LAFCU invests in Michigan-based fintech company, offers software to small businesses

An investment in a Detroit-based financial technology company has positioned LAFCU on the leading edge of providing user-friendly software that helps their members and business owners manage funds.

Beginning this fall, LAFCU business members can sign on for Autobooks—an innovative payment and accounting software integrated with online business accounts. The software enhances cash flow with electronic invoicing, multiple options for accepting payments, and automatic bank reconciliation.

"Technology is accelerating efficiencies in the financial sector, and we want to be on the forefront of providing these efficiencies to our members," says Patrick Spyke, LAFCU CEO. "We want to be leading the way."

Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, senior vice president of marketing, says that Autobooks is ideal for small businesses like attorneys, lawn care service providers, painters and property managers. She says that while small businesses do their craft or service well, most are not accountants and may need assistance with the financial piece.

"Anytime we can offer something that streamlines a process so you can spend more time on your business rather than books, we want to," says Etchison. "We are just as responsible for helping our members succeed as they are, which means we need to be on the cutting edge of creating products and services that help make their lives easier. Autobooks is one of them."

Autobooks is a recent startup in Southeast Michigan that offers bundled payment and accounting software to small companies through banks or credit unions. The business was identified as one of 20 fintech companies to watch in 2016 by American Banker, a daily trade newspaper and website covering the financial services industry.

Use of the software is free through LAFCU, with a small processing free of 1.99 percent on incoming customer payments—which is below typical charges for credit and debit card use. The fee for payments via electronic funds transfers and checks is capped at $5 each.

"Any small business that starts using this software will find it slick and easy to use," says Etchison. "We are the first in the Mid-Michigan area offering Autobooks to their members. There's a lot of buzz around Autobooks. We're confident our business members will be excited about it."

Source: Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, Senior Vice President of Marketing, LAFCU
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor

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