As a CFO or Controller, you maintain a close relationship with your banker. As a result, working directly with your bank may seem like the natural step to automatic payment or to making your electronic payments easier, especially when you consider the demands for time of your finance staff, knowledge of your IT resources project list, and other staffing limitations. Whether the efforts made by bankers grabbed your attention, or you simply want the fastest or easiest solution, keep in mind that that banking is a results-oriented, sales-driven operation.
Your conclusion is the result of the diligent efforts of your bank's relationship managers, especially if you are banking with a mega-bank. Each such financial institution is continuously focused on driving organic growth by building on the ongoing relationships with business customers like yourself. Banks concentrate on training their people to maintain constant contact for educating business clients on all of the services the bank can provide which translates into deeper and more meaningful relationships.
Banks are here to generate profit by offering multiple, costly services to their most valuable clientele to solidify relationships and to retain customers. Clients with the largest deposits learn most about heavily-marketed business services such as payment automation, corporate payment services and payment gateways. The more extensive the breadth of services a bank provides for your company, the stronger the attachment they create with you. In translation, it is harder for you to leave when you want to undergo new ventures. In turn, these institutions become more profitable but are not necessarily a great match for your company if you are seeking to diversify your holdings and more efficient processing.
With that being said, we are not implying that banking services are not worthwhile. They are indeed...we are simply stating that while you may believe that your banker can help you navigate the waters to electronic payments, hold that thought.
10 secrets your banker won't tell you when talking about their payment automation services:
They are primarily interested in your credit business and account balances.
Payments must be processed exclusively through their systems.
You must issue ePayments solely on accounts held with them.
Only high-dollar-spend vendors will be targeted to participate in your ePayments program.
Banks will charge more (and make more) for check processing than for ACH payments.
Dollar-spend thresholds will be set to calculate rebates for Commercial Card & Virtual Card transactions.
Rebates are paid out only once per year, typically.
Banks do not offer ERP integration.
You must meet their file specifications before setting up Payment Automation or ePayments.
Government regulations restrict banks from aggressively serving middle market customers.
What a sobering list; A one-sided list.
As you consider your next steps, we strongly recommend that you consider a means of payment automation that provides its clients with solutions that enable business decision makers like you to have diversified banking relationships that work for your company. Selecting a payment tool that is "bank neutral" helps keep you in control of your company's finances, allows you to diversify while being able to connect to your bank and get connected to all of the services that they provide to their largest customers, and greatly reduces the impact on your already time-strapped resources and IT personnel.
The best payment automation systems will integrate into any ERP, transmit financial information seamlessly to any financial institution or institutions and will offer virtual payment options that pay cash back monthly to help you generate positive cash flow. You will be presented with various virtual payment options that meet your needs and pays you monthly cash back to help you generate a positive cash flow.
Read More on Payment Automation:
- 5 Myths Holding Companies Back from A/P Automation
- Top 5 Reasons to Automate
- Are ACH Payments Becoming the Middle Ground for A/P and A/R?
- 5 Ways A/P Managers Can Save Time and Money with Accounts Payable Automation
- Best Practices in Accounts Payable = Strong Control Over Payables
Want to learn more about payment automation systems? Download this free eBook "How Payments Can Impact Your Business".