Online Access Tops Small Business Member Needs

The small business market represents a sizeable opportunity for credit unions. Providing online capabilities is a decisive factor when attracting and retaining this group.


To attract and retain small business member accounts is it critical for credit unions’ online capabilities. A recent Callahan Survey Consortium poll of more than 1,600 credit union members who own small businesses revealed that they identify the ability to conduct transactions online (56%) and online account access (54%) as the leading factors impacting their financial institution selection for their small business needs. (See chart below).

Small business owners are increasingly recognized by all financial institutions as a desirable market. Reaching this group may not be as difficult as some credit unions would expect. Many credit already have small business member accounts and do not even know it. Why? Because according to the Consortium, more than one-third of credit union members with small businesses are using a combination of small business and personal accounts, while another 31% are using only their personal accounts.

This finding illustrates the significant opportunity credit unions have to help meet a more focused member need by offering small business accounts. As one survey respondent wrote:

I am already using a separate checking account at my credit union to handle the needs of my small business. My business banking needs are not sophisticated, and my main consideration is to do business with a single provider that has always met my personal financial services needs.

Surveyed members indicted they would prefer to have all their financial needs met by one institution. A priority in making this decision is having online services and products offered by that organization. In particular, small business owners ranked online access to services such as home banking and credit cards and transactions including bill pay and ACH, as the most used and desired offerings.




May 30, 2005



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