union messaging is a distinct distrust of big banks and the lack of relationship with any financial entity.

A recent report entitled “A New Look at Millennials and Credit Unions in America” (produced by Financial Partners Credit Union, GTE Financial, Patelco Credit Union, and The Center for Generational Kinetics LLC) revealed that more than half (53 percent) of millennials can’t distinguish between a credit union and a bank. Moreover, 73 percent of millennials do not understand that credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions.

This is where credit unions can make significant headway. Financial literacy efforts, specifically targeting young adults between the ages of 18-25 years old, are recommended as a result of the study. This is a critical time when young people are taking first jobs, getting married, having children, renting apartments, taking out mortgages and buying cars. For more on these findings, read CUJournal.