Businesses are often started with passion and a great idea, but before long, reality sets in. Entrepreneurs quickly learn that running a successful business isn’t just about serving great food, providing an unforgettable customer experience, or even having a unique product that solves a common problem. For a business to succeed, it must effectively manage the revenue that comes in and the payments that go out, all while keeping its bank accounts safe from fraudulent activity.
Business owners, or those charged with managing a business’s finances, can do more than just go with the cash flow. With the right cash management tools and services, money can be easily managed and monitored to help keep the business on track for growth and success.
Revenue Rolls In
Managing cash flow begins with collecting revenue. It’s important that your business can bring in cash or its equivalent through different methods, and you need effective ways to deposit all these funds into your bank account.
Many consumers prefer the convenience and security of card payments, whether buying in-person or online. The right merchant services solution can help you accept and process card and certain digital payments so that funds are received promptly, while also providing valuable business insights.
Accepting check payments used to mean a trip to the bank before an early cutoff time to get same-day credit for those funds. Now, checks can be deposited into a business account via Business Remote Deposit Capture (BRDC) or mobile check deposit. Mobile check deposit is convenient for business owners who are on the go, such as landscape or delivery services. Some of our favorite features:
- With BRDC, checks can be deposited anytime from the business office using a scanner provided by your bank.
- Authorized recipients just sign the back of the checks, use a smartphone to take a picture of the front and back, and deposit the checks directly into the business checking account.
- If your business has more than one location, BRDC and mobile check deposit allow authorized employees to deposit checks into one central business account.
- These services also offer convenience, security and timely access to funds, while saving time, (a business owner’s most valuable asset).
If your business accepts recurring payments, you may consider accepting payments via Automated Clearing House (ACH) as a secure, cost-effective way to collect payment for ongoing services, membership fees, etc.
Payments Go Out
Now that there’s money in the bank, it’s time to pay the bills. Most of your suppliers may still accept checks, but there are more efficient and cost-effective ways to pay digitally that can better ensure your payments are made on time and without the risk of lost or stolen checks.
Business online banking includes a bill pay feature for recurring and one-time payments. Business bill pay is a secure and convenient payment method that can be used anytime, anywhere there is an internet connection.
An overwhelming number of employees prefer direct deposit of their payroll and expense reimbursement over paper checks. Direct deposit via ACH reduces distribution expenses while getting pay in employees’ bank accounts sooner. ACH also allows for electronic payment of other payables.
When a payment needs to be issued quickly, such as to ensure prompt delivery of inventory, self-directed domestic wire payments through online banking may also be an option. Ask your banker if you’re eligible for this payment option.
Protect What’s Yours
Businesses work hard for their money, so it’s important to keep a close eye on bank accounts to ensure there are no fraudulent transactions. It’s a lot easier to prevent fraud than recover funds once it has occurred. Running a business requires a lot of attention, so you may consider banking services that help you monitor your account’s activity and pending transactions.
Services such as ACH Notification and Positive Pay can reduce exposure to ACH or check fraud by offering the ability to review incoming ACH items or checks on the day they are scheduled to post against your account. This allows you to approve or reject any item, preventing potentially fraudulent transactions from being paid.
Talk to your Merchants & Marine Bank retail banker about your cash management challenges. They can help identify the right mix of services that will best meet your needs so that you can focus on running and growing your business.