Technology leads to ever changing ways of doing banking

Technology leads to ever changing ways of doing banking.  The way your business conducts its banking may not have changed in many years, but the advent of new technologies over the past few years has opened up many options.  Over the past year, my conversations beyond just basic banking and lending have increased and have progressively focused on how our members are using technology to help their businesses.   Here are  few of the main services I increasingly discuss with members.

Remote Deposit Capture

Remote deposit capture is one service you may have seen advertised by a few financial institutions.  It is modeled after the concept of using your phone to deposit checks into your personal accounts.  In this case, it isn’t a phone but a scanner that is setup on your desk and connected to your computer.  The computer connects  to the scanner as it reads one or multiple checks. The checks are then validated for accuracy and securely transmitted to your financial institution for deposit.  The majority of members I have worked with value the time it saves them from having to break away from their daily activities and make a trip to the branch.  I’ve worked with one member whose office is less than a mile from a branch and he decided it is more cost-efficient to do remote deposit capture than to stop the workday to make a trip into the branch.  

ACH & Wire

ACH and wire give you the ability to make payments from your desktop in lieu of sending checks. The time and cost savings associated with these services is very appealing to many businesses.  Previously, I was working with a manufacturing company who was paying over 200 invoices a month and was looking for ways to ease the pain of the payment process and cash-position forecasting.  They were able to setup many of their vendors on ACH allowing them to save time and costs.  They also were able to better project their cash positions.  This service has been used by larger businesses for some time now and it is more cost-effective than in the past, so smaller businesses are now utilizing ACH and wire.  You can pay your vendors and suppliers more efficiently and even reduce your collection time for payments. 

Payment Processing

Payment processing seems to be in the news constantly  these days, whether it’s regarding data breaches or EMV conversions.  After many years of payment processing technology staying stagnant, the industry is being forced to change.  There are many services now offering different payment types, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay,or online and mobile solutions, such as PayPal and Square.   It is important to understand your customer base and how they are likely to use technology for payments, the costs associated with it, and how it will affect your business.  There are a myriad of options from point of sale terminals to online portals to process these transactions.

Contact First Commonwealth’s Business Services department to discuss how these technologies might benefit you and your business.  

By

Steven Mertz - First Commonwealth's Vice President Business Services