Should My Business Pay Employees Through Direct Deposit?

Merchants Bank, direct deposit

In 2014, 77% of business payment fraud occurred in the form of paper checks.* Did you know that you can help prevent fraud and provide a benefit to your employees by implementing one simple solution? The answer is direct deposit.

What is direct deposit? Direct deposit of payroll is the electronic transfer and deposit of employees’ net pay to their bank accounts anywhere in the U.S. through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system. You, or your payroll processor, provide the Bank with your employees’ net pay information. Then we process your payroll file and deposit your employees’ paychecks into their bank account(s).

Many of our customers find it easier and quicker to generate ACH files using Merchants Online Banking. Your employees’ net pay is deposited automatically into their account(s) at the opening of bank business on pay day and is immediately available as cash. Your account is debited for the total net pay amount. It’s that easy.

Can direct deposit save my business time and money? Simply put, yes. Here’s how:

  • Spend less time on payroll by no longer needing to write/print, sign, fold and deliver checks
  • Stop re-issuing lost or stolen checks, which could also be a source for identity theft
  • Stop spending money on stop payment fees for lost or stolen checks
  • Stop spending money to print checks

According to Paychex, direct deposit can save a business anywhere from $2.87 to $3.15 per check.** Depending on the size of your business, this could amount to thousands of dollars each year.

How can direct deposit benefit my employees? While providing direct deposit is a benefit to your business, it is also a service many employees have come to expect. Employees appreciate the convenience that comes with direct deposit, including:

  • Immediate access to funds on payday without having to run to the bank to cash a check
  • Ability to direct funds into the account(s) of their preference by dollar amount or percentage
  • Protection from fraud by eliminating the possibility of a stolen or lost check with their personal information

To get started with direct deposit for your business, contact your local Merchants Bank.

Are you unsure about how to set up a payroll system for your business? Read this article from the SBA and then talk to one of our local Cash Management experts.




Convenience for Businesses: Deposit-On-Demand Saving You Time and Money

Deposit on Demand

Are you a business owner looking for convenience? Would you like to decrease your number of trips to the bank during the cold winter months? You don’t need to look any further than Merchants Bank and the convenience provided by Deposit-on-Demand.

Merchants Deposit-On-Demand is a cash management tool which allows you to convert paper checks to images, which are transmitted to the Bank for deposit. Using a scanner and software provided by Merchants Bank, you can reduce the time it takes to create a deposit and eliminate the need to drive to the Bank to make your deposit.

How does Deposit-On-Demand work?

  • Paper checks are converted to images and then electronically transmitted to the Bank.
  • Same day availability cut-off times will be extended to 6:00 pm (CST).
  • Businesses can access images of checks deposited at their own computer for up to 7 years after contracting with the service.
  • Faster deposit creation and character amount and legal amount recognition to reduce hand keying or using remittance advices to automate receivables posting.

You are a perfect candidate for implementing Deposit-On-Demand if:

  • Your business doesn’t deal with a lot of cash
  • Your business is geographically challenged! (Not located near a Merchants Bank branch.)
  • Your business has few personnel available to take deposits to the Bank
  • Your business receives checks throughout the day and would like to get multiple deposits to the Bank without making multiple trips to the Bank.
  • You want to save money on service charges associated with deposited items.
  • Your business has higher receivable volume and wants to take advantage of today’s technology and add efficiency to the deposit and posting process.

Please Contact Us to learn how Merchants cash management can help your business. Or, give us a call at (800) 944-6285 to speak with one of our Cash Management Specialists.


Business Online Banking Tutorial

Merchants Bank Business Online Banking

Merchants Online Business Banking allows you free and easy access to your business’s bank account information and cash management tools 24/7. Use Business Online Banking to manage your corporate cash and make it work harder for you. What can you do in Business Online Banking and how does it work? Here’s an overview:

Users – You control who in your company has access to your online accounts. Changes to secondary user access (including adding or removing users) can be any time you desire under the Administration area of the Business Applications section. In addition, you can define account access and transaction limits per user.

Accounts – See an overview of your account balances immediately upon logging in. In addition, in the Accounts section of Online Banking you can:

  • View account history
  • View and/or print check images
  • Export transaction history
  • Search for specific transactions

Business Applications – Provides access to the following Cash Management and Administration functions:

  • Online bill pay
  • ACH payments and receipts*
  • Wire transfers*
  • Collect funds*
  • Authorize transactions
  • Payroll*
  • Funds transfers

Other Services – Provides access to additional services, giving you the ability to:

  • Change your business address.
  • Print a direct deposit enrollment form.
  • Submit a stop payment.*
  • Create an alert to notify the administrator for the company’s Online Banking account for number situations. Example include, when:
    • A business user’s passwords or profiles are updated
    • An account goes above or below a certain balance
    • A transaction over a certain amount goes through an account

Preferences – Make changes to your password, account nicknames, order of accounts and more.

Interested in learning more? Try our demo for Merchants Bank Business Online Banking. To enroll in Business Online Banking, visit our website or call our Electronic Banking department at (866) 496-0522.

*Fees may apply.


How Can I Save Money on My Business Checking Account?

Business Checking

On average, banks offer five different business checking account options, according a comparison study by online resource NerdWallet. If you then consider the number of banks or credit unions in your community, the sheer quantity of choices for business checking may begin to seem overwhelming. To find an account that fits your business, and ultimately may save you money, use the guide below.

1. What type of business do you own?

Some banks offer special accounts to the following types of businesses:

  • Sole proprietorship, government-owned or a non-profit: These accounts usually earn interest, include lower fees and allow more transactions.
  • Small Business: Small Business accounts typically have lower fees and allow fewer transactions.

Merchants Bank offers Small Business, Business, Nonprofit Business and Interest-Bearing Business Checking accounts.

2. How many transactions do you typically make per month?

Many business checking accounts have a pre-determined transaction limit per month. For example, the average business checking account allows 175 transactions per month*. When a business goes over the limit, the bank may charge the business a fee per item. The average excess transaction fee is $0.40 per item and can be as high as $0.75.* If your business makes a large amount of transactions, look for a checking account with a higher transaction limit.

You’ll also want to take into consideration the type of transactions and which you use the most often – check, deposit slip, debit card, point-of-sale, ATM**, etc. Banks may charge different fees or no fee depending on the type of transactions.

Merchants Bank offers different transaction limits per Business Checking account and the type of transaction.

3. Do you need to deposit a large amount of cash on a regular basis?

Some business checking accounts also place a limit on the amount of cash that can be deposited into an account and charge a fee for every $100 in excess of this limit. The average cash handling fee is $0.15 per $100 in excess and these fees can be as high as $0.75.*

If your business deposits cash regularly, look for a checking account with a high cash deposit limit or one that offers no charge for cash handling.

Merchants Bank does not charge a cash handling fee as part of a Business Checking account.

Learn more about Business Checking at Merchants Bank or contact a Customer Service Representative at your local Merchants Bank to open an account today.




*How Business Checking Fees Work: A Beginners Guide by NerdWallet
**ATM surcharge and foreign fees may apply.
No minimum deposit required to open Merchants Bank Small Business Checking, Business Checking, Interest-Bearing Business Checking or Nonprofit Business Checking accounts.


Are Idle Balances Costing Your Business Money?


Did you know there are several easy, automatic ways to manage the cash flow of your business? You can use sweep, target or zero balance accounts to efficiently direct your money. Here’s how it works:

Sweep Accounts: A Cash Management Sweep account allows your business to earn income on its extra balance. Your Business Checking account is reviewed daily and excess funds are automatically “swept” into a savings account to earn interest or to a Line of Credit to pay down balances. When you need the funds, the money is swept back in to your Business Checking account. This is a great way for your business to optimize its cash flow. Merchants offers two types of sweep accounts to fit your needs.

Target or Zero Balance Accounts: A Target or Zero-Balance Account is a business checking account that is automatically maintained at a “zero balance” or at a target balance that you specify. Target/Zero-Balance Accounts allow businesses to maintain separate accounts for various divisions, locations, or functions such as payroll, while automatically consolidating cash from those accounts.

If you’d like to learn more about how easy and convenient sweep and target/zero balances accounts could be for your business, contact one of our Cash Management specialists today.

Is ACH Fraud Affecting Your Business?

ACH Fraud Detection Merchants Bank

Use a service like Merchants Bank’s ACH Blocks and Filters to detect fraud on a daily basis.

What is an ACH Block or Filter?
ACH Blocks and Filters help you detect fraudulent electronic transactions that are presented on your account. By setting up ACH Blocks and Filters, only ACH transactions that you have told us are allowed post to your company’s checking account. All other transactions must receive authorization from you or will be sent back to the originator.

How does it work?
Simply let Merchants Bank know which, if any ACH transactions should be allowed to post to your company’s checking account.

  • ACH Block – You can completely block all ACH debits and/or credits from posting to your account.
  • ACH Filters – You can set parameters that allow certain ACH debits/and or credits to post to your account, while at the same time excluding other debits and/or credits from posting.

Why should my business use it?
With ACH Blocks and Filters, you can virtually eliminate the possibility of fraudulent ACH transactions being posted to your business account. Plus, in addition to the money you’ll save by preventing fraud, there is no need to purchase additional equipment to use ACH Blocks and Filters.

How can I start using ACH Blocks and Filters?
Contact one of our Cash Management specialists today.

Manage Your Business’s Money with These Helpful Tools

ModernFinancesWould you like to better manage your businesses money and make it work harder. With three areas of focus – Tools for Collection, Tools for Disbursement and Tools for Management – Merchants Bank’s Cash Management area – what some banks call Treasury Management – is worth exploring.

Learn more about Tools for Management:

Online Banking – Conveniently view account balances, check images and transactions, transfer funds between your Merchants Bank accounts, create Bill Payments and ACH transactions (subject to Agreements), submit requests for Stop Payments and more.

Positive Pay – Give yourself peace of mind. Positive Pay can help detect fraudulent checks that are being issued on your account.

ACH Blocks and Filters – Control your accounts by ensuring your business checking account isn’t used for unauthorized ACH transactions.

Financial Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI) Reporting – The computerized exchange of payments between your business, your customers and vendors ensures

For more information on Cash Management services, visit our website.