Key Services to Offer Small Businesses

In an increasingly competitive environment, the account services that small businesses require are growing. Credit unions must ensure all of these needs are met in order to grow the relationship with the business.


As small businesses grow, they require more types of business account services from financial institutions. The nation's largest banks already offer a full suite of business account services that can fit the needs of any small business—they come at a price however!

The small business market presents a great opportunity for credit union in the areas of deposit growth, fee income, and relationship building within the community. Along with these relationships with the small business owners, they often bring their personal banking to the credit union as well. Therefore, a small business services relationship can lead to additional product relationships.

In today's competitive environment, a small business owner has many options for business banking. Therefore, when rolling out a business services program, one expert believes that it is necessary to roll out all components of the program at once, rather than starting with a core of services and adding on over time. If you are located in an area where there is significant competition, a strategy such as this may be best suited for you. Other than basic checking and savings vehicles, here are several services that may be key to a complete business services suite.

Debit/Check Cards

These are similar to those used by individuals, except are more likely to be tied to a rewards program. These programs are more often tied to rewards that w benefit business, such as travel miles. Businesses can also use these types of accounts for automatic bill payments.

Credit Cards

While also similar to personal credit cards, these may come with similar rewards for travel incentives. They will also provide quick and easy replacement while on away on business. Some also feature the ability to order cards for employees and control their spending limits.

Merchant Card Processing

These services allow a small business to accept the following forms of payment: credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, gift cards, and other payment options. As the popularity of electronic payments increases, a business that does not offer these services may be at a competitive disadvantage.

Remote Deposit Capture

This technology will allow a business to deposit all checks while at the location of the business, eliminating the need for daily trips to the financial institution. Banks are adopting this strategy at a rapid pace. Within the next several years, the vast majority of financial institutions will be offering this service. To remain competitive, the adoption of this service is a must for credit union small business relationships.

Purchasing Cards

Purchasing cards streamline paper work, such as purchase orders, for small business purchases. These cards can be encoded to set limits on number of uses, dollar amounts, as well as locations where these cards can be used.

The above services represent the key offerings of a small business account services program. Without any of these, a small business will have no problem taking their business to a bank.

To learn if small business services are a fit for your credit union and the best strategies for their implementation, join us for Offering Small Business Accounts: Is it the Right Move for Your Credit Union? , a webinar brought to you by Callahan & Associates.




Jan. 14, 2008


  • The most important ingredient in making a Business Services pie in CU land is a vote at the senior management meetings. Without it sooner or later one or both of you will be stymied
    Hil Cassell
  • Business banking certainly is a competitive environment. Minimally a CU must offer what''s outline in this article but to truly differentiate your services an innovative CU might consider supporting their business members with a service to protect and manage their digital assets such as DEXSAR. Today''s businesses have growing digital assets which include a variety of business critical information.
    Nancy Swanson