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.

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*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.

 

Digital Security: Be Deliberate, Be Judicious

eNews-DigitalSecurityBlog

Almost daily we hear of new and troubling attacks, hacks, and loss of key data and information, all taken from the online world by digital thieves. The technical ins and outs of these events are often confusing and complex and it’s easy to feel powerless to do anything about them. Yet, we can reduce risk by being deliberate and judicious in our use of digital resources. Here are two steps we can all take today:

Step 1 – Know who we are doing business with
Review privacy policies, learn about security practices, and apply common sense. Stop visiting or engaging with companies or sites that leave us uncomfortable. According to the Business Insider, there are now more than 644 million active websites on the Internet – so chances are the company you are doing business with is not the only provider. As part of Security Awareness Week (June 1-6), Merchants Bank has provided some quick steps to help you identify if a website is legitimate.

Step 2 – Enjoy the social network but…
The FBI cyber center reports the use of social media by cyber criminals has grown 400% since 2009. Sharing too much online allows thieves to build a near complete picture of who we are and then use that information to outright steal (or con others into revealing) otherwise protected data. Instead of posting everything about our lives, pick up the phone, send a note, or get together with friends. After all, it is those close to us who are most interested in what we have to share.

Some of the best approaches to security do not involve technology. By being more deliberate in how we share information, and more judicious in what we share, we can reduce the risks that, if our online information is compromised, it will have little value to thieves and cannot be used against us.

For more security information, sign up for Merchants Bank security tips and alerts via email.

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Garage Sale Do’s and Don’ts

eNews-SaleBlog

It’s garage sale season! How does getting paid to have people take the items you don’t want any more off your property sound?

Garage sales are a great way to get rid of things you don’t use any more — from your old children’s toys to the multiple sets of dishes boxed in the garage collecting dust. Maybe you’re moving and need to downsize. Or maybe you’re just fed up with the clutter in your home. Whatever the reason, if you can make a few bucks while getting rid of unwanted possessions, it seems like a no-brainer.

But before you simply drag all your items onto your front lawn, know that there are a few strategies to holding a successful yard sale. Consider these do’s and don’ts:

DO

Be realistic with prices – As a general rule of thumb, garage sale prices should be between 25 and 30 percent of the item’s original price, and even less if your true motive is to get rid of things. However, it’s also important to note that most people will bargain you down even more (all the fun of a tag sale!), even if you do start at a low price, so be sure to keep that in mind when pricing.

Present special offers – If you’re trying to get rid of one specific genre of items that you have multiple of (think books, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.), proclaim that if someone buys, say, $10 worth of items, they get a book of their choice for free. Or, price those kinds of items with some kind of deal attached to it (i.e.: Books are 25 cents each or five for a dollar, or if you buy one stuffed animal, get one free, etc.).

Advertise your sale – Spread the word by placing an ad in your local paper in the garage sale section. Typically, this section is also posted online. You can list when your garage sale is happening, your address, and the types of items you’ll be selling. Also, try hanging signs around your neighborhood, especially at busy intersections. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: a piece of paper written with black ink, announcing the garage sale, with your address and a large arrow that people can see from their cars.

Label as many items as you can – Depending on how many items you have for sale, it may be difficult to mark every single item. But price tags let people know exactly what something costs without having to ask you — and if you’re busy helping another customer and someone is waiting to ask you about price, they may decide they don’t want the item and you’ll lose the sale. Tip: Label items that you want to get rid of most with “Make an offer.” This will intrigue your customers, even if they weren’t necessarily interested in the item in the first place.

Organize your items –  Make sure your objects are arranged in an organized manner. Invest in a few fold-out tables and arrange items in ways you see fit. Have a lot of golf items? Make a golf table. A wealth of electronics? Keep them together. Also, think about what types of things people might be searching for. For example, is Father’s Day fast approaching and are you selling gifts a Dad might like? Create a “Father’s Day” table with those items. The same items people might not have thought of as gifts are suddenly very desirable to those who forgot about Father’s Day.

DON’T

Keep money out in the open – Some garage sale hosts may think that a shoebox or even a cashbox is a good spot for their cash, but if you walk away from it, someone could easily access it. Instead, invest in a fanny pack to wear during the day and keep your earnings in it.

Follow your customers around – While you may be vastly interested in what kinds of items they’re browsing and picking up, chances are the customer is going to find you more off-putting than helpful. They might even think you’re suspecting them of stealing, and could get offended and leave. Instead, let them know that you’re there if they have any questions, but then keep to yourself.

Let haggling get to you – More often than not, garage sale goers are going to bargain you down — that’s just part of the fun! Don’t let it get to you. If it’s an item of sentimental value that you simply can’t bear to sell for even less than your original offer, simply explain that in a calm manner. The customer is sure to understand.

Do it alone – Some of the most successful yard sales are when multiple families join in at once. Before the sale, see if you can get neighbors or friends on board to sell some of their own knick knacks. Not only are you bound to sell more items, but there’s someone to talk to when lulls occur (which typically happen around lunch time or towards the end of the sale).

Choose just any day – It may sound obvious, but the best times to host a garage sale are weekends from May through September. Also, try to avoid holiday weekends, as most people are on vacation or doing something other than garage sale trolling. If you’re able to hold a two-day sale, that’s great, but if you can just do one, Saturdays usually attract more visitors.

A garage sale is a great way to declutter and make some quick cash at the same time so get out there and get it done.

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