Feb 18 2016

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 personal finance be integrated into their high school curriculum. It is part of most credit unions’ missions to provide financial education to members, but with most traditional financial literacy approaches, it can be hard to get the attention of members of Generation Y (Gen Yers), who not only are busy but are living a life full of digital “noise.”

This report looks at one financial literacy solution, developed by Tim McAlpine and Currency Marketing and piloted by Filene in 2014–2015, called “It’s a Money Thing.” The hypothesis of the study was this: If we make high-quality financial literacy content clever, concise, and easily accessible, it will be adopted. This report looks at the launch of It’s a Money Thing among 10 credit unions that piloted and reported data about the program. The report also discusses feedback from 378 focus group respondents who were asked about It’s a Money Thing. Studying the application of It’s a Money Thing at 10 credit unions provides insights and best practices for other credit unions looking to attract and retain the next generation of members and for those considering building or improving financial literacy programs. The following can be put into action from the research:

  • We learned that consumers react well to and want fun financial literacy programming
  • Clever, creative, and easy-to-digest content can help credit unions connect to and attract Gen Yers, who are traditionally difficult to engage
  • Having creative financial literacy content can also drive social media engagement

Filene thanks its generous supporters for making this important research possible

Report Number 395