There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak, and the social distancing practices that ensued, forced great change to our daily lives. Suddenly, we all had to work, learn and make purchases differently, digitally, sometimes in ways that were new to us.

Business owners, especially, had to make significant adjustments. As demand for digital solutions increased, technology became a requirement for survival, but it didn’t always come easily. Technology is scary, especially when you’ve always done things a certain way! While it was challenging for businesses to make such a rapid digital shift, many did.

The “Visa Back to Business Study 2021 Outlook” shows that more than four in five, or 82 percent, of small businesses adjusted the way they operated during the winter of 2020. Those figures were largely driven by digital adjustments, such as selling products and services online, accepting contactless payments and digitizing business functions like back-end payment operations – all of which are services you can manage through business banking.

Whether you’re a business owner who has already integrated these types of technologies into your business, or you’re still contemplating it, know this: The digital shift within the business banking and payments world will continue to be important, because technology is one COVID-related trend that’s here to stay, long after the pandemic ends.

5 Reasons to Embrace the Digital Shift, and the Banking Services That Can Help

1. Increased Efficiency

Many businesses have employees who are working from home, which means that the task of going to the bank to make deposits and transactions has now become the responsibility of the business owner, many of whom are also working from home.

If you can’t make it to the bank, solutions such as remote deposit capture and ACH payment services can help you deposit and collect payments right from your office, whether that’s at home or your place of business. Remote deposit capture, for example, allows you to deposit checks using a desktop scanner and online banking system, and it helps accelerate access to your funds. ACH allows you to pay vendors with one service.

You can also make payments to, and set up direct deposit for, your employees, cutting out physical checks and reducing the time it takes for payments to be received.

2. Convenience

Have you ever been in a time crunch to send out a wire or process a payment before close of business and thought, “How will I ever make it to the bank in time?” Online solutions for wire transfers, merchant services and same-day ACH allow you to complete transactions wherever you are, even from your phone or mobile device, giving you more convenience and peace of mind than ever before.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Customers appreciate options, especially when it comes to payment methods. With digital solutions, you can offer a variety of ways for your customers to pay, including electronic checks, recurring payment plans, and debit and credit card payments. These payments can be made online, over the phone or through electronic invoice. If you require card-present payments at your physical location, you have the option of taking contactless payments through your merchant service provider. With germs and cleanliness at the top of everyone’s minds, these solutions help your customers feel safe and at ease.

4. Fraud Prevention and Security

COVID-related fraud has been prevalent. Understandably, business owners want to protect their information and increase security levels and precautions when it comes to payments, bank accounts and online activity. Investing in fraud protection programs is a smart, proactive approach when it comes to potential fraud attacks and compromised financial information. Many fraud protection features and solutions are available through business online banking, merchant service gateways and third-party software.

5. Enhanced Relationships

Keeping up with payment and technology trends can strengthen your relationships with customers in two ways – one, by giving them more options and two, by ensuring you are up to date with what technology has to offer. It can also enhance your relationship with your bank. Making the change to digital banking and payments doesn’t have to impact or remove your points of contact at your local bank; more often than not, you will have a designated relationship manager who will continue to work with you as you implement digital solutions now and into the future.

Technology Will Continue to Connect Us

I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to help business owners find digital solutions for their business banking and payment needs. The best part has been that, through technology, we have been able to bolster our relationships with local business owners and provide them with options to complete transactions, even when they couldn’t come into a branch. Through digital transformation, you can enhance and continue the relationships that are important to you, too!

Charly OwensCharly Owens is a Vice President and Treasury Management Relationship Manager, who oversees a team that focuses on treasury management, business banking and private banking. She has worked for Bank of Utah since 2016, and has been in the banking industry for 10 years. Charly enjoys living and working in the Ogden community.