by Zogo

Zogo spoke with five college and high school students to learn more about how younger generations perceive credit unions and banks. We asked the group which single word came to mind when they thought of both types of financial institutions:

Credit Unions

  • Caitlin: ‘Community’
  • Betty: ‘Obscure’
  • Tyler: ‘Membership’
  • Daija: ‘Personable’
  • Rebekah: ‘Safety’


  • Caitlin: ‘Large’
  • Betty: ‘Intimidating’
  • Tyler: ‘Interest’
  • Daija: ‘Intuitive’
  • Rebekah: ‘Accessible’

Students like a sense of community

It’s no surprise that this came across when we spoke with the group of students given the sheer popularity of social media amongst younger generations. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok foster and grow online communities within it, offering young people a sense of belonging, one that is often lost in the digital age. It is key for credit unions to make this association as Gen Zers want and need that sense of community, they just don’t realize it’s waiting for them at their financial institution!

Students want efficiency and accessibility

The students often brought up the importance of robust online services and ease of use when it comes to navigating their financial institution’s website and mobile app. They noted that for-profit institutions have significantly more money to put towards technological advancements but also mentioned the importance of the little things: appealing fonts and color schemes, successful UX (User Experience) design and ‘relatable’ content. Small changes like these are often overlooked by credit unions and don’t require as much investment as building out a new product – a few tweaks to a mobile app or a website can go a long way.

Students are still unaware of credit unions and their function

Of the group of students we spoke with, only those who had grown up with parents that used credit unions or had taken a personal finance class knew what a credit union was. One of the biggest challenges facing credit unions is how they can overcome their obscurity when it comes to the younger generations. Some of the students we spoke with had opted for banks purely because they didn’t realize the benefits and sense of community that credit unions offered. At Zogo, we’ve built a gamified financial literacy app that tackles this challenge head on and helps credit unions engage with the younger generations. Visit to meet with one of our Gen Z specialists and see how we can help your credit union tap into the future generations.

You can watch our full webinar – College students debate the upsides and downsides to banks vs credit unions – at Registrations are now open for our May roundtable discussion at