Just as we see a great deal of opportunity in 2013 for community banks to win new business on the lending front, we also see opportunities for businesses to benefit from a number of technologies that can create very meaningful savings. These business banking products and services give businesses greater control over their accounts and their funds. These products have been around for a while, but have been enhanced and refined over the past couple of years in terms of reliability, functionality, and security. These products typically fall under the umbrella of treasury management and payment solutions and include online wire and ACH initiation capabilities, Positive Pay, sweep accounts, lockbox, and zero balance accounts. We are seeing that just as individuals have become more comfortable with online banking, our clients are now adopting more advanced features for their businesses. Online transfer features are similar to online bill pay, but offer multiple layers of security and controls for the increase in transaction size and frequency. Sweep and Zero Balance Accounts will aggregate a client’s funds in a specified account and ensure that the deposits are not sitting idly in a non-interest bearing account. Positive Pay is an automated fraud feature that matches specific details on checks submitted for payment to information provided by the client.
We have been working with our business clients during the economic downturn to help position their businesses for growth as the economy now shows signs of improvement. We will continue to do that, as all seasoned bankers should. Bankers who work closely with their clients and understand the opportunities that their clients want to pursue, these true relationship bankers, are better able to offer banking products, services, and solutions to their clients that can create time, offer greater control, and organize their client’s businesses. The benefits derived from a banker’s understanding of their client and the efforts made to position and prepare a client’s business to capitalize on opportunities create very meaningful value.