There can be quite a long list when it comes to everything you might want to see in a business bank account. Sure, a gift for opening an account is nice, and a piece of candy with your deposit is sweet, but let’s get down to the important things about a business bank account — the true essentials. Because let’s face it, having the right bank account for your business can save you time, trouble, frustration, and of course, money.
So what are the key items to look for in a bank that you’re doing business with? Well, it certainly wouldn’t hurt finding a bank that not only provides great service, but that also cares about their customers and is willing to do what it takes to solve problems rather than just charge you because of them. And a bank that has low fees and makes those fees transparent to its customers is even better. So let’s review ten of the most essential aspects you might want to look for when searching for a great business bank account.
1. A Great Relationship
Having a contact in the mid to upper level management structure of your business’s bank who is able, and more importantly, willing to assist you, can be essential. You have enough problems and responsibilities as a business owner or manager, and sometimes you need help with something immediately and can’t afford to be waiting around for customer service to get back with you. You need someone at the top who can move things along and get things done — someone you can trust who’s there to help you out and watch your back as well as your money.
Whether it’s to notify you regarding possible fraudulent activity, bounced or bad checks, or whatever, when there’s a problem, you want to know that someone at your bank is there to help and willing to resolve it with you, not just charge you a fee because of it.
2. Competent Customer Service
You probably can’t trouble your contact every time you have a problem, otherwise he or she will feel like you’re taking advantage of them. In the mean time, you will need competent customer service to assist you with the more minor issues you might encounter.
3. Swift Service
Just because your bank’s customer service people know what they’re doing, doesn’t always mean they are the most efficient. You don’t want to be waiting for days for a call back or have to leave umpteen messages just to get someone to assist you. Therefore, swift service can also be essential in a bank with which you maintain your business accounts.
4. No Transaction Limits
You and your business need to have the freedom to operate, and that freedom shouldn’t be inhibited by transaction limits. Even if you don’t expect to be conducting numerous transactions, if your business grows or expands or your business needs change, you probably don’t want to be worried about exceeding your transaction limit.
5. Available and Reasonable Credit
The bank with which you have your business account might be willing to offer credit to you, but will it be there when you really need it and at a rate that is reasonable? Knowing how willing your bank will be to help you with available credit, especially when your business is in a bind, can be an important aspect to consider in the essential business bank account.
6. Reduced Fee Charges
Don’t you hate those nasty little fees that some banks seem to charge for just about everything? They can be annoying and costly. Now just about every bank charges fees of some sort, but finding a bank that charges the fewest or the most reasonable fees can be an essential aspect to a good business account.
7. No Minimum Balance
When times are good, maintaining a minimum balance might not seem like a big deal, but when money is tight, you don’t want to have to be glancing over your shoulder, constantly wondering whether you are being charged for dropping below a your minimum account balance.
8. Credit and Debit Card Services
Keeping all your balls in one court when it comes to your accounting, business credit cards and debit cards can make life, not to mention your finances, a little easier for you to manage. Consolidating your card services with one bank can make purchases easier to track, help accumulate rewards quicker, and make statement reconciliation easier and more efficient.
9. Great Perks
While it might not necessarily be essential, rewards from card and account usage can be nice benefits to have in a business account. Besides rewards, free additional banking services, low loan interest rates, and higher paying interest rates for account balances can also be advantages of a good business account.
10. Online Banking
Most, if not all banks have moved to provide at least some form of online services. In this day and age, online banking can certainly be an essential item to have on your business account checklist. From being able to check statements, view cleared checks, and transfer money between accounts, online banking can be pertinent to the successful running of your business operations.
The way in which your business operates may require the need for certain business banking aspects more so than others. Coming up with a list of your top needs based upon order of importance can help you pinpoint the bank that is best for you and your banking requirements. While not everything on the above list might fit your idea of essential business account needs, you might be able to select a few from here and add a few of your own to come up with what will best suit your particular business.
David Boyd is a founder at CreditCardCompare.com.au, a leading comparison service in Australia.