Small Businesses Must Demand More from their Banking Relationship

Many Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) rely on their bank for all their checking and credit needs. But could they be doing more? A recent study by J.D. Power discovered only 37% of small business banking customers believe their bank appreciates their business, and 32% say their bank understands their business. A strong relationship is one built with trust and communication, and the same goes for your relationship with your Financial Institution (FI). Your small business banker is not only there to ensure your business credit line is open and your cash flow is managed. They can also be a trusted advisor, helping you safeguard your business, your assets, and your employees from identity theft and cyber threats.

Business identity theft can have a devastating impact on a company’s credit score, which is used to define a business’ fiscal health and often impacts financing terms, insurance rates, and borrowing power. When you consider the security resources available through your banking partner, you will benefit from ideas that will help your business grow and succeed while protecting the wellbeing of employees and the security of your organization’s network of mobile devices.

Bank with a Financial Institution You Can Trust

Whether you bank with a local bank, a credit union or a megabank, your FI’s priority should not only be to run your day-to-day finances but also to understand your business and help reach your goals. If your FI isn’t providing you peace of mind, evaluate institutions that can offer you personalized services that meet your expectations.

Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating if your bank is going above and beyond for your business:

  • Do I get the right amount of face-to-face time with my financial advisor?
  • Does my account manager bring suggestions to the table about how my small business can better protect itself and my employees?
  • Does my business banker help my small business reach its business and financial goals?
  • Does my banking partner provide recommendations for the latest financial technology to ensure my business keeps pace with other small businesses?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it may be time to reconnect with your business banker and set higher expectations.

Strengthen the Rapport with Your Financial Institution

As a small business owner, you value quality service from a bank that understands your business credit needs, offers a wide range of products and services, and pairs you with a banker that builds a strong relationship with your business, according to Raddon’s Winning Small Business Customers study. With the rise in digital banking, you want to be assured you are not sacrificing convenience over quality, such as having a dedicated contact that understands the nature of your business and delivers reliable advice and resources to help your business thrive.

Establishing a cadence of connecting with your financial advisor every quarter can determine what improvements can be made to the financial security of your business. Come prepared with your business goals and be upfront about any challenges your business faces, from cybersecurity to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) discrepancies.

Ask for All Available Resources

When running a small business, you seldom have the time to get every task done, let alone bandwidth to put on your payroll, marketing, accounting, and IT hats. Nearly 50% of small businesses say they have no understanding of how to protect their companies against cyberattacks. If you are part of that fifty percent, consider reaching out to your FI for guidance on how to best protect your business, your employees, and your business devices.

Take the next opportunity you meet with your advisor to learn if your bank provides:

  • Business Credit Monitoring, Scores, and Reports
  • Business Dark Web Monitoring
  • Identity Theft Protection and Recovery Services
  • Mobile Device Protection and Threat Awareness

If your bank cannot help, can they connect you with the right resource? Your FI should be doing the heavy lifting to help protect your business and enable your small business to focus time and attention on building capital, expanding your customer base, and creating customers for life.

Tips to Secure Your Small Business

  1. Evaluate different financial institutions before committing. You can bank with multiple banks until you settle on the one that best fits your business needs and goals.
  2. Schedule a meeting with your financial advisor. If you haven’t communicated directly with your bank in a while, now is the time to get the conversation started.
  3. Invest in small business protection. If your financial institution does not provide the business security protection you need, seek a partner who will ensure that your employees and business assets are safe from identity theft and mobile cybersecurity threats.
  4. Regularly train employees to prevent and detect cyber threats. Business security begins inside the door of your small business with a cybersecurity policy in place.

Continue following Fighting Identity Crimes to get the latest breach and scam updates, ID protection news & tips from our industry experts!

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is Corporate Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
Read more about John Burcham.

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