It’s no secret that like many small businesses, community banks have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. When this pandemic began, experts estimated that approximately 25-30 percent of small businesses would close, and the actual percentage is hovering around 17 percent. Additionally, community banks have been in a generational decline in the past few decades and have seen their market share drop from 40% to 12%. So how are community banks surviving in these unprecedented times? They’re taking measures to increase their fee income, diversify their offerings, and they are perfecting the loan application and fulfillment process for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
In a time when every dollar matters, community banks have focused on analyzing their customer data to identify where fee income is being lost to their competitors. Many community banks are losing out on business because they do not offer a payment processing platform, which means their customers are flocking to their competitors for these services. While this might not seem like a big deal, it’s actually opening your bank up for more revenue loss because many of these payment processing companies offer the services you do like loans, bank accounts, payroll processing, and debit cards. Once merchants look elsewhere for a payments relationship, there’s often little to stop them from switching other services, too.
There’s an elegant solution to this growing problem. BankMax from Celero Commerce offers community bankers sales analytics tools, payment processing capabilities, and customizable reporting. It assists with locating where fee income is being lost to competitors and it provides tools to increase your business growth. For banks without a program to help their customers process sales transactions, fee income is lost when they use your competitor’s services. But with BankMax, that’s a problem of the past. Now your customers can perform sales transactions using your devices and your program which equates to savings for them and revenue for you! Celero provides a variety of payment devices ranging from our countertop cash register to our smaller handheld device for on-the-go payments. Your customers will love the selection and the flexibility of the service offerings.
Additionally, COVID-19 has encouraged merchants to switch over to contactless payment options for hygiene reasons, and with BankMax, this transition is made simple. BankMax offers customizable contactless payment options like online payment portals, digital gift cards, and tap-to-pay transactions. Tap-to-pay transactions using mobile devices have become increasingly popular as merchants move to contactless payment options due to concerns about COVID-19. It’s a safer, easier way for people to make purchases, and BankMax has worked hard to make this process easy for community banks and their customers to adopt.
Another bright light for community banks is the aforementioned PPP loans. While larger banks struggled to provide their customers with these loans, with some troublingly focusing only on larger customers with larger loans to generate larger fees, smaller community banks nimbly served millions of small and mid-sized businesses. Community banks have an advantage over large banks because they know their customers better, they understand their needs and wants, and they truly value their relationships. Their personal relationships with their customers help to streamline the loan issuance process, which helps their customers get the funding they need in a timely fashion in addition to increasing the bank’s fee income. It’s a win-win situation for the customer and the bank.
While these uncertain times can be frightening, there are so many tools out there to help your bank succeed despite the challenges facing our country and world. Let Celero Commerce be your resource and consider signing up for BankMax today. The opportunities for growth are out there, and we’d love to help your bank and the merchants in your community grow.