Why does it seem like switching banks is as hard - or harder - than switching health practitioners? Sometimes, we seem to have an irrational loyalty to others who are supposed to be in the business of helping us even when they are doing more harm than good. That’s how I’ve felt over the last three years.
Logically, I knew that my business bank was doing nothing for my company. I didn’t have a relationship with any one person, nobody knew my name or anything about my company, and when push came to shove, they weren’t there for me when I really needed them.
Now I’m in the process of switching banks. I’ve decided to go with Key Bank, and they’ve been holding my hand every step of the way, and these days I seem to need a lot more hand-holding than usual.
Identifying The Bank For You
According to Maria C. Coyne is executive vice president of Community Banking for KeyBank National Association and is the national spokesperson for Key4Women, there are two parts of identifying a bank: one is more personal and the other is more mechanical. The more personal is looking or a “fit and feel and suitability” with a financial institution you can trust, one that is involved in your community, that has good robut tools, and that can help you today and in the future.
Coyne likens looking for the right bank to dating - having similar interests, having a good fit, and liking the people who work there. Ask yourself if you believe the bank you’re looking at really has your best interest at heart or are trying to sell you their product of the day.
For me, having a bank with a women’s business program was important because I not only wanted the networking opportunities, but I felt that I was dealing with a business situation that was inextricably impacted by my personal life. For better or for worse, I felt that a lot of my issues were related to being female and only a bank that could look at my complete picture rather than solely numbers or words on paper would recognize that I’d be a great banking client.
The Mechanics of the Move
Now I’m in the process of moving from my old bank to my new bank. The main things I need to do in the order that I’m doing them include:
1. Switch all my autopays from the old account to my new one. This is taking a while to identify them all and switch them by phone or online.
2. Close out old accounts I’m not using anymore. DONE.
3. Pay off the $11,000+ balance on two old company credit cards (DONE - with CASH reserves)
4. Keep old checking account open long enough to ensure that all autopays are properly transferred.
5. Start using new accounts. DOING.
6. Breathe a heavy sigh of relief to be this much closer to starting fresh with a new bank. DOING.
Women, Business and Money
According to Elizabeth Henton, new program manager and SVP for Key4Women, research and statistics do show that women run their businesses differently than men. The Center for Women’s Business Research has been a research partner with Key Bank. The Key4Women program is built around several principles based on what they’ve found is important to women:
- the need for access to capital
- networking opportunities and business opportunities
- ongoing education such as workshops on business plans or financial needs
- customized service
While the products offered to women business owners through Key4Women are the same as available to any business owner, they are packaged and delivered in a way that resonates with women.
Do you think that in general women deal with business and finances differently than men? Why or why not?
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