Elevations Credit Union provides all-in services.
To lay the groundwork for expanding its business services, Elevations Credit Union asked existing business members what they wanted most from their financial institution. Their top priority was making banking easier.
The $2 billion Boulder, Colorado, credit union responded to those concerns on three fronts: expanding its team of experienced business lenders, introducing new deposit and loan products, and launching a new digital banking platform.
The digital banking system with mobile and desktop access, developed with business partner Q2, Austin, Texas, lets businesses view account balances, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, deposit checks, view check images and statements, originate ACH debits and credits, and send domestic wire payments.
That suite of functionality comes close to the offerings from big banks like Chase and Wells Fargo at an affordable price for a credit union, and it delivers on business members’ expectations for the same type of mobile access they enjoy for their personal accounts, says CUES member Ken Bauer, VP/business banking.
At the same time, the online delivery channel manages the additional security and compliance risks for business accounts, including expanded account access by multiple employees and tighter timelines for reporting potential ACH fraud.
“We watch IP addresses—where business transactions are coming from and going—and we monitor for abnormally high wire transfers,” Bauer says. “I think we’ve gotten to a nice balance between managing the risks in the background and not impeding our members’ access.”
New account options include Elevations Business Checking, designed for businesses with lower transaction volumes and offering free business bill pay; Premium Business Checking, with more advanced features; and Elevations AssetLine, a revolving line of credit for buying inventory, paying vendors or supplementing working capital.
Elevations CU rolled out its digital banking system for its existing 5,000 business members in late 2017 and has assigned business bankers to about half of its branches, with the aim of raising the profile of the expanded line of products and services “to become a major focus of the organization,” Bauer says.
“We’ve had a very positive response both from existing and new members about the new platform, the new services and the new environment with business bankers,” he adds. “We have a lot of people in the community who have been banking with Elevations for years on the personal side. They’ve just been waiting for us to start providing more sophisticated business services.”
Karen Bankston is a long-time contributor to CU Management. She is the proprietor of Precision Prose, Portland, Oregon.