While bank service charges have been a hot topic recently, most discussion focuses on consumers. Equally important is the topic of service charges for business accounts.
Consumers may believe they shouldn’t have service fees, but most businesses understand there is no such thing as a free lunch. For-profit companies don’t provide products and services for free and banking is no different. Businesses expect to pay a fair price for the value of their banking services. But what is “fair” and how do you determine what you need?
Begin by thoroughly reviewing your business banking services. If your bank isn’t already doing this with you regularly, be proactive and ask. Understand what services you are currently paying for, assess the price/value equation, and then determine what you really need to efficiently and effectively support your business. Some questions to consider:
Which products and services are you actually using?
How does each service work? Not just functionally, but fee assessment, timing, etc.
Are you paying for services you no longer need?
Does each service make sense for your company?
Are there cash management improvements you could make to better help your business?
Consider how your company gets paid, how it pays things, and what happens in between. These answers will help determine what services make most sense. What made sense 10 years ago may not still be appropriate. Your business needs have likely changed, as have the types of services that can accelerate collections, streamline payments or prevent fraud.
You may also be able to save time and improve efficiency by adding something that wasn’t previously available. For example, an employee that still travels to the bank daily to make deposits. What preparation is required? How long is the employee away from work? Utilizing remote deposit capture could save time, deposit funds faster and cost very little relative to the value of the employee’s lost time.
The bottom line is to consider the price/value equation when making your assessments. Think about what you currently have and don’t need, and also consider what you don’t have that could be valuable.