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Filtered Research Reports

Money Talk: Shifting the Financial Landscape

Filene’s Center for Consumer Decision Making hosted a colloquium to explore the financial experience of the Millennial generation and elicit insights from researchers and a panel of twentysomethings, providing insights for financial industry leaders.  Filene thanks its generous sponsor for helping to make this event possible.

Financial Preferences and Attributes of Middle-Income Investors

The American middle class has a profound market influence and encompasses a diverse spectrum of indi­viduals across a wide household income range. Members of these households generally range from “getting by” to living comfortably. More importantly, they are characterized by their aspirational lifestyles and seek home ownership, family stability, and...

It’s a Money Thing: Clever Financial Education Content Increases Engagement

Since the recession of 2008 many players have rushed to the financial literacy marketplace. In January 2010, President Obama created the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability and charged them with “assisting the American people in understanding financial matters and making informed financial decisions." Over 20 states now require that...

Understanding the LGBT Opportunity in Financial Services

Over the years, credit unions have proactively sought to understand and serve particular consumer segments, such as immigrants, Latinos, and millennials. Similarly, the LGBT community is characterized by a distinct set of financial needs, capabilities, and priorities. With the success of the same-sex marriage movement and the national attention on transgender issues, LGBT persons are...

Coming of Age: Young Adults in 2015

It's predicted by 2025 three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. By now, a majority of credit unions understand the importance of engaging young adults. But how? From innovative to simple, there are numerous strategies at your disposal to grow young adult membership. At the core of any...

2014 Consumer Sentiment: Risk Aversion and Household Inequality

The recovery is here but not here. Consumer sentiment, as measured by spending, investing, and borrowing intentions, is an important indicator, especially when growth is lumpy, spread unevenly by region or industry. Feelings of confidence beget investments and risk taking. More importantly for credit unions, confidence leads to member borrowing—for homes, for cars,...

Segmenting Canadian and American Immigrant Prospects

Immigrants come from a variety of backgrounds – different countries, ethnicities, education, and experiences. North America has a proud and storied history of welcoming people from all over the world. For financial services, this presents a continual opportunity to engage.   In fact, in both Canada and the United States,...

Beyond Engagement: Social Media Drives Business Results

It’s essential for organizations, including credit unions, to not only maintain a consistent presence on social media networks, but also to create an effective social media strategy so they stay relevant in today’s competitive business environment. Many potential new members and new hires will not even consider a credit union that doesn’t have a consistent presence...

Big Data and Credit Unions: Machine Learning in Member Transactions

Companies as varied as Amazon, Google, Walmart, and Wells Fargo are turning to “big data” for customer insights that will help them serve clients and capture market share. Big data is the analysis of huge data sets, and while individual credit unions may not have the resources of a corporate giant, advances in...

Predicting Members’ Choice of Auto Lender: Borrowing from Credit Unions or Elsewhere?

In 2013, auto sales are creeping back toward pre-recession levels (2012 ended with 14.8 million units sold), which is helping credit unions bolster lending. The expanding market also opens up opportunities for growing market share. By unit volume, auto loans are still the largest piece of US credit unions’ lending portfolio. This research was designed...

Financial Services Needs of Immigrant Communities in Canada and the United States

This report is the result of a collaboration between the Filene Research Institute and Credit Union Central of Canada (CUCC). It aims to introduce the context, challenges, and nuances of serving immigrant communities. The report is broken down into four chapters. The first outlines demographic trends of the immigrant populations in Canada...

Key Findings: Blueprints for Innovation (Fall 2012)

Ideas can come from anywhere, but it is more interesting to see where ideas are going. In this round of i3 we present seven new concepts for your credit union—five of which have the potential for full market implementation in the near future. Typically, an i3 concept has a 15 percent chance of making...

Exploring Cooperative Management

Credit unions are cooperatives, of course, but what does that mean in practice? On the one hand, a credit union looks a lot like any business in that it needs revenue to exceed expenses, members must be well cared for, and employees must be paid. But in very interesting ways,...

International Cooperative Governance and Market Trends

One of the international cooperative principles calls for cooperation among cooperatives. But we credit unions don’t always do a good job of practicing what we preach—for example, taking advantage of the combined knowledge and experience of our cooperative brethren. For every challenge that an individual credit union has faced, the...

Credit Union Market Niches: Social and Demographic Opportunities

Credit unions that want to juice membership growth face a limited set of options. If the field of membership is not broad enough, the credit union can petition to change it and serve new groups. Often the field of membership is expansive enough, so the challenge becomes how to approach...

Global Trends: Drivers, Values, and Strategic Questions for Credit Unions

Every business leader is forced to wrestle with the prospect of what’s next. This report looks beyond the next few years at four scenarios that are possible next steps beyond the Great Recession. In this report, Andy Hines, a lecturer at the University of Houston, analyzes four North American and...

Now Showing: The Best in New Financial Technology

Some things are just meant to go together. Peanut butter and chocolate. Batman and Robin. And Filene and Finovate. Click here for the Executive Summary in a new format. Bringing credit union leaders from the industry’s think-and-do tank to the premier event for financial services innovations is a natural extension...

The State of Social Media in Credit Unions: Opportunities and Challenges

The increased popularity of online social networks and a widespread desire by credit unions to attract and retain a younger membership make social media sound like a panacea. Credit unions’ social media presence is clearly expanding, and now there’s a Filene resource to help make sense of it all. The...

Selling the Credit Union Difference: Large-Scale Credit Union Branding

Credit union groups, especially statewide organizations, have a keen interest in publicizing the benefits of credit unions. But, what kind of information will entice consumers to join credit unions? Rather than taking a stab at marketing the credit union difference based on a vague sense of what appeals to consumers,...

The Blended Walmart Business Model

Chase. Community banks. Wells Fargo. Other credit unions. For years, the standard list of competitors has been static and well-understood. Get ready for a shakeup. Beyond online challengers like ING Direct or Ally Bank, lies perhaps the biggest competitive threat many credit unions have ever faced. It’s an organization with...

Credit Union Implications of Living Trusts

An entire generation of Americans is beginning to retire in a new way. As defined benefit plans disappear, they are being replaced by defined contribution plans: 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Credit union members are living off those nest eggs and planning to leave slices of the eggs...

Using Shared-Equity Agreements to Reduce Foreclosures: Policy and Analysis

In March 2009, Filene teamed with the Michigan Credit Union League and Consumer Researcher Bob Manning, to explore the problem of foreclosures in the state of Michigan. The resulting report highlighted 10 ideas to decrease the number of foreclosures. One of these ideas, Shared-Equity Agreements, struck a chord among league...

The Mind of Low to Moderate Income Savers-Phase 1 and 2

LMI families are finding it increasingly difficult to save money. In Does Imagery Matter: Delving into the Mind of Low- to Moderate-Income Savers, the Doorways to Dreams Fund (D2D) and the Filene Research Institute partnered to analyze how marketing images influence LMI families’ likelihood of saving. Researchers used the Zaltman...

Lower Income Americans, Higher Cost Financial Services

Professor Caskey presents the results from a research project that examined the use of financial services by lower income U.S. households and reviewed the fees and operations of nondepository suppliers of financial services, such as check-cashing outlets, pawnshops, and rent-to-own businesses. The research used survey data to answer the following...