January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online Shopping, Credit Union Style

uMember.com Inc., an online membership discount store, and Patelco Credit Union, have teamed up to give members the ability to engage in online shopping without the use of a credit card. uMember.com and Patelco set up member accounts on the uMember.com secure site. A member who makes a purchase has money transferred directly from his or her Patelco account and deposited into uMember.com's account, which the company says eliminates the need for a credit card transaction. If members want to make a purchase with the credit union's credit card or take out a loan to make a purchase, they may do so, it adds, and members can take out a home-equity line of credit to buy items from uMember.com. The cobranded, online community also will soon offer auctions, chat, news and more, which San Francisco-based Patelco's members will be able to access as well, says Los Angeles-based company.

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