How Community Banks Benefit from a Merchant Processing Partnership: Interview with Glenwood State Bank
Evolve Payment’s Partnership with Glenwood State Bank
Marnie Ochs-Raleigh, Founder & CEO of Evolve Payment, discussed with Teri Etienne, Treasury Management Lead at Glenwood State Bank, how their community bank has been able to elevate their business offerings and transform their cash management operations through their partnership with Evolve Payment.
Glenwood State Bank previously managed their merchant service options in-house but understood with accelerating technology, including EMV and Pin Chip, they needed to partner with a team that could help upgrade their customers and transition their customer portfolio.
What to Look for In a Merchant Processing Partner
Etienne has been the lead for their treasury management services for more than 11 years and partnered with Evolve Payments to assist in creating a great customer experience with proven technology leadership. As Etienne stated, Evolve Payment has “supported Glenwood State Bank in a professional manner that aligns with our company’s core values, ethics, and background.”
During the age of the digital bank and marketplace, it’s important to find a provider that you can trust to be transparent and reliable for your customers’ merchant processing needs. Etienne noted, “You also want to ensure you can build a rapport with the team and they provide a level of comfort for your team and customers.”
“Being in such a complex industry you really need someone that is focused on the industry with years of experience. This knowledge is critical to a successful program,” explains Etienne. “You need to trust a team that can explain the nuances of the industry in simple terms. Most importantly, they need to understand how the pricing works for not only B2C transactions but also B2C.”
Etienne advises community banks that they should follow in their steps of partnering with a professional team that puts the bank’s needs first, provides competitive rates, ensures responsive communication, and builds a trusting relationship founded on experience and industry knowledge.
By partnering with Evolve Payment, Glenwood State Bank was able to define customer retention strategies in order to successfully avoid losing business to larger competing banks, according to Ochs-Raleigh. They were able to successfully keep up with escalating technology options, proactively respond to merchant processing changes, and understand the industry details thus elevating their standard of customer service.
Benefits of Partnering With a Merchant Processing Expert
Glenwood State Bank benefits from having a single partner for all merchant processing customers, from B2C to B2B businesses. Instead of finding answers or searching for information from multiple sources, they can rely on Evolve Payment to respond to the differing and specific needs of their customers while explaining the process in a way that can be understood and reprocessed. Evolve Payment partners also benefit from the technical knowledge our team has with ecommerce gateways and POS systems.
Merchant Processing Insight from a Bank’s Perspective
Below Teri Etienne provides insight into Glenwood State Bank’s experience and recommendation for working with Evolve Payment and offering merchant processing services.
Working at Glenwood State Bank
Why are you in this role?
I’ve been in banking for many years, I love working with the community bank because I love getting to know my customers and can provide services that enhance and help them grow their business. I help make the business more efficient, it’s a very satisfying feeling to be a partner with your customers and share in their success.
Tell me about the role of a Treasury Management Lead.
Each day I have the privilege of consulting with the customers on the treasurer products they need, I identify what products fit with their needs, provide customer service, assist with contracts, create agreements and contracts, and provide training on how to use the services.
Why Banks Should Offer Merchant Processing Services
Why are merchant processing services important to the bank?
It’s important to retain customers. All businesses have specific needs to operate, especially ones that make it easy to collect payments from their customers. The bank needs to provide the technology and services to make this happen in a timely and cost-effective way. Community banks need to remain competitive and offer the right services, or clients could consider moving their banking needs to one of the larger banks.
While there are merchant fees associated with accepting a credit card, it costs less money to pay the interchange and transaction fees than it does to pay the interest on borrowed money.
Anything a client can do to speed up the payment process is a benefit to their bottom line. We partner with a trusted partner to ensure our customers receive competitive rates with great customer service. When we have a trusted relationship, we know our bank’s customers are being well cared for and can rely on us to make financial recommendations.
Why should banks partner with an Independent Sales Office (ISO) for their merchant services?
I have been the primary contact for a merchant program in the past, and it is difficult to remain current with the trends and regulations in this industry. Merchant services is a very complex industry and a bank needs someone that is focused on the industry with years of experience in order to lead through challenging situations. This knowledge is critical to a successful program.
They not only need to tell the bank’s clients about merchant services, pricing, equipment, PCI compliance, and industry regulations, but they should be able to explain all the industry acronyms in business terms and explain why it is important for the business owner. They need to be able to do this for both B2C and B2B businesses.
It’s hard for someone to explain all the above nuances when it’s a part-time piece of your job, and almost impossible to answer questions when there is an issue with the account because of the third parties involved and context that may arise. The industry changes so fast, with all the different technology integrations and security updates, you really need a team that can lead these conversations. Furthermore, the partner has to offer competitively priced options and provide great customer service.
How to Ensure Continued Success
What processes do you suggest other banks should implement to ensure their clients are getting the customer service they need?
A great start is to agree on response time for customers and having a dedicated person for customer service team members. Since customer support is not confined to business hours, it’s important to have access to the team after normal business hours. Establish a process on how a referral will be made. Have a process in place to know leads sent in are being followed up with on an agreed timeline; you don’t want your customers to be overwhelmed, nor forgotten about.
A partnership always has good communication once the customer has been handed over; check-in’s on where they are at in the process and what is being done on the customer’s behalf. Other things to look for are their willingness to go above and beyond, ability to negotiate pricing options for merchants, and process for conflict resolution.
Why should a merchant use the bank’s preferred partnership rather than going someplace online?
The bank has already completed the vetting with the vendor, and there is trust. The bank’s customers trust the bank to make referrals so they can help manage their cash flow needs.
How Bank Customers Benefit From Evolve Payment Services
Can you share a success story of working with the team at Evolve Payment?
We have had many customers that have shared great stories on how the team at Evolve Payment has gone above and beyond to help them with their merchant services account.
As an example, we have a retail client that was having an issue with their terminal. The team at Evolve Payment was extremely responsive, answered all their questions within the same business day, and they provided options with different solutions along with the pros and cons for the options available. The customer was able to quickly make a smart business decision and they didn’t have any downtime in swapping out the new equipment.
Another story is of a merchant that was upgrading their website software and the integration was not going smoothly. The team at Evolve Payment was quickly able to troubleshoot the transactions and provide the solution for the development team to update the gateway account and smoothly process transactions.
Another great example is a manufacturing company that came to our bank and had an existing merchant account. As part of our new client onboarding process, we asked Evolve Payment to provide a pricing analysis. The team identified that the company was processing at a B2C/retail level when they qualified for the B2B level which equated to lower fees. The team at Evolve Payment reduced their merchant processing costs by 30% by switching to a new platform that reduced admin costs and deposited the funds quicker.
How can your bank improve its merchant processing services?
We are grateful to work with Glenwood State Bank and their incredible team committed to the success of their customers. Their mission to provide their customers with leading guidance is demonstrated through their partnership with Evolve Payment. We use our merchant expertise to assist the team at Glenwood State Bank to provide their customers with the highest level of leadership and support.
To learn more about how your bank can benefit from partnering with a merchant processing partner, we encourage you to reach out to our team. We look forward to working with you!