Information for Financial Institutions

Integrated Offerings Inspiration

Integrated offerings empower FIs to create lifetime value for business account holders.

Deborah Sweeney

By Deborah Sweeney

Integrated offerings empower FIs to create lifetime value for business account holders. Rather than offering “one and done” account opening services, financial institutions can bundle products that offer ongoing support throughout the small business lifecycle. Integrated offerings solidify FI's status as trusted advisors, help foster long-term relationships, establish FIs as trusted partners and, ultimately, help increase FI revenues. Here are some examples of products financial institutions can bundle to serve SBOs.

Business filings and incorporation

As previously stated, there is a common disconnect in which financial institutions tell startup business account holders they must leave to acquire an EIN before they can open an account – and they risk losing account holders at that critical juncture. Rather than telling account holders to seek help elsewhere, financial institutions can instead handle business filings for them, and in doing so begin to build trust and establish the notion they can be counted on for important business services.
Business incorporation services might include:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Partnership and LLC filings
  • EIN acquisition
  • DBA acquisition
  • Business name search

As trusted advisors, branches can help educate startups on the differences between business structures and which is best for their companies. They can explain how corporation status can help protect personal assets, save money on taxes, and build credibility, as well as show EINs are needed to hire employees and to issue business checks, for example.
That type of education demonstrates that branches have their account holders' best interests at the forefront. It helps FIs position themselves as trusted advisors, engage new account holders and foster long-term business relationships.

Tax services

Financial institutions can help small businesses set up tax accounts and maintain compliance, which can often prove confusing for startups and even more so for larger companies that manage multiple employees. Services can range from supplying tax forms (and helping businesses fill them out) to full payroll tax management and filing.
Startups, in particular, might not know which tax forms they need or exactly how to fill them out. Established small business owners might find tax compliance to be a drain on their existing resources; here, financial institutions can offer ongoing management and filing services so SBOs can focus on business operations.

Trademark and copyright services

Small businesses want to protect their intellectual property, and financial institutions can offer trademark and copyright services that safeguard their business names, slogans, logos and other unique properties.
Trademarks and copyrights protect companies against infringement, increase brand value and boost marketing power, but many SBOs find it difficult to navigate the filing process. They might be unsure about which trademark categories to apply under, for example, or how to protect their unique work.
FIs can simplify the filing process and help SBOs acquire the appropriate protection through trademark and copyright filings. They can even help businesses protect their investments through trademark and copyright monitoring, which enables businesses to take swift action if their rights are infringed.

Brand identity services

Startups need to establish brand identities to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Established businesses might be seeking brand makeovers to modernize their companies or connect with new audiences.
All businesses need powerful branding, from unique logos and branded business checks to websites, brochures and social presences.
Financial institutions can offer strategic planning, creative development and brand design services – either in-house or via strategic partnerships to help SBOs establish winning brands that resonate with their account holders. Though logo design, print collateral and digital branding might not be the first things SBOs associate with financial institutions, such services present an opportunity for FIs to differentiate themselves in the market with value-added, integrated and holistic offerings that make it easy for small businesses to go from concept to launch.

Marketing services

Financial institutions understand marketing: They must market their own products and services, after all, so it's a natural fit for financial institutions and credit unions to offer marketing services to their small business account holders. When SBOs come in to set up new accounts, financial institutions can leverage their trusted advisor status to recommend a suite of marketing products designed to help small businesses establish and grow their companies.
Examples include print collateral such as business cards, letterhead and brochures; digital assets such as websites, social marketing, email marketing and data-driven ad campaigns; and promotional products such as T-shirts, coffee mugs and pens. Financial institutions can even help retail companies design and produce branded retail packaging.
Again, strategic partnerships can empower FIs to expand into marketing without the need for added overhead or personnel.
Integrated offerings

  • Business filings and incorporation
  • Tax services
  • Trademark and copyright
  • Brand identity services
  • Marketing
  • Payroll and HR management
  • Treasury management
  • Check and fraud
  • Payroll and HR management

Established businesses often find payroll and HR management to be complicated, time-consuming (yet necessary) functions, and new businesses can be overwhelmed by the complexity of payroll documentation, management and legal compliance. Financial institutions, then, can offer payroll and employee management services that save SBOs time and money while helping them maintain compliance with local, state and federal laws.
For example, a financial institution could establish a strategic partnership that enables it to offer employee screening, background checks, time and attendance tools, COBRA administration, benefits management and other payroll and HR services to its business account holders. Or, it could partner with a technology firm to offer remote deposit capture and flexible payment options to SBOs who can seamlessly onboard employees via a self-service cloud-based platform. These fee-based products present opportunities for financial institutions to capture
ongoing revenues and boost their bottom lines while simultaneously saving SBOs time and money.

Treasury management

Treasury management represents a tremendous opportunity for financial institutions to increase revenue while providing small businesses accelerated access to working capital, improved straight-through processing and the ability to drive profitable growth. Financial institutions can lend small business account holders strategic advantages through treasury management services such as remote deposit capture, all enabled via cloud-based software that enables swift and seamless onboarding.
Treasury management simplifies operations and helps small businesses save time and money. Moreover, the ability to translate treasury management products into account holder solutions is increasingly tied to FI performance. Ongoing and fee-based, treasury management products enable financial institutions to simplify back end operations for business account holders and earn consistent revenues.

Check and fraud solutions

It's natural for SBOs to request business checks when they open accounts, and financial institutions can offer custom-printed business checks that feature unique company branding to lend authenticity and credibility. More importantly, they can offer high-security business checks and check authentication to lower fraud risk - a highly scalable benefit for both startups and established businesses.
Bundled with other business services, financial institutions can offer ongoing check programs that include multiple design options, antifraud security, computer checks that are universally compatible with accounting software and a line of branded accessories such as binders and envelopes. And, by offering an easy and intuitive online ordering experience, financial institutions can increase average order values by more than 60% for products their business account holders already want and need.

Simplified Path for SBs

Most SBOs would rather focus on growing their business than dealing with time-consuming and tedious back end operations.”
Integrated offerings attract SBOs through simplification Those are just a few examples of the types of services FIs can bundle together to better serve small businesses. Integrated offerings provide streamlined, simplified solutions SBOs seek: most would rather focus on
growing their businesses than deal with a slew of time-consuming and often tedious back end operations.
As trusted advisors and financial partners, financial institutions are uniquely positioned to take the load off small business owners and free them to focus on growth. Forward-thinking FIs, then, are bundling products into packages that help attract and retain both startups and established businesses. When financial institutions can integrate offerings so small businesses can get everything they need from a single provider, they can foster long-term account holder relationships that yield consistent revenue growth.

Integrated Vs In-house Offerings

Next: Integrated vs. In-House Offerings

Integrated offerings enable FIs to expand their product ranges and better serve small business account holders, gain competitive advantages over fintechs and yield consistent revenue growth.