With restrictions easing across the Hunter, Community First Credit Union has launched several new banking solutions to help businesses in the region bounce back.
Regional Partnerships Manager at Community First Credit Union, Shane Cridland, said that in response to COVID-19, their team wanted to provide light at the end of the tunnel for business owners.
Their business is doing this through the launch of their FirstBiz Flexi Loan and Flexible Business Payments, which complement their other business banking services.
“After the challenges of the past few months, there is now some blue-sky for businesses after months of forced closures, which have negatively impacted cash flow,” Shane said.
“Sure, many businesses in the Hunter region pivoted into other services, however, cancelled events and other trading restrictions made life arduous.
“Therefore, getting access to some extra finance for working capital at a low rate and with a repayment holiday could be just the tonic to help businesses in the Hunter get back on track and faster.”
These new services will prove timely for businesses in the region, as there has been a rise in digital payments because of COVID-19.
“This makes right now a practical time to review the digital payment solutions used by your business,” he said.
Community First are an eligible lender under the Federal Government SME Guarantee Scheme.
Under the Scheme, the Government is guaranteeing 50 per cent of new loans issued to SMEs.To support the rollout of the Scheme, Community First are able to provide customers with the FirstBiz Flexi Loan.
This product is an unsecured business loan of up to $250,000 over three years that can be used as working capital.
Available to eligible businesses until 30 September 2020, a FirstBiz Flexi Loan automatically gives a registered club a repayment holiday for the first six months of the loan term, without the need to provide security.
“Better still, the variable interest rate of 4.94 per cent p.a. It’s exceptionally competitive – and businesses will only be charged interest for the funds they use.”
Businesses are seeking flexible payment solutions suited to their unique operation requirements, Shane noted.
“Whether you like to take payments online, from your mobile phone, over the telephone, EFTPOS, through your website or a combination, we’ve got you covered thanks to our tailored payment solutions from Safe2Pay,” he said.
Safe2Pay is one of the most secured and trusted online payment providers in Australia, while the Ingenico 5000 merchant terminals, for example, can be integrated with a club and Point of Sale (POS) system.
Due to ongoing trading restrictions and social distancing measures, businesses are insisting on mobile services that enable transactions between staff and customers.
“We have addressed these demands with PocketPos, a bespoke payment solution, which can be white labelled and will support social distancing restrictions as we return to business as usual.”
“By opting for a solution from Safe2Pay, businesses can guarantee faster payments, multi-currency conversions and secure online transactions that will help protect their commercial operations and members against payment fraud.
“Better still having all payment solutions managed centrally by a single provider could result in further cost savings for the business and more efficient monitoring and reporting.”
Using e-commerce to promote social distancing measures and business efficiencies In line with expanding demand for flexible payment services, Community First can also provide businesses in the Hunter with dedicated, hosted payment pages.
“These hosted pages allow your customers to pay online for store sales through your website using a credit or debit card.”
“A hosted page will integrate with your businesses invoice software to auto-fill invoice numbers and payment amounts, ensuring there are no more customer errors,” Shane concluded.
For more details about Community First’s business loans and payment products, visit
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