Member business banking and shared branches

by. Theresa Witham

There I was, minding my own business, scrolling through Facebook to see what I’d missed that day. Someone’s kid said something cute. Someone else ate a delicious-looking lunch. Then I saw it: A post by a local friend and small business owner about her frustration with her large, national bank. She was asking for opinions on where she should take her business (and personal) accounts.

She really wanted to join a credit union. (The cooperative structure appealed to her.) But her business model includes traveling with her handcrafted wares via truck across the country to vend at large shows. She needed to be able to deposit large amounts of cash after each show before making the long drive home to Baltimore. She didn’t think it was safe to travel across the country with the amounts of cash she deals with at the events.

I wondered: What about shared branching? I also wondered if the appearance of a lack of a national network of locations scared other small business owners away from credit unions.

So I talked to Sarah Canepa Bang, chief strategy officer for CO-OP Shared Branching at CO-OP Financial Services, a CUES Supplier member in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

When it comes to serving small business members, “We have some capabilities now. We’re working on expanding the transactions available and will be looking for credit union input very soon,” she says.

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