Banking is always part of running a business. Whether borrowing money, making daily deposits or paying bills, small business owners use ATM’s, online banking and the old-fashioned in branch transaction to make their business run smoothly. After working in the financial industry for over fourteen years I’ve compiled some tips to make your banking life easier so you can spend less time waiting in line and more time in the sunshine!
10. Know your limits. Debit cards have daily limits for ATM and POS (Point Of Sale) transactions, find out what they are and lower them if you don’t need the default limits. Cards can also be set to DEPOSIT ONLY if you want an employee to do ATM deposits for you (note: the ATM won’t give them a balance if the card is set to DEPOSIT ONLY).
9. Never mail cheques using a stand alone mailbox, these are treasure chests for fraudsters. Government cheques also fall victim to mail fraud, make sure you set up direct deposit.
8. Apply for Overdraft Protection (an unsecured Line of Credit) before you need it. It will save unexpected charges (NSF, overdraft fees and debit interest) and protect your reputation.
7. Update your contact info and give lots of options: Cell, home, work, email. Sometimes we call for good reasons!
6. Fair Warning: Give advance notice if you need a large amount of cash or coin from a local branch. For insurance reasons, they may not keep a lot on hand, this way they can have it ready for you and speed up your waiting time. A day should be enough notice for $5K + or more coin than you can fit in your pockets.
5. Use online banking to post date your bill payments on the day your receive your bill (just make sure the funds are available to cover it or see #8).
4. If you postdate a cheque, TELL the person you are giving it to and use a highlighter to draw attention to the date.
3. Don’t put coin or foreign funds in the ATM. The coin could damage the machine and you will probably be charged a fee for the foreign exchange.
2. Open a U.S. Dollar account, when buying or selling U.S. funds you will get a better exchange rate than if it goes through a Canadian Dollar account. Just make sure the fees are worth it!
1. Make it a point to know at least one person at your branch on a first name basis. Even if you use the ATM and online banking most of the time, keep in touch with your branch so that when the time comes that you need a favour, there is someone you can call on directly.
Bonus Tip: Consider opening an account at a Credit Union, they are locally based like most small businesses and will usually value your business more than the big banks which focus more on the big boys. Fees are usually much lower as well!
Any other tips that work for you that you’d like to share? Or any banking blunders you want to know how to avoid?