Thinking of bringing your business banking to a credit union, but dreading the process of making the switch? It’s easier than you think, and the payoff is worth the effort.
When it comes to business banking, credit unions present a great alternative to big banks for a variety of reasons. The reduction in fees, the lower rates, and the fact that credit unions are locally based not-for-profits - these all come to mind first - as well as other benefits that vary throughout each.
But, key questions linger, and that's understandable. Among them:
- Is my business eligible to join a credit union?
- Is there a fee to join?
What should I do before making the switch?
What makes a credit union a better fit for my business than a big bank?
How do the rates compare to commercial banks?
Does the credit union have all the products and services I need?
Let's answer these questions in detail.
1. Is my business eligible to join a credit union?
Credit unions serve members according to where they live, work, worship or other associations that may vary. If your business operates out of Washington state, you're eligible to join BECU as a business member.
2. Is there a fee to join?
Nope! Membership with BECU comes with no fee to join. However, you'll obviously want to deposit money into your new account so you can start using it as soon as possible.
3. What should I do before making the switch?
Make sure to do plenty of research. If it's a good idea to make the switch, numbers don't lie – you'll see fewer fees, better rates, and probably higher satisfaction than with your current commercial bank. Also, be sure to take into consideration the institution's ability to provide you products and services that match the needs of your business, and what (if any) prices are attached to those options. Finally, it's also a good idea to ask about specialized personnel who might be trained in handling specific and/or complex questions about any aspect of running your business.
4. What makes a credit union a better fit for my business than a big bank?
There's an ever increasing number of reasons why this could be the case for your business. Fewer fees and lower rates on everything from business credit cards to vehicle and equipment loans are a popular choice among BECU business members, as are the high interest rates on Money Market Savings and Business CD accounts. Other reasons you might benefit from the switch:
- Not-for-profit cooperative instead of for-profit corporations
- Based in your community, so it's in the credit union's best interest to help your business succeed
Investing in tech helps bring members free services like Online and Mobile Banking, remote high speed deposits, and access to 30,000+ surcharge-free ATMs nationwide through the CO-OP network. Also, a priority on digital banking helps remove overhead that would normally be invested in brick-and-mortar branches, meaning you pay even less for your account
Options for which checking and savings products best fit the needs of your business – see how much BECU can save your business
5. How do the rates compare to commercial banks?
These also vary, but credit unions tend to have competitive, if not lower, rates on most business credit products compared to big banks. Deposit rates are also generally more attractive at a credit union. For example, our Money Market Savings and Business CD accounts have some of the highest rates compared to commercial banks.
6. Does the credit union have all the products and services I need?
Not only does BECU compare favorably to commercial banks when it comes to business products and services, but the support behind these products is often more comprehensive. Plus, most of our services are free. And speaking of free – because you're signing up with a cooperative network with over 30,000 ATMs across the country, you can expect to use those ATMs surcharge-free for your business deposits and withdrawals.
Your business is your livelihood, so you shouldn't have to pay more just to access your money. Visit becu.org/businessmembership to learn more about making the switch and experience the credit union difference.