Remote Workforce & Banking

Ways to increase financial security and banking efficiency in a remote work environment.

 

It’s no secret that remote work is here to stay. Even prior to the pandemic, many jobs and business models were going virtual. However, the COVID-19 pandemic gave the rest of us an emergency trial run for virtual business — which led to some surprising results for traditional brick and mortar businesses. Owl Labs, a tech company that focuses on researching hybrid and remote work, reported that “90% of employees say they were as productive or MORE working remotely when compared to the office.” In addition to continued productivity, employees remained happier, more balanced, and less stressed. The positive changes have led to 71% of respondents to confirm their desire to continue a hybrid or remote working schedule even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.1

Aside from remote work, the business world transformed in 2020 as business logistics and transaction types also adapted to CDC guidelines, remote employees, and distant customers. Prior to 2020, digital banking capabilities were being developed and used, but the last two years really jump-started many of our local businesses to digitize their banking, accounting processes, and financial security.

Big or small, the business world is digitizing by the day.

According to research by Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), in April 2020 there was a 200% increase in new registrations to mobile banking and an 85% increase in mobile banking traffic.2 These growth statistics were unprecedented in our world. Fast forward to 2022, it looks like all of the successful digital adaptions are here to stay. Customers who did not previously bank online have had over two years to get used to the change and are now unlikely to revert back to visiting their local office unless necessary, due to increased convenience and ease. Employees who have been remote for two years, likewise, are unlikely to revert back to their 9-5 schedule at one location. So how can your business adapt to remote work and digital banking? See our suggestions:

 

Multi-User Online Banking with Dual Control

We all want to trust our employees, but it’s a smart decision to always have multiple controls for money movement. How is this handled when teams are remote? Look for a bank that can use one online banking platform to manage multiple users with custom capabilities and credentials. To heighten security, the platform should offer dual control security features in regards to moving money (BillPay, ACH, Wires, etc.). For example, Standard Bank offers Security Authentication Devices which add an extra layer of control during the online banking login process to deter unauthorized users. Overall, a strong, customizable, and secure online banking platform is a must for remote departments both in usability and security.

 

Online Reporting, Transfers and BillPay

Online banking offers great tools for everyone in your business to use. Available to approved users, your employees can have the ability to view payments and receivables, statements, check images, and make loan payments. In the event that an office is closed or a remote employee is unable to go to the bank, wire transfers can be initiated online (also available with dual control and tokens) and bills can be paid and scheduled 24/7. Never miss a payment or deadline.

 

Positive Pay

While remote work has tremendous benefits for employees, it does impact a company’s security. Bad actors love to take advantage of tumultuous times, and the decentralization of workforces is the perfect opportunity to strike. Unfortunately for businesses, home office networks are just not as secure as their corporate infrastructures. One way to reduce the risk of fraudulent account activity is by identifying unauthorized transactions before they occur with a service called Positive Pay. With Positive Pay, companies authorize specific businesses with which they are willing to exchange ACH or check payments. If an unauthorized transaction is attempted, the account owner has the ability to review and either approve or deny the transaction. Positive Pay will be your business’ new “gate keeper.”

 

ACH Origination

Paper checks are on the decline. Automated Clearing House or ACH system originates digital payments. ACH can improve cash flow and allows businesses to securely send and receive payment information via Standard Bank’s secure website. Dual control is available and highly recommended as an additional internal control, along with out-of-band authentication via tokens. This is a common service remote employees use for quick, day-to-day money movement.

 

Deposit Xpress

With Standard Bank’s Deposit Xpress, your employees can remotely deposit checks 24/7 into your business’ bank account from anywhere. Simply scan your checks and transmit the check images to Standard Bank through a secure internet connection. Our web-based software is easy to use and is password-protected for security. Gain access to your money sooner by depositing checks the same business day they are received. The service also has detailed reports, audit logs, and images of the deposited items. Perfect for the remote finance or sales professional!

 

Mobile Banking

Finally, the glue that supports most of the services above: our mobile app.3 All Standard Bank businesses have access to Standard Bank’s business mobile app, so be sure to leverage it to help your remote workforce! Business mobile banking is the quickest and most convenient way to bank for businesses on the go. Downloading the app on your app store is free and setting it up only takes a few minutes. The app (available for both phone and tablet) offers:

  • Mobile Deposit: Deposit checks with just a photo
  • Positive Pay exception approval (add on service)
  • Wire transaction approval (add on service)
  • Transfer money between Standard Bank accounts
  • Pay bills, add new vendors, and view written checks
  • View balances and activity of checking, savings, investment, and loan accounts

If you feel Treasury Management would help improve your efficiency, we invite you to call our Treasury Management team at (412) 632-1347. We would be happy to talk one-on-one with you about what products and services may best fit your business.

 


1 State of Remote Work 2021. Owllab.com; Owl Labs. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2021/
2 Schindler, E. (2021, March 15). One year later: How COVID-19 is impacting mobile banking trends. FIS Global. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://www.fisglobal.com/en/insights/what-we-know/2021/march/one- year-on-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-mobile-banking
3 Third-party carrier message and data rates may apply with mobile banking. Products and services within the app may be subject to payments and fees including, but not limited to, Positive Pay and Wires. View all terms and conditions of business mobile banking here.