By Chris Doner, Founder and CEO of Access Softek
Many community financial institutions do not currently offer a digital business banking solution, despite the immense opportunity that this account offering presents. Community banks and credit unions have a deeper understanding of the individualized needs of their cardholders, as well as the communities that they serve. Both community banks and credit unions are predominantly owned by the members and customers that they serve and for this reason, can place a heavy focus on their client base.
It is evident that both credit unions and community banks have a primary goal of serving the community around them to the best of their ability. However, it is for this reason that many financial institutions have placed a large emphasis on expanding their retail verticals, while often underestimating the positive role that a business banking solution can have on their clients.
As community banks and credit unions look into expanding what offerings they provide their cardholders with, it is essential that they begin to supply services for small to medium-sized business owners to better serve the businesses and individuals that make up their surrounding communities. This is particularly relevant at a time when new business starts are surging, and more consumers are establishing small businesses every day.
A digital business banking solution may be exactly what a community bank or credit union needs to further establish relationships within their community and to provide their cardholders with the solutions that they need to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. A business banking offering is a win-win, providing small and medium-sized businesses with the tools they need to excel, while providing a financial institution with the opportunity to enhance their relationships with their members or customers.
Solutions That Make a Difference
By offering a digital business banking solution, community banks and credit unions can provide businesses with a solution that creates a seamless online and mobile banking experience, meaning business owners spend less time managing money and more time making money. Business banking enables small business owners to easily manage tasks including but not limited to invoicing, payments, accounting, payroll, lending and taxes, and using a digital banking platform with which they are familiar as a retail member. With the solution provided through a financial institution, multiple third-party non-banking technology providers are no longer a necessity.
Credit unions and community banks strive to establish positive relationships within their community. Not only do they have a powerful understanding of the unique community that they serve, but they also hold access to valuable consumer data. This consumer data places them in a position to better understand an individual cardholders’ needs, custom-tailoring an approach that is intended to help them succeed in their business journey.
Thorough business banking platforms provide community financial institutions with a robust variety of tools that help small to medium sized businesses establish better financial practices. These tools include same-day ACH and wire transfers to enable streamlined payment options for revenue and expenses. Additionally, a full-scale business banking platform provides each user with a customized interface that enables them to manage money movement channels, limits, approvals and other features.
A Community FI’s Advantage
Credit unions and community banks alike are typically member-owned and community-focused, providing them with unique knowledge of their member and community needs. Hence, community financial institutions have a unique advantage to cater to small businesses and professionals among their community.
Credit unions and community banks have a powerful reputation of providing services that recognize that they care about the individuals that they serve. By customizing a business banking approach, community banks and credit unions actively live up to the level of service that their cardholders expect. When community financial institutions select the services that they are going to offer, one thing is for certain, they are placing their client base at top of mind.
Community financial institutions have a strong understanding of their cardholders’ needs and are able to offer them service in the way that they prefer it, whether it be digital or in-person. By providing business owners with an advanced business banking solution that can be used from anywhere, anytime, financial institutions place themselves at the forefront of digital-first trends, without sacrificing relationships with those who prefer to speak to a representative in-house.
A community bank or credit union that offers a business banking solution position themselves to serve as a competitive force against big banks and third-party fintechs, while also serving as a strong resource for their customers and members and creating opportunities for economic growth within their local communities.