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WASHINGTON – Having the ability to conduct transactions online is critical for credit unions looking to woo small business owners. In a recent Callahan & Associates, Inc. survey of more than 1,600 CU members who own small businesses, 56% said conducting transactions online was among the leading factors impacting their financial selection for their small business needs. Fifty-four percent counted online account access as an important factor also. “Small business owners are increasingly recognized by all financial institutions as a desirable market,” said Anne Sebastian, Callahan researcher. “Reaching this group may not be as difficult as some credit unions would expect. Many credit unions already have small business member accounts and do not even know it.” According to the survey, more than one-third of CU members with small businesses are using a combination of small business and personal accounts, while another 31% are using only their personal accounts. Sebastian said members also indicated they would prefer to have all their financial needs met by one institution. 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.

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