I’d agree this is a widely shared need by many co-ops in the UK.
Here is a relevant recent post from Jim Brown on the Community Shares list in response to someone asking about digital share certificates (emphasis added):
Strictly speaking, societies should offer members share accounts rather than share certificates. Share certificates are a product of company law where each share carries one vote and shares can be transferred between third parties without reference to the company itself, so the certificate is proof of ownership, and more importantly, evidence of a members’ voting rights; you cannot have fractions of a share. In society law there is no provision for voting rights to be attached to shares, and if these shares are withdrawable and not transferable (ie community shares), then it is more functional to issue members with a share account, with annual statements of the amount of capital held in that account.
Of course, some societies do issue share certificates, and some members of the public with prior experience of owning shares in companies, might expect to receive a share certificate when they invest in community shares. This is reinforced by the rules and share offer documents of some societies that refer to share capital as though it was composed of individual shares. But this practice can lead to unnecessary administrative complications in managing share capital, for instance in the payment versus crediting of share interest, especially when dealing with fractional amounts. With a share account, share interest is credited to a members’ account, which can then be withdrawn by a member, subject to the rules and policies governing withdrawal. Members can be issued with an annual statement of their share account (paper or electronic) which can contain fractional amounts.
The Community Shares Unit and Co-operatives UK have been receiving a growing number of enquiries from established societies about the practicalities of managing share capital in societies, including interest payments, withdrawals and the maintenance of share registers. Currently, the Community Shares Handbook provides no guidance in this area - would it be helpful if a new chapter on "Managing Share Capital were to be written? This could provide some clarity on the different approaches taken by societies, and deal with more complex matters such as societies that have issued successive rounds of share capital with distinct terms and conditions attached to each round