While online-only lending is popular due to cost and convenience, don’t overlook the benefits of a brick-and-mortar financial institution when choosing a business credit provider.
Digital banking is the fastest growing banking segment in the U.S. Sixty-two percent (62%) of Americans name it as their primary method of money management.* So it's no surprise that many business owners consider an online lender when applying for a corporate credit card. But that doesn't mean your local brick-and-mortar branch is becoming obsolete or uncompetitive. On the contrary, many financial institutions are continuing to open new locations in and around the local area.
When deciding on a credit card provider, keep in mind these common myths about online lenders that should be laid to rest:
Myth #1: Online Lenders Are More Convenient
Applying for credit and managing your accounts online are now easier than ever. All you need is a working Internet connection to get started. But while online lenders may have been the first to embrace and push the limits of technology, traditional financial institutions have caught up in the last decade.
Online lenders tend to focus on one financial sector, such as loans or credit cards, and may not offer as wide a range of business products or services as your local financial institution. Depending on your situation, you might have to engage more than one online financial institution to meet all your credit needs. This means multiple logins, rules and passwords to remember for each transaction—so much for convenience!
No matter whether your branch is located on the ground or in the cloud, you'll be able to manage your credit card and employee accounts from a computer or mobile device. But should you need help face-to-face, only a brick-and-mortar financial institution will be able to handle walk-ins.
Myth #2: Customer Service Does Not Matter
If you choose to manage your business credit online, expect to do a lot of research and troubleshooting on your own. While it's true many online lenders have robust libraries of help documentation you can browse, there's no guarantee you'll find the solution to your problem or be able to implement it yourself. Not even the best-trained call center agent can match the seamless service of an on-site consultant, who is not only able to diagnose your problem but fix it too.
Myth #3: Fewer Locations Mean Fewer Fees
Many business owners believe online credit providers offer more competitive interest rates because of the money they save not operating retail locations. But you would be doing yourself a disservice if you opted not to consider your local financial institution when searching for a competitive card. For example, BECU's traditional Business Visa® offers one of the lowest APRs in the nation.** Better rates and fewer fees on business credit cards are just a some of the benefits of BECU's not-for-profit, credit union model.
Questions About Credit? Let's Talk!
If you're unsure where to begin when it comes to taking out a business credit card, the quickest way to get started is to consult with an expert. At BECU, business owners can visit one of our Neighborhood Financial Centers or call us —for free!— and speak with a business consultant who can answer their questions, offer advice on financing options and help them apply for a credit card instantly. Learn more about the BECU Business Visa® at www.becu.org/businessvisa.
*Bank of America Trends in Consumer Mobility Report 2016
**Informa Research as of 6/7/2018