The Best Banking Tools for Businesses
We saw a number of trends in Treasury Management this year. First of all, clients took advantage of four enhancements made in 2020 response to client feedback.
- Returned Deposited Check Details: Clients can now receive email notifications for returned deposited checks. This includes information on how to access: return date, deposit date, amount, return reason, and check image information. It provides our clients the ability to request special return instructions, such as charging back items the first time instead of re-depositing.
- Enhanced Deposit Account Statements: Clients now benefit from an enhanced look with improved image resolution. First Business Bank now increasingly communicates with clients via statements to reduce the number of separate disclosure and notice mailings as terms of services are updated.
- Enhanced Business Online Banking User Interface: This upgrade will continue into 2021. Enhancements include an improved user interface, ability to view up to 99 accounts on the welcome page, and quickly save up to five favorite pages. Also, all approvals now appear on one page – transfers, ACH, wires, Payee Positive Pay, and more for a more streamlined transaction approval process.
- New Credit Card Partner: Credit card applications are now underwritten by First Business Bank. The card portal offers robust features for the admin to manage cards and cardholders. Additional features include cash back or point rewards, receipt management, and other Mastercard® perks.
Second, clients adopted specific banking solutions at an unprecedented rate in the COVID-19 environment. While consumers often embrace banking technology, it isn’t always so with businesses and nonprofits. However, recently with very few or no employees on site, business and nonprofit leaders had to quickly determine new ways to run their organizations. Many began to connect with their banks completely digitally, quickly implementing mobile banking technologies to help them manage their payments and cashflow.
Even as employees transition back to their offices, we predict efficiencies they gained during the pandemic through these banking solutions are permanent changes they will keep in place. Our internal data shows five banking solutions emerge as the most important and useful amongst businesses and nonprofits to help manage their payables and receivables during this challenging time.
Online Banking Bill Payment
Allows businesses and nonprofits to generate checks and electronic payments in Online Banking and employees to manage their payables without being in the office to physically cut checks.
Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) is a digital solution that uses a check scanner and a personal computer to take images of the checks you wish to deposit and transmits your deposits to the bank. Check images and reports are available for 365 days after deposit. Using a check scanner shipped to the employee’s home (or office, of course), and software that’s installed remotely, the employee deposits and processes business checks seamlessly. RDC allows employees to deposit and process checks without delay, without being at the office, and without running into the bank. Within 24 – 48 hours businesses and nonprofits can set up RDC and start processing deposits. In most cases, organizations choose for check payments to be sent to their office and the employee picks up the checks. Regardless if deposits are processed in a corporate office or in a home, it remains important that checks are handled, stored, and destroyed in a safe manner to avoid check fraud.
The pandemic has prompted some organizations to determine they no longer find it efficient for their employees to process deposits at all. These businesses opt to fully outsource deposit processing to a Lockbox solution. Using Lockbox, check payments are sent directly to a P.O. Box and processed by the bank. The organization receives deposit reports and check images electronically.
Mobile Banking App
Mobile Banking through an app on a device, such as a tablet or smartphone, provides the ability for organizations and businesses to securely and quickly view account activity, make transfers, schedule bill payments, approve ACH, Wire, and Positive Pay transactions. The app also makes it easy to deposit checks — perhaps the most used feature during the pandemic — by taking a photo of them with the camera on your device.
With more employees working from home offices or other remote locations, deploying hardware tokens to employees is less efficient. As employees may transition their time between a home office and a corporate office, hardware tokens are another thing to remember to bring back and forth with them. Software tokens offer convenience, efficiency, and security. To help our clients get up and running quickly and seamlessly with some of these services, we published a few quick start guides and product sheets below. While they’re especially helpful now, we’ve also seen businesses benefit from these services before the COVID-19 pandemic began and we believe the efficiency businesses gain from them is here to stay.
Business Mobile App Quick Start Guide
Consumer Mobile App Quick Start Guide
Bill Pay Quick Start Guide
Bill Pay Product Sheet
If your business is not already taking advantage of these solutions, we encourage you to consider the benefits. In 2021, we will add new Accounts Payable services as well as enhance existing services throughout the year. Watch for communications from us about those during the year so you can take full advantage of those efficiencies for your business.