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Paper Thinking younger members Look to Hispanic market
DES MOINES, Iowa (11/4/11)--Community financial institutions (FI), including credit unions, should look to the Hispanic market to attract younger customers/members, according to a new white paper co-authored by Konrad Christensen of card processor The Members Group and Miriam De Dios of Hispanic-market strategies firm Coopera.

"The average age of a community FI customer hovers around 45," the paper said. "While it's true that consumers in this age bracket are at the height of their earning and spending potential, it's also true that these 40-somethings won't stay that age forever. For that reason, lowering the average age of an FI's customer base is on strategic minds everywhere."

Hispanic prospects are a good path to follow when pursuing a lower average age for customers/members, Christensen and De Dios suggest. The Hispanic community--of which as many as 50% are unbanked or underserved--also represents an opportunity for community financial institutions with a "people helping people" philosophy, they wrote.

The paper discusses best practices for reaching a Hispanic youth audience, including marketing and community relations tactics, product implementations and financial education programming. However, the paper also suggests that financial institutions can be successful at reaching young Hispanics through their parents.

"With a strong sense of responsibility to family, a large number of Hispanic teens are living in tight-knit households where pride and self-reliance are core values," wrote the authors. "Many have been handed down a mistrust of  financial institutions, but will follow the lead of their parents where financial management is concerned."

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