Action vs. Reaction

by Elizabeth Sherman 31. March 2010

I have been working in cash management for over 10 years. In that time various products move to the forefront of popularity. Commercial analysis accounts and overnight investments take the lead when rates are high. Online banking becomes more popular when software companies upgrade their operating systems and Remote Deposit Capture becomes the “must have” product during bad weather. (Yes – there was a silver lining to 80+ inches of snow!)

If you notice, these product sales are reactionary. Event A happens and triggers Event B. The same reactionary behavior occurs with Positive Pay. A company experiences fraud through a stolen or counterfeited check and suddenly Positive Pay becomes the product of the month.

Positive Pay was created to help prevent fraud on business checking accounts. As checks are issued, the payee name, check number, date and amount are entered in an online banking application. As those checks clear through the bank, they are matched up against the initial information entered by the customer. If there are any discrepancies between the actual check and the information entered, the check is considered as an “exception item” and the customer is notified through the online banking application. This notification allows the customer to decide whether to pay or return the potentially fraudulent item.

Over the last 3 years, with our current economic condition, I have seen an increase in episodes of fraud with my business clients as well as a spike in the implementation of Positive Pay. It is true this product requires the customer to actively manage the checks issued from and clearing their accounts, however, the benefits of Positive Pay far outweigh any perceived inconvenience.

Let’s make the implementation of Positive Pay an “action” rather than a “reaction”.

What Relationship Banking is All About

by Elizabeth Sherman 24. February 2010

In April, 2009, Greater Grace World Outreach, a local religious organization, extended us the courtesy of a meeting.  The purpose of the meeting was to try to obtain their banking business.

"We at Greater Grace World Outreach had been looking for some time to reduce high bank fees and actually agreed to move our accounts to another well known national bank. Unfortunately, the conversion failed as that bank was unable to follow through with the service necessary to complete the transition.  This unpleasant and expensive experience left us very skeptical about attempting another change". – Pastor Peter Taggart

After meeting with Pastor Taggart, Jason Dieter and I conducted an analysis of the existing accounts and fees and determined 1st Mariner could save the church money without sacrificing service. A review of 1st Mariner's proposal convinced Greater Grace to move their banking relationship

As with any change, there were bumps in the road.  By keeping an open line of communication between the bank and the church, issues were resolved in a timely way to the customer’s satisfaction.  <

“Instead of being handed from department to department, we discovered the same people who handled the upfront sale were just as committed to the back end service.  Promises were kept, deadlines were met, calls were returned, and problems were quickly resolved”. – Pastor Peter Taggart

In December 2009, after reviewing their expenses for the year, Greater Grace determined they saved over $3,000 in banking fees in 2009, without any loss of service.  

“Not only have we realized lower costs, we also have a much more satisfactory relationship with our bank”. – Pastor Peter Taggart

In January 2010, our team evaluated the relationship in an effort to improve operational efficiency and lower the church’s cost of banking services.

This is what relationship banking is all about!

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