As in most cultures, shopping and gift-giving are important parts of the holiday season for many Hispanics. According to recent research by ThinkNow Retail, 33 percent of Hispanics say they will be spending more this holiday season than they did last year, compared to 30 percent across all markets. Some other interesting findings from the study include:
–About 41 percent of Hispanics plan to pay for most of their holiday purchases with a debit card, higher than any other market. Cash and credit tie for second among Hispanics at 24 percent each.
–Smartphones will be the most commonly used device for making online holiday purchases among Hispanics. About 62 percent of Hispanics will use a smartphone, compared to 50 percent across all markets. Laptops, on the other hand, will be the device used the most overall across all markets.
–On average, Hispanics plan to buy about 35 percent of their holiday purchases online and about 46 percent in-store.
For credit unions serving Hispanic communities, it’s important to understand holiday purchasing behaviors to better tailor marketing offers, as well as products and services. Even more important, however, is the understanding of specific motivations. That level of intelligence allows your teams to create a deeper connection between the credit union and its community.
In the Hispanic culture, most holidays have their origins in religion, specifically Christianity. Approximately 77 percent of Hispanics are Christians, with the overwhelming majority identifying as Catholic.
As such, Christmas is one of the most popular Hispanic holidays, and there are many traditions associated with it. Here are a few favorites:
Tamale-making parties – Tamales are holiday staples in many parts of Latin America. Because making tamales is a time-consuming task, many people participate in tamaladas, where participants bond over recipe swaps and bulk prep of the holiday favorite.
Christmas Eve feast – Nochebuena is a very special celebration shared with family and close friends on Christmas Eve. Food plays an important role during this celebration. Each country, and even certain regions within a specific Latin American country, has a special dish.
Re-enactments and plays – Posadas are re-enactments of Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay before Jesus was born. Many posadas start at church services. Las pastorelas are plays that retell the Christmas story.
It’s clear religion and family are at the heart of the Hispanic holiday experience. Whether it’s partnering with a local community center or church to support a tamalada or posada, having a drawing for a pork roast, a common centerpiece of the Nochebuena meal, or simply sharing holiday family fun ideas on your website and social media channels, there are a variety of ways credit unions can connect with Hispanics in their communities this holiday season.Leave a comment
Second only to Mother’s Day, Christmas is a busy day for remittance transfer providers. With many issues complicating the availability of these services, U.S. Hispanics may be looking for a new provider this December 25.
Could this be an opportunity for your credit union?
Once the domain of Latin mom-and-pop shops, remittance services have in recent years become accessible to Hispanic and other consumers through their local credit unions.
Beyond simply allowing consumers another choice, providing remittance services also gives credit unions the chance to deliver more-comprehensive financial services to a largely underserved population. In fact, remittance services are so successful that Coopera has made it a best-practice solution for credit unions looking to invest in the youngest, largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.
Yet, it’s important to understand remittances aren’t necessarily a tool for attracting new Hispanic members. Credit unions should view these services more as a value-added tool to increase the depth of their product suites. Credit unions with comprehensive programs ultimately complete more remittances than those without a similarly robust program.
To be truly successful, credit unions often partner with a trusted provider to bring remittance transfer services to their communities. Even though regulations have been delayed, there are still serious concerns facing the industry (I recently wrote about these issues for the Credit Union Times).
Before settling on a partner, first endeavor to understand your typical member’s need, their country of origin and the available locations within the typical recipient’s country. As well, examine your local market competition to provide the most competitive offering. What other local organizations are providing remittance services? What are they charging? What are their hours of operation, etc.?
Although complicated, an international money transfer tool will continue to be a best-practice for credit unions’ Hispanic outreach and service strategies. Therefore, it’s vital for these cooperatives to prioritize the research, due diligence and formation of strategic partnerships to continue (or to begin) providing this crucial service.Leave a comment