Most of us don’t physically walk into a bank like we used to, so how can you tell which bank your e-commerce business should choose? Is it better to go with a big national bank like Wells Fargo or Bank of America? Or should you support your local bank where you can get better personal service if something goes wrong?
While some of these options come down to personal preference, here are a few things to consider when making a banking decision for your business.
Before taking the time to choose your bank, you’ll first want to make sure that your business finances are operating completely separate from your personal accounts. If you’re looking to treat your business like a business instead of a side hustle, your first step will be to open an account that is specifically for your brand.
That being said, here are five things you’ll want to consider when choosing a bank.
Since we’ve already mentioned that most of us do our banking online, tech access is a huge selling point when choosing a bank. Your bank should allow you easy access to your balances and your funds through online banking and, ideally, an app for your phone.
If you find a bank’s website clunky or its app hard to use, you’re less likely to want to deal with your finances, so look for a bank whose tech interfaces fit your priorities.
Many – but not all – banks now seamlessly integrate with accounting software like Quickbooks Online or Xero, and these integrations make your (and your accountant’s) job easier.
But if the integration isn’t quite as seamless as it should be or you’re constantly having to reconnect your bank feed to your software, your bank has created a roadblock in what should be a pain-free process.
When working with an AP employee or an outsourced firm like Seller Accountant, you’ll want your accountants to have access to your financials without the ability to make any changes to your bank information. In this case, it’s crucial for your bank to allow you to give users “accountant access”.
Accountant access allows a user the ability to pull reports and transactions and see notes on wire transfers without allowing them access to the funds themselves. This keeps your information secure while still allowing your accounting professionals to do their job with little need to bother you for information.
It has never been more important to establish a relationship with your bank when it comes to lending. And while chain banks might have the edge on technology, smaller local banks are the ones that have the time and bandwidth to form personal relationships with your business and want to see you succeed.
No matter which bank you choose, it’s important to connect with your bank staff and put a face to your business’s name. Personal relationships like these can make a difference when it comes to applying for SBA loans, establishing personal lines of credit, or negotiating repayment terms.
ACH and Wire Fees
Small recurring charges like ACH and wire fees are a sneaky source of income drain, but while they may seem inevitable, there are some banks that won’t charge you to send funds.
Our favorite fee-less bank is Mercury, an e-commerce-focused online bank that doesn’t charge domestic or international ACH or wire fees. But no matter which bank you choose, make sure they’re not nickel-and-diming you with their transfer fees.