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Online Banking for Small Businesses

A series of interviews and surveys conducted by IBM focusing on the needs and wants of UK corporate treasuries and small businesses reveals that; first, businesses would like to do a lot more banking online; second, they are willing to pay for it; and third, they believe paying for it is a good investment. If you share those thoughts, this post is for you.

Whether you’re the owner of a micro-business looking to manage your personal and business accounts in one place or the owner of a medium business that requires advanced banking transactions, online business banking is certainly something that should interest you. If in the past business banking required arriving at a branch or speaking with a business banker, today many transactions can be done on the spot online.

IBM gathered the insights it collected into a report that raises a few interesting points. First, the researchers suggest that oftentimes banks assume small businesses do not need complex banking abilities on their online accounts, and therefore the banks build SMB online-banking systems based on the retail platform. This is in contrast to corporate clients’ accounts, which come with complex capabilities built-in.

Second, IBM identified that small businesses and corporations do not want to be swamped with services and function they do not use, and at the same time would like to have the option of adding complex banking services into their online account. Therefore, IBM suggests businesses should look for a bank that offers them “menus of functionality and pricing combinations.”

The researchers define which functions should be included in the online-business-banking solution you choose. Cash management tools should include, alongside overnight borrowing, real-time liquidity (or lines of credit) approval, analytical, and forecasting capabilities. Payment and collections functions should be user-friendly and should enable you to customize and change data fields according to transfer or payment type. Foreign exchange and money market information should be conveniently and simply incorporated into the business banking solution, allowing businesses to see their balances in different currencies and quickly contact bank representatives to confirm exchange rates.

You should always look for the bank that is willing to understand and work with your business’s specific needs, on- and off-line. When choosing banks based on their online platform, you should choose the solution that makes running your businesses an easier task. Banks have the power to do this, and you should support the ones that do.

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