Serving Businesses Better with Digital Technology

 

From their humble origins of neighbors helping neighbors, Community Choice Credit Union has grown to a statewide stalwart of economic strength serving their communities in Michigan.

For more than 80 years, Community Choice identified strategic opportunities to help grow the local economy and sustain their members. When it came time to invest in the small business market, Community Choice partnered with Autobooks.  

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$4,800,000

Dollar amount of invoices sent by small businesses at CCCU

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104%

  • Increase in product adoption of Autobooks in the past 12 months

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Digital Transformation

  • Autobooks is the first digital business banking product ever launched by CCCU

Entering a Digital World

Community Choice Credit Union tends to the needs of their members even in the most desperate times. During the Great Recession, when many banks stopped lending, Community Choice stepped in to provide loans to keep local businesses afloat.

 

Their growth mindset, centered on providing the services their members need when they need them, challenged Community Choice to evaluate their digital offerings. Realizing they lacked a compelling digital product suite for small businesses, Community Choice sought out key vendors and partners to enhance their capabilities.

 

The executive team at Community Choice, including Chief Operating Officer Dan Munro, began to evaluate potential solutions to capture small business market share.  The team recognized the role Fintech vendors can play in helping to enhance their digital strategy, but also understood the support their staff would need to implement a solution.

 

When it came time to choose a partner, Community Choice became confident Autobooks would deliver due to their strong background in building and scaling payment processing and digital banking solutions.  Community Choice needed a partner to not only provide the small business product suite, but one that could also be counted on to integrate with the financial institution’s digital and core banking platforms. 

 

Autobooks successfully worked with Community Choice’s digital and core banking providers to fully integrate within the financial institution’s existing digital banking channels.  Autobooks leverages Microsoft’s Azure platform to securely provide pre-built payment integrations that make it simple for small businesses to get paid via credit card, debit card, ACH, and check lockbox. 

Since we launched Autobooks, we’re seeing consumers that had a business account at other financial institutions actually bring their business over to Community Choice Credit Union. Other members had an account with us, but we weren’t their primary because they weren't able to do the things they needed to do at the credit union before we implemented Autobooks.
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Dan Munro

Chief Operating Officer, Community Choice Credit Union

Discovering New Ways to Grow Deposits

After launching Autobooks to its small businesses, Community Choice discovered there was more to learn about their membership.  Initially, Community Choice wanted to target only a segment of business accounts they believed best met the profile for the Autobooks product suite.  Having deeply studied the trends on micro and small business account behavior, Autobooks suggested Community Choice widen its pool of potential account types.  The results were surprising.

 

Community Choice found there were business relationships they using consumer products. Many of these members started with consumer account, evolving them over time to the primary accounts for their new micro or small business. These businesses were perfect candidates for the Autobooks product suite.  They needed a simple solution that enabled their customers to easily pay them directly into their Community Choice account. 

 

With this strategy shift came increased adoption of Autobooks, leading to more payment volume and deposit growth.  Enabling Autobooks for those members has both surfaced new business product opportunities, and has deepened relationships with the credit union by becoming the back office for the small business. Businesses need a software solution that lets them not just reconcile their books, but send invoices and accept payments, including credit cards, explained Dan Munro.  

Becoming a Full Service Business Provider

Community Choice is committed to cementing its reputation as a full service business provider. They recognize the need to overcome the perception that credit unions don't offer robust business capabilities, but they plan to win over the business community with a combination of digital solutions and personal service. 

 

Autobooks directly aligns with the Community Choice business strategy by providing a digital first small business destination that is backed by personal service.  Community Choice is able to leverage the Autbooks team as an extension of their resources for both small business adoption and customer support.  Small businesses receive support through chat and phone, and also have the option to schedule time with the Autobooks team for one on one product demonstrations. 

 

All of these components work together to make Community Choice a smart move for any small business to make. Community Choice has won back members that had left in search of more robust business capabilities.  They have also seen growth in consumer accounts being transitioned to business accounts.  With each new member on Autobooks, Community Choice is making it simple to get paid directly into the credit union, increasing deposits and deepening business relationships. 

 

As Community Choice Credit Union looks to approach nearly a century of membership, its future is bright for business growth across Michigan.

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