Understanding the Needs of a Small Business Owner (Series): Online Resources

In the previous part of this series, we discussed the importance of cash management tools for small business owners. In this portion, we talk about the critical role online resources play in helping small business owners and how online resources can help credit unions generate new business loans.


In order for credit unions to generate more business loans, they need to provide online resources for small business owners. In 2005, Callahan’s Internet Strategy Consortium conducted a survey of 1,614 members from 13 credit unions and found that online resources are critical for small business owners to perform daily activities.

In fact, 56.0 percent rated performing transactions online as the most important factor in choosing a financial institution. 54.0 percent rated online account access as most important while 47.0 percent rated rates/fees and 42.0 percent rated branch location as most important.

When it comes to online account usage, 72.0 percent of all small business owners use their savings accounts the most while 44.0 percent use business checking accounts the most. While there is lower usage for online services such as payroll and sweep accounts, this could be due to the fact that the credit unions that participated in this survey did not roll these services out yet. As for the online capabilities that they consider most useful, the graph below demonstrates that small business owners like to view images of checks online and use online BillPay.

Through online resources, credit unions can take all of their business services and give small business owners a common place to access them without having to step into a branch. To learn more about what type of other business services that you can offer your own members, check out our webinar recording, Going Beyond the Business Loan: Providing Business Services to Your Members.