CHICAGO, Ill. (3/27/13)--Credit unions interested in better serving their small business members might want to note findings of a new BAI Research study: Unlike retail consumers who increasingly crave mobile banking systems, small businesses continue to prefer in-branch services and place high value on personalized service.
The study indicates that small businesses continue to be quite traditional in their pursuit of financial services--highly valuing proximity to their branch, access to quick "local" decisions on credit, and help with problem resolution.
Whether it is with a credit union or a bank, the study says that more than half of all business transactions are conducted at a branch. Small businesses also show a strong preference for in-person and live-agent phone conversations with their financial institutions, which drives them to greater branch usage.
In fact, the BAI research found that less than 25% of small businesses surveyed used mobile banking; only 8% used mobile bill pay. Only 20% of respondents indicated that they prefer online over in-person banking.
A competitive plus for credit unions--the BAI survey found small businesses are very sensitive to fees. They value a good fee structure more than other innovations, rates or rewards programs.
In fact, survey respondents indicated that higher fees are the factor most likely to affect a decision to switch financial institutions. Credit unions are owned and governed by members and don't have stockholders and return their earnings to members through lower rates for loans, higher rates for deposits and no or lower fees.
BAI Research noted its survey was sponsored by ARGO, a software innovator for banks, credit unions, lenders, and healthcare providers.