Credit unions say yes to financial literacy in a bid to engage the next generation now

  • Greenlight, the family focused fintech company, has recently launched Greenlight for Credit Unions.
  • From a credit union’s perspective, offering family banking tools to its members is about proactivity and sustained engagement.

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Credit unions say yes to financial literacy in a bid to engage the next generation now

Greenlight, the family focused fintech company, recently launched Greenlight for Credit Unions. The product builds upon its existing B2B offerings such as Greenlight for Banks and Greenlight for Employers, that package its banking app, debit card for teens, and financial literacy game Level Up for firms and banks that can offer these services free of charge to their customers and employees.

The company has also established a CUSO (Credit Union Service Organization) called Greenlight Financial CUSO after receiving an investment from Curql, a CUSO that focuses on fintech integrations in the credit union space. “We formed the Greenlight Financial CUSO to help better serve and support credit unions, their members, and families. The CUSO will allow us to deepen partnerships with the credit union community and accelerate our expansion in the credit union market,” said Matt Wolf, SVP of Business Development at Greenlight. 

For Greenlight, expanding the company’s presence within credit unions is not only strategically important but also builds upon its core mission.

 “We’re always looking for new ways to reach more families and help improve financial education for young people. We found that credit unions are similarly very focused on families, communities, and education, and saw a great opportunity to advance a shared mission together to help more parents raise financially smart kids,” Wolf added. 

From a credit union’s perspective, offering family banking tools to its members is about proactivity and sustained engagement: “Engaging young people early can help us establish trust and loyalty that can extend for decades. While young folks usually just have a simple savings account, building trust and loyalty with them will benefit us as they mature and their financial needs evolve. Our hope is that they are more likely to turn to South Bay Credit Union as they mature and eventually have additional needs for other financial products, such as auto loans, mortgages, or investment opportunities,” said Paris Chevalier, President & Chief Executive Officer of South Bay Credit Union.

“Engaging young people is essential for South Bay Credit Union to help secure our long-term viability, maintain community ties, and provide valuable financial services to a broader demographic.” 

While SBCU has been eyeing the financial literacy and family banking space for sometime, building such a solution on its own was not commercially viable. “We were looking for an innovative way to promote financial education and responsible money management to our younger members, but the cost associated with trying to build a similar program was too far out of reach for us as a smaller financial institution. The opportunity to partner with a reputable company that has already built trust within our community at a fraction of the price of us building our own was a no-brainer,” said Chevalier. 

The partnership has already started to pay off for South Bay Credit Union. The credit union is marketing the Greenlight product at public events and within its community, and has observed an increase in its member base. “We are seeing new families join the credit union to have access to the Greenlight program at no charge to them. In July 2023, we were pleased to see our highest new membership number in more than a year. Plus, this program has been a great speaking point that has helped open the door to us partnering with local schools and offering financial education to students,” he said

For credit unions, Greenlight’s products can serve as an on-ramp to their own products as well as a differentiator, according to Chevalier. This may be important in a high interest rate environment where customers are more likely to shop around to get more bang for their buck. 

Chevalier adds that he can see the impact of Greenlight’s product both professionally and personally. 

“Our young members frequently tell us that seeing deposits being made in real-time and watching their money accumulate in their account is a huge motivator for encouraging them to save. Personally, it’s been fun for me to see my two kids use the program. Because I’m able to customize the chores and activities for which they get paid — my daughter has never cleaned her room so frequently and my son has never read as frequently as he is now that he is incentivized to do so,” he said. 

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