No cash. No check. No problem. New members still can open an account at Eaton Family Credit Union, a $55 million institution based in Euclid, Ohio.
The secret is that Eaton Family CU has deployed Stripe, an innovative payments tool that lets Eaton take credit cards and debit cards for account opening.
Stripe also has been used by the suburban Cleveland credit union to help members make last minute loan payments when they had no cash on hand.
“We will let them use a debit card with another institution” said Fred Siegel, an Eaton Family executive.
“I wanted something simple, uncomplicated and Stripe is that,” said Siegel, who elaborated that he has no contract and no fixed monthly fees. Transactions are priced at 2.9% plus 30 cents, said Siegel, and the credit union generally gets the funds in hand within seven days of the transaction.
He said Eaton had also looked at Square – another start-up payments tool – but rejected it because Square requires a smartphone connection to work and “often we want to do these transactions in places, or buildings, where there are no cellphone signals,” said Siegel.
The way it works is that an Eaton Family employee records the individual’s information – mainly a method of payment – and then inputs that data back at the credit union using Stripe’s web-based interface.
“It matters to us to offer this because when people want to sign up for the credit union, we can take money however they want it,” said Siegel.
He added, “We want to make it as easy as possible for the consumer to interact with us and this is another way.”