New Ways to Empower Your Community Bank

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Last month, Electronic Payments attended ICBA Live 2018, and wow. What a great experience! Our hats are off to the entire ICBA team for executing such a meaningful, successful conference. Also, a tremendous thank you to all of the community bankers who invested significant resources into attending, including your most precious commodity – time. It was an invaluable opportunity for all involved, and we are very proud to have been a part of it all.

It’s remarkable how many different hats those in the banking world wear out of necessity. As a community partner, attending such events is an educational opportunity for all of us, providing valuable insight into the needs of the banks we serve; a greater understanding of our offerings and partner programs; positioning our products and services in a manner that is beneficial to community banks. We are eager to share what we learned from our conversations for everyone’s benefit, including those who were not able to visit with our team.

Several bankers commented that merchant services and credit card processing are not top priorities, and we completely understand. That said, we urge each of you to consider why it is that every large financial institution offers merchant services. Beyond added revenue stream, it helps solidify commercial relationships and keep the competition at bay. The more services you extend to your clients, the less likely they are to look to your competition.

Some bankers explained that they have limited opportunity due to their location. From our experience, versatility is key. It is crucial to provide as many services as possible to clients in smaller markets. Unlike large regional and national brands, small markets have a very loyal client base, and offering these services ensure they stay that way. Furthermore, by leveraging a range of solutions, you can expand your reach and acquire new relationships.

We met with many bankers who expressed dissatisfaction in the lack of success garnered with their current, or previous, merchant services program. Many times, this stems from a payment processor not providing adequate product education or an effective marketing program, each of which should be tailored to your institution. Your product education should provide as much knowledge as your team needs, and the marketing should help differentiate your services within the marketplace. Electronic Payments has a dedicated in-house marketing team that can assist with expanding your brand on your terms, including access to co-branded promotional materials, electronic statements, and applications. Assistance with both the education and marketing elements becomes a win-win situation. The better you do, the better we do.

These are just a few of the many concerns brought to the attention of our team during the conference. We are happy to have more in-depth conversations about these and any other challenges your institution may have. Please reach out to Robert Stanley, Director of FI Relations, at 800-966-5520, ext. 212 or

Again, thank you to everyone involved for making ICBA Live 2018 a tremendous success!