Flexibility is a useful attribute for any small business. Indeed, it’s one area where small businesses should have an inherent advantage over larger companies.
To adjust strategy, diversify or change work culture or processes in a large organisation is like turning an oil tanker. It takes a long time, and it creates disruption.
With small headcounts and fewer processes and systems to change, small businesses can be more nimble when it comes to achieving these things. And virtual banking can help them become even more flexible.
Unlike traditional banking, virtual bank accounts don’t require additional approvals or change of service if customers want to make changes to their business.
The standard services offered by virtual banks cater for a wide range of business needs, meaning business customers don’t need to request additional services or pay additional fees if their needs change.
For example, virtual bank accounts often allow a wide range of international payments as standard. Payments across borders are made rapidly and at a much lower cost than traditional banking methods (such as wire transfers) – sometimes with no fee at all. The cost benefits are multiplied for transactions carried out across multiple international borders.
International payments via virtual banks are often certified for certain geographies and payment networks, such as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the SWIFT network – meaning they can be trusted for business use.
And whereas some traditional business bank accounts will charge an account fee that increases sharply once certain revenue thresholds are exceeded, virtual bank accounts are free to use, whatever the size of the business.
Virtual bank accounts also support the ability for businesses to try new things, without the hassle of setting up additional accounts or services with their banking provider.
The ePayments Merchant Services (EMS), for example, enables businesses to easily add e-commerce functionality to their websites via an ePayments payment button. The button is free to add, with fees charged against transactions. If the approach doesn’t work, the functionality can be easily removed.
This kind of flexibility to try new things – such as pop-up stores or selling goods at a local market – with minimal risk is one of the main benefits of virtual banking for small businesses.
In addition to this, virtual banking also offers more flexibility in terms of accessing and managing financial transactions, as accounts are designed to be accessed and managed via digital means, whether that’s online or via mobile devices.
Transactions don’t have to be managed from a bank branch or from the office, but can be handled from any device connected to the internet.
Likewise, virtual banks provide customer services 24 hours a day, meaning issues can be resolved outside normal business hours. There is no need to wait for the bank to open, meaning the impact of any problem is minimised.
Virtual banking also puts businesses in a good position to adjust to future needs: It encourages a cashless approach, which will become increasingly relevant as the use of physical cash declines over the coming years.
Whatever industry your small business operates in, there are countless ways in which virtual banking can give you the flexibility you need.