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Coopera: 5 Misconceptions about Hispanics that May Hinder Member Relationships
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 7:00 AM

Iowa-based Coopera Consulting has just published a “5 Misconceptions about Hispanics that May Hinder Member Relationships,” white paper. According to the company’s CEO, Miriam De Dios, one of the main tenants of Hispanic outreach is knowledge. Whether it’s a local credit union or a national food chain, every organization hoping to increase its reach within the country’s large and influential Hispanic market must first understand its target.

“As with every nationality present in our diverse country, understanding of Hispanic behaviors and values is subject to the influence of preconceptions and stereotypes,” writes De Dios.

De Dios cites five myths about Hispanic consumers and credit union service to Hispanic members in the seven-page white paper. The five myths include:

  • Myth 1: All Hispanics are undocumented. As De Dios points out, of the more than 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., most are native-born Americans, and nearly three in four are U.S. citizens. As of 2009, more than 62 percent of all Hispanics were native-born Americans.
  • Myth 2: Hispanic foreign nationals cannot be credit union members. Even before immigrants become citizens, De Dios says credit unions can – and should – serve them. “It’s not nearly as complicated as some may suspect, and there is even regulation in place to support it,” De Dios notes.
  • Myth 3: A massive Spanish translation effort could take years. De Dios says it’s important to understand that a strategic Hispanic growth plan begins by identifying the specific needs of the community and the particular target market a credit union is trying to reach. “Not all Hispanics prefer to speak Spanish,” she says. Although she does point out that first-generation Hispanics; however, are less likely to prefer English.
  • Myth 4: Only second-generation Hispanics are open to a traditional banking relationship. Targeting the next generation makes good business sense. They likely have higher incomes, higher education and higher trust in financial institutions. However, the interdependence between generations cannot be denied. "High-value young Hispanics will come through the credit union door much more readily if their parents have already passed through it," De Dios notes.
  • Myth 5: Hispanics only want transaction-based products. According to Coopera, product penetration is actually increasing at a faster rate among Hispanic members as compared to non-Hispanic members. 

The paper goes on to report the success that credit unions have experienced, specifically in the areas of growth and long-term relationship development.

“5 Misconceptions about Hispanics that May Hinder Member Relationships,” is available on Coopera’s website.


Helpful Links:

Juntos Avanzamos - Juntos Avanzamos, or Together We Advance, is a designation given to those credit unions that have the infrastructure and demonstrate the capacity for meeting the financial services needs of Hispanic families.