Online banking is now a decade old, yet many small business owners have been slow to take advantage of the speed and simplicity it offers. It's not surprising that people are hesitant, but financial institutions have a huge motivator – money – to get you out of their lobby and away from costly tellers. Banking online can be a boon for small business owners who want to:
- Save time
- Get better deals on fees
- Automate payments and planning
Run the numbersBanking online is a good deal, but how good? You should shop around for low-minimum offers that give you the best deal according to how you run your business.
Your bank probably already has a plan for youConsumers and big business were relatively quick to pick up on banking online. Now the attention is turning to getting small businesses connected.
Automate your record-keepingBanks have a big interest in keeping your involved day to day so that you think of them when you want a credit line or loan. They do this in part by making it easy to download transaction records to software you likely already use.
Get your payroll, taxes and retirement planning doneThanks to broadband speed and advanced security, banks have begun to up-sell services that were once pricey extras.
Save even more by going completely virtualIn the late 1990s, a bunch of startup banks crowded onto the Web offering nosebleed-high rates to draw people away from bricks-and-mortar operations. Mostly, they lost, but a few battle on, and it can be a good model if you know you'll never need to walk into a branch.
- Automatic bill paying is a blast. No stamps, no cramps. But, better keep a balance or charges will pile up.
- Use e-mail or mobile alerts to track when checks deposit and clear. It can keep you on top of your money when things get busy.
- Some banks allow you to view several accounts – even information from competitors or retirement accounts – on one Web page.
- If you go online, go completely online. Online banks will issue paper checks for you to anyone in the world, but if you write a check it will be virtually impossible to track online later.