Dan Kang is Vice President of Finance at Mercury, a Microsoft for Startups partner that provides banking to startups of all sizes and stages. Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®. Member of the FDIC.
Whether your company is self-started or venture-backed, it’s worth having a business bank that grows with your financial needs. However, with so many different solutions on the market, it can be difficult to know what to look for.
Over the years, Mercury has worked with over 100,000 start-ups. As such, I learned more about how to help start-ups manage their finances. As Mercury’s Vice President of Finance, I know that choosing a good business bank account comes down to a few universal principles.
When choosing the best option, your Startups, here are five questions to ask.
1. Do you provide a simple and intuitive online experience? How much time should you spend banking?
Why should you be satisfied with business banking when you shouldn’t be satisfied with a mediocre experience in other products you use?
At a minimum, your Business Banking Dashboard should be accessible online and available on iOS or Android so you can bank anytime. The rest of the experience should be emphasized by simplicity and quality, regardless of platform. Here’s what you can expect:
- Easy, hassle-free sign-up even if you and your co-founders aren’t in the same room
- A quick and easy way to send money
- An intuitive way to search for transactions
- Account permissions to easily grant the right level of account access to the right users
- Ability to scale your account as your team grows by assigning virtual cards in seconds
2. Will it work for my business in the long term, both when it is set up and when it grows?
If you’re looking for a business bank account for the first time, you’re probably within the first six months of starting your company. A business bank account is the most basic utility for building a startup, but choosing one can be tricky. To run a successful business, you need to find solutions that support your needs in the early stages of your business and stay with you as you grow. This flexibility saves you the hassle of switching banks. Her future CFO will thank you.
“There are a lot of moving parts to setting up a company. Choose what you have.”
Early-stage founders should look for accounts that are virtually free to use. Ideally the fees are minimal. However, if there is a fee, that fee should be transparent. You also need to be able to send and receive money efficiently, such as ACH and wire transfers. Also, consider a banking solution that offers a free business savings account so you can start planning for your startup’s next milestone early.
Find the core capabilities of your banking business as you grow. For example, as we scale, we need a business bank that can issue services such as: Virtual card and physical card For your growing team. You should also look at solutions that help you earn interest on your excess cash, such as financial management accounts. balance risk and return— instead of leaving your cash lying around. Additionally, you may need help from advisors and other educational resources on what financing options make the most sense for your business or industry (for example, venture debt on competitive terms if your company is venture-backed).
3. How easy is it to customize your business bank account and integrate it with other financial tools?
There are many moving parts in setting up a company. When considering a business bank account, choose one that gives you the freedom to customize the account experience to your needs and has technology that supports third-party integrations with other tools you use.
It’s not enough for an account UI to be sleek, it must also be customizable. Here are some custom features you may need for your account.
- Ability to open multiple checking accounts and designate them for operations/payroll, AP, AR, etc.
- Automated transfer rules with advanced sweep criteria to help you stay within budget
- With read/write API access, you can automate payments and transaction reconciliations, transform cross-functional workflows, and save valuable time.
- Tiered user permissions for administrators, bookkeepers, and “card-only users”, as well as more granular controls such as multi-administrator approval, will allow businesses to set daily transaction limits.
Bookkeeping, HR, and payroll systems can have significant switching costs, so use a mix of integrations from different providers, such as Quickbooks Online for automatically syncing transactional data and Gusto for managing employee benefits If there is a function that can be done, it can reduce a lot of burden. These integrations also allow you to streamline your processes in one place, helping you build a Swiss Army knife of tech bundles for your business.
4. Does my business bank account come with reliable customer support and client service?
As a startup founder, I want to find a customer support model that works for businesses of all sizes, not just those with the highest deposits. The first layer of access for any business banking solution should be a user-friendly online he experience that is easy for you to navigate. However, when questions inevitably arise or challenges arise, human support is needed regardless of the size of the company. When a bank organizes customer support into tiers, users are more likely to expect efficient and professional support.
Rather than acting as a gatekeeper for manual operations such as cross-border money transfers, bank customer service should be capable of supporting higher-level financial decisions, such as: Whether it makes sense for your company to pursue venture debt. There comes a time in any business when you need to think about your funding options, and the options can be confusing. If you need this additional support, we have a dedicated relationship manager who can help you understand what it’s like to build a business and can advise and educate you on the capital solutions that are best for your stage. Look for a business bank. work.
5. Does it come with additional resources to help the company grow?
As a founder, building your business is your number one priority and you don’t have time to explore every detail. Consider finding a business bank that goes the extra mile to provide a community of resources, unique insights, and deals to help accelerate your business from the start.
When starting a company, especially as you prepare for your next round of funding, it’s important to surround yourself with a supportive startup community to strengthen your network. With any business banking solution, be sure to join the customer base of other founders. You may also find a solution that created Dedicated fundraising program A place where you can connect directly with investors.
Most traditional commercial banks were not built to serve start-ups and small businesses. As a result, there aren’t many perks for startups and small businesses. Customers may be required to qualify or obtain special permits to do so. Look for banks that offer benefits and discounts to their customers through strategic partnerships.may also be publicity Privilege Reviews from other customers can be an opportunity to promote your own business.
In conclusion, choosing the right business bank account for your startup should consider factors such as 24/7 accessibility, scalability as your team grows, fair fees, customizability, and customer support. I have. Careful consideration of these factors will ensure that your startup’s banking needs are met with the right mix of features and benefits to support growth and success.
*Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Evolve Bank & Trust®. Member of the FDIC.
Mercury is one of several trusted partner benefits available to members of the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub. The member will receive an expedited approval of the application and $750 in cash when he deposits $50,000 into his Mercury bank account within 90 days of approval. In addition, members will receive $250,000 in benefits for accounting services, software and other benefits. Members also receive free checking and savings accounts, ACH transfers, domestic and international transfers, and more (worth up to $30,000).
Sign up today for the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub to access resources and helpful tools for building your startup.
Tags: Entrepreneur, Raising Capital, Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, Startups