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The Lanturn Blog

Carefully curated and thoughtfully written content for businesses of any size.

FINANCE, GROWTH

5 Things to Consider When Choosing The Right Bank For Your Startup

July 2022

The Lanturn Team

With so many banks available, one may think that choosing one would be easy – but that isn't the case.

Not all banks are built the same. Some banks do things better than others, while others would be better for a particular industry. When choosing a bank for your startup, you should consider what they can offer you and how they can be an excellent fit for your startup.

There are many things a bank can offer, but here are the top 5 things a startup should be looking into before choosing a bank:


1. Does the bank have great online banking features?

Banks have shifted from traditional banking to the more modern online banking systems. Today, you can make payments, apply for loans, make investments, and even open almost any bank account with just a simple tap on your mobile phone.

But just because a bank has this does not mean that they are automatically good. Some banks boast of excellent online banking services, but their servers are so old and slow that some of their clients would have difficulty completing transactions. In some instances, clients would even experience failed online transactions that could result in late payments that hurt their business.

Be smart. Ask your peers if they have had any experience with the bank you consider, and try to get their thoughts. You can also ask the people you are doing business with and ask which banks they could recommend so that transfers and payments won't be complex. A quick Google search can also help since many business owners and individuals share their experiences online with different banks to either recommend or warn others of.


2. Can they integrate with your current bookkeeping software?

If you use any special bookkeeping software like QuickBooks, Freshbooks, or Sunrise, you should find a bank that can easily integrate with them to make your accounting tasks more manageable. Although these accounting programs have been out for some time, some banks do not offer integration. It may be due to either strict bank policies or unfamiliarity with the software on their end.

Be sure to ask a service officer if the bank can easily integrate with the bookkeeping software you are using. If the bank can't, there are some workarounds that they can offer. But, if it's a bit too complicated and puts more work on your team's end, it might be better to go elsewhere.

You can also email the program's customer support. Most developers have a list of banks they have experience with and can give you suggestions on which bank works best with their bookkeeping software.


3. Is the customer service any good?

We cannot stress enough that having a bank with excellent customer service is imperative if you want your experience with the bank to be as smooth as possible. There will be times when you would need urgent help regarding your account or specific transactions. If the bank you've chosen has poor customer service, you might get little to no assistance.

Here's a quick tip for determining if the bank has good customer service. If you can go to a physical branch, make your way to the new accounts officer and inquire about opening a new account. If they are sloppy or snobbish during the entire process, don't expect good customer service from that bank.

If you can't go to physical branches, call your nearest bank of choice and ask about opening an account. Consider looking for another bank if they put you on hold too long or have passed you from one officer to another.


4. Do they have VIP programs or other additional perks that you can avail of? 

Almost every bank has an excellent VIP program that incentives clients to put in more money in the bank. These incentives vary from bank to bank, but here are some of the common ones each bank may offer in these special programs:

  • Waived banking fees 

  • Low-interest rates on loans

  • A dedicated service manager for the account

  • Higher credit lines

  • Higher interest earned on deposit accounts

  • Higher time deposit rates

Don't hesitate to approach any bank's service managers and ask if their bank has these VIP programs that you could avail of when you open a new account or after a few months of building a relationship with the bank. The perks and other benefits attached to these programs will surely bring in more value for your money in the long run.

5. Are their banking fees too high?

Each bank has its rates for every transaction or service it offers to its clients. Some would charge higher rates than others but would give better services or have many perks. Don't just think that cheaper is automatically better! Look at their services as a whole first and see if the fees are worth paying for that extra level of convenience.

Here are some of the typical fees you would be encountering in the bank:

  • Service charges

  • ATM withdrawal fees

  • Account maintenance fees

  • Management fees

  • Dormant account fees

  • Overage fees

If the bank's fees are a tad too high to your liking but you like what they have to offer, try to inquire about the bank's VIP program and ask if that program would waive specific banking fees. 


Give Neobanks a Try

If you haven't found a bank that suits your fancy, why not try these new banks called neobanks. These banks are quite different from your physical banks. How? These banks offer the same kinds of services you can expect from a bank – but they are entirely digital.

Instead of a physical branch where you could inquire or open accounts, they have an app or website that you can access anywhere! They have an online customer service team ready to help you 24/7 with whatever inquiries you may have, just like a service officer in a traditional bank.

If you want to learn more about these banks, you can check our article on why neobanks are right for your business.


Be sure to take your time

Nothing good comes out of rushing things, especially money and business. Do your research, ask your business partners, and scrutinize everything the bank offers before choosing which one you are willing to do business with. Find the best bank that can give you what your startup needs to grow and flourish.

If you have any questions or would like some help getting your business started, don't hesitate to contact us!

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