Last month, we listed 47 features of digital card accounts. That's a lot to take in. So what are the most important differentiating features from that list?
It depends on the business, but here are 7 advanced features that small businesses most value in their banking provider:
- High-touch service: Business owners want to know there is someone they can reach who will take ownership of payment problems. And not just a stranger at the end of an 800-number, but a living, breathing human with a name, email address and personal phone number.
- Anti-fraud scanning with security guarantees: Every transaction should be scanned and scored for fraud potential. We like the red/yellow/green conventions to help owners visually see which transactions are potentially most problematic. And dispute resolution tools should be integrated into the process to easily question/report dubious items. Finally, the entire process should be backed by comprehensive security and anti-fraud guarantees in clear language that anyone can understand.
- Unlimited cards: SMB owners, perhaps more than larger businesses, can use multiple cards to better manage employee spend, track business unit expenses and keep tabs on overall payments. Ideally, owners should be able to spin up a new digital card in seconds and issue plastic cards to employees as needed.
- Mobile app: Cards, more so than checking accounts, need a fast, simple mobile interface. Ideally, integrated with a great SMS/email/popup alert system.
- Expense reporting/management: Most medium-sized businesses use professional accounting packages such as Quickbooks, Xero or others. However, millions of small businesses just getting started cannot afford the time or energy it takes to master these programs. So basic templates, reports and rudimentary dashboards can help save businesses time and money.
- Financing options: Cash flow is an issue at most small businesses. The ability to revolve balances from time to time and/or transfer balances to a fixed repayment plan are not only great conveniences but real relationship builders.
- Large charge limits: Brex, Ramp and others are pioneering dynamic credit limits that fluctuate in real-time depending on a business's bank balances. It makes the charge card behave more like a debit card so the business can spend hundreds of thousands (or even millions) on a card in months of heavy cash use. But owners also need to know there will be a reasonable floor on their monthly card spend even when bank balances are temporarily depleted.
Do you notice the two common features not listed above? Rewards programs and low fees. Those are nice to have but not mission critical. SMBs can be surprisingly price-insensitive if the product is saving them time, money or worry.
Did we miss anything? Let us know on Twitter @netbanker.