Online Banking

Do you use Online Banking (OLB) in your business?  Is it free?  A lot of small businesses are able to get basic information for free each month.  They can get a few more bells and whistles (like bill payment services or direct deposit) by paying a reasonable fee, typically somewhere between $15-$100/month.

Are you overpaying?  I ask this because I visited with a prospective client today and reviewed their OLB setup.  I don’t think they realized just how much they were paying for this service.  That is because their bank charges them a ton of different fees for OLB.  Here are the different types of fees they were being assessed:

  • Maintenance fee per account
  • Separate prior day access fee for some of the accounts
  • Separate current day access fee for some of the accounts
  • $0.08 for some items they viewed and $0.15 for other items viewed

If you are a business owner, have you gone through this exercise lately – reviewed what you are paying for?  Most of the larger banks have these “unbundled” fees and it just feels like they nickel-and-dime you to death.  It might be worth it for you to look at other banks – including some of the smaller ones.  Many community banks these days have the same capabilities of the larger banks – often times better.  See if you can’t get all of your information provided to you for a flat fee each month.  At the very least, if you feel you are being charged hefty fees for this service, speak with your bank representative.  Do your homework first and find out what else is available.  Then ask your banker to cut your fees.  They really do have a lot of leeway in getting this done.

We were able to show the above-mentioned prospective client how they could save a significant sum each year and get the same information.  This underscores the importance of sitting down with your banker on at least an annual basis and making sure that all of the services you are using are still relevant.  Something almost always needs to be added or deleted.  Your time investment in this exercise might be very well worth it.


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