The Secondary Names (SECNAMES) file stores instructions that link a membership account to another member or non-member record.  The file stores links to "joint owner" names and beneficiary names for all non-IRA account types.  (IRA beneficiaries are stored in a completely different file because they are linked to an IRA Plan Type, not specific individual sub-accounts.)  The file also stores a third type referred to as "miscellaneous owner" which can be used for any purpose you wish.  The most common is for beneficial ownership relationships on certain organizational accounts, or for things such as payable-on-death or power-of-attorney relationships.

There are three record types in this file, shown by a code in the "Ownership Type" (OWNTYP) field:  "J" for joint owner, "B" for beneficiary, and "M" for misc. owner.  The basic difference between these types is which names appear on various inquiry screens, as well as where data comes from to print on things like Misc. Member Account Forms. 

This link might represent a classical joint ownership relationship, where the secondary name is a true secondary owner of the account with rights similar to the primary member.  But the same record might also represent a different type of secondary name where other rules apply.  That is why CU*BASE lets you configure specific labels for both the primary and secondary (joint) names on an account, according to its assigned Membership Designation Code.  (You can even configure, via the Membership Designation Code, a list of procedures and rules that your MSRs can access by clicking a "Click for Procedures" button prominently displayed in the upper-left corner of of the main Inquiry, Phone, and Teller Verify Member screens.)

NOTE:  If you were to Query the SECNAMES file you will likely find records that actually show a name in a free-form text field, stored from before joint owners and beneficiaries were handled as links, the way they are now.  This content cannot be maintained, and the text field is no longer used for any new membership records, but it was retained as a record of a name on old account records for research purposes.  To take full advantage of features like Teller "Currently Serving" functionality and other system tools that rely on the current method of links, we recommend you clean up these old records in your Secondary Names file as much as possible.  Many credit unions have a policy that any time these memberships are maintained for any other reason, the joint owners are also updated to link to an actual member or non-member record, removing the old joint owner record.  This deletes the free-form text permanently.