Reach Out to the Hispanic Market: Four Steps

July 13, 2010
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Warren Morrow
video Warren Morrow describes the ideal CU member.

The Hispanic market is the largest, fastest-growing, youngest, and most underserved market in the U.S. It presents a great growth opportunity for credit unions seeking to remain viable in the future.

According to the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C., Hispanics will make up approximately one-third of the U.S. population by 2050. Currently, almost one of five people under age 18 is Hispanic.

Hispanics also play a major role in the U.S. work force. Almost half of all people entering the work force are Hispanic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median age of Hispanics is 27, while the average age of credit union members is 47, report the U.S. Census Bureau and CUNA, respectively.

Hispanics have a purchasing power that’s expected to reach $1 trillion next year, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, Athens, Ga.—and yet 40% to 55% of U.S. Hispanics don’t have a relationship with a traditional financial institution.

The force of the Hispanic market is readily apparent. But how are credit unions tapping into this market?

As some credit unions struggle to grow due to aging memberships, increased regulatory burden, and competition from fringe financial service providers, others succeed by carrying out their mission of “people helping people” and serving this largely unbanked and underserved population.

Reaching out to a new market takes commitment and dedication to demonstrate you truly want to serve its needs. It’s not enough to simply translate marketing materials into Spanish or hire bilingual personnel.

Success requires deliberate, comprehensive steps resulting in a true partnership with the Hispanic community—where your credit union is a trusted financial service provider, an employer of choice, and a caring neighbor.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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