Advisory: Help Is A Call Or Click Away For Small Business Owners

July 14, 2021

TRACIE ST. LUKE

VANCOUVER ISLAND – Have you had to pivot your business in these fast moving times? If so, you may find yourself doing things differently, including your business’s finances.

From adopting online banking to introducing contactless payment options, these may pose a learning curve to business owners, requiring guidance from your financial institution. Fortunately, help can come to you, and not necessarily the other way around.

Your bank or credit union’s contact centre is an important resource to lean into—for product and services support but also education and helpful advice—beyond a brick and mortar branch. Even better, these experts are here for you when and how you need them, often with extended hours to fit your schedule.

As one of the managers of Coastal Community’s Island-based contact centre (or as we like to call, the Relationship Centre), I know how valuable it is for business owners to be able to pick up the phone or chat online with one of our experts. We’re increasingly finding our Relationship Centre is the primary contact for many local businesses to help them with their day-to-day banking, and then some.

Based on some of the common questions my team’s fielded recently, here are a few tips and tricks we’d like to pass on:

  1. If your business sends or accepts things like e-Transfers, set up a separate business email address to avoid mixing business funds with personal. The Auto Deposit feature can also streamline things.
  2. Check to see if your financial institution offers online banking made for businesses. This version often comes with options that can help your bookkeeper or accountant.
  3. Apply for a business credit card through the contact centre. You can give your office manager a card to make purchases and even set different card limits for different roles in the company.

One of our favourite things to hear from the people we assist is, “I didn’t know you could help me with that.” We want to break down the assumption that a bank or credit union’s contact centre is just for help with personal finances or minor things.

At the Relationship Centre, we see ourselves as a seamless extension of our branches and insurance offices. To do this role justice, we offer the same helpful,
proactive advice and strategies— just online or on the phone instead.

Tracie St. Luke is the manager of the Nanaimo-based Relationship Centre at Coastal Community Credit Union. You can reach her team by calling 1.888.741.1010.

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