As business owners, we’re always looking for the faster solutions. Here in the Twenty First Century, the economy moves lightning-quick. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve got to be able to think on your feet, you’ve got to be able to plan fast and move fast. Long gone are the days when you would spend a week setting up meetings to decide how to set up the meeting, and only then contact your lead with a business proposal. Longone are the days of asking your secretary if you have any calls and then getting back to them after lunch.
That’s good and bad. It’s good because it means that you can’t be lazy, it means that the young, hungry entrepreneur is going to have an edge over established brands. Even the biggest and seemingly most infallible companies are not immune to the advances of a young upstart. Just look at Paypal. For years they had a real “That sounds like a you problem, not an us problem” attitude towards customer service. Their interface was bad, they treated users poorly and they brought very little to the table in the way of innovation. Then Stripe came along and changed all that. Stripe offered the same basic service, but better, with better customer service, with more innovation, with a nicer user interface.
Now Paypal has been forced to up their game. Sure, there are a lot of people who will stick to Paypal no matter what, but Stripe took a nice little chunk out of the big company’s bottom line and forced them to stop sleeping on the job. That’s what happens when business moves fast. Big businesses can be like lumbering giants, taking months to address customer complaints and years to push for changes in their platform. So speed is of the essence, it’s how you’re going to carve out a niche for yourself in whatever industry you find yourself in.
With that in mind, it is worth noting that not all business services are really built for speed. Dealing with banks, for instance, can be a real pain for a small business owner. When you have a business opportunity that you need to capitalize on right now, there’s no way you can afford to wait around for a payment to go through a week or two from now. By that point, the opportunity will be over and done with, the window will have closed and you’ll have no choice but to forget about it. This is why a lot of smaller businesses don’t even bother with banks anymore. They stick to their credit unions, digital payment services and so on. Banks are sluggish, they make you wait, they charge you big fees just for letting them handle your money.
They’re kind of a relic of the past, right?
Not to say that there’s anything wrong with banks in theory. In fact, banks are still some of the most reliable and rewarding entities to do business with under the right circumstances. But so few of them are keeping up with what’s really going on in today’s economy. They don’t realize how important it is to think fast, work fast, develop fast, and ship fast.
But, that’s a tendency, a trend, it’s not the rule. There are some banking entities that understand how important speed is in the modern marketplace. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for instance. Case in point: CashPro Online.
What Is CashPro Online?
Here’s the short version: Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s CashPro Online service is businesses of any size, or almost any size (small businesses on up to a hundred million dollar accounts. We’re not so sure about billion dollar brands), can manage their cash flow quickly from anywhere in the world. It’s basically an online module that helps you to get what you need done, done, without a whole lot of hoopla. To list some of the features offered by the service…
- Viewing your balance Initiating payments
- Managing your receipts
- Making deposits
- Manage multiple accounts with a single login
- A year of transaction history records for easy bookkeeping come tax time
- Make deposits from anywhere
- Fraud protection with a series of still-innovating features to keep you safe Initiating loan transactions
- Spreadsheet data generated automatically
What Does All This Accomplish?
The idea behind the design of CashPro Online is something you could find discussed in the classic book on marketing and business, The Tipping Point. Basically it works like this: What’s going to get your business over is not the one big hail mary pass, it’s probably not going to be the big thing that makes you famous and transforms your business from just another burger truck or book store or Etsy shop to the biggest one in your niche. It’s going to be the little things. You keep doing the little things the right way and you’re going to hit the tipping point, like dropping one drip of water after another into a bucket until it finally overflows. When it hits, it’ll feel like an overnight success, but really it will be the result of years of hard work, of persistence, of doing the little things correctly, one after another, until it all pays off.
That’s the principle behind The Tipping Point, and it’s the same principle at work with CashPro Online. It’s not a revolution all in one little app. It’s not a groundbreaking change for how we do business with banks. Nobody had a “Eureka!” moment or a light bulb turn on over their head when they came up with it. It’s not about that. Rather, it’s about shaving hours, minutes and seconds off of the time you spend managing your accounts. It doesn’t seem like much at the time. You automate your spreadsheet data output and you save yourself maybe a couple hours a week. You make deposits while you’re stuck in traffic and you save yourself the five minutes it would have taken to do so on your computer at the office.
You take a look at all your accounts on your phone with just one login and you save yourself maybe thirty seconds of logging in and out. It doesn’t sound like much when you list out the bits and pieces, the odds and ends that affect how you spend your time in a day on the job. But… It adds up. You hit a tipping point. Save thirty seconds a few times a day and it adds up to a couple minutes. Save five, six, seven minutes a few times a day and it adds up to a half hour. Save those thirty minutes every day for a week plus the hour or two it takes to manage your spreadsheet data and you’ve just about got yourself a day off of work. Enough of those in a row and you’re saving yourself weeks, months of time. Not to mention, you’re cutting out a lot of the headaches. By automating a lot of stuff, by making other things more accessible, faster, you do just a little bit less hair-pulling every day.
The Changing Times
You have to be fast and that means, in many cases, automation. It’s nice when you have the funds to hire a full staff, it’s nice when you can create jobs for freelancers and experienced professionals and young rookies alike. But when you’re running a small business, that’s not an option. And when you’re running a large business, you might have so much data, so much money changing hands that you simply cannot ask a person to do that work for you. In the old days you had to tell somebody to tell somebody to do this or that in order to put a deposit through or get the data ready for you to look at and so on. Now automation makes that a lot easier.
What Are My Options with CashPro?
CashPro comes with a number of ways to access your data and use the features as needed.
Here’s what you get when you use CashPro:
- CashPro Payments. Your payment hub. It’s great for local payments it it’s also a global payments hub, very necessary for international companies, even if by “international” you’re talking about Canada AND the United States. Essentially it makes it easier to get payments and transactions through no matter the currency. Whether you’re a fifty million dollar company working with partners and clients and suppliers in Japan, Hong Kong, Europe and Mexico, or you just want to make sure that you don’t have any issues when you’re sending your customers in Ireland their shipment, CashPro Payments makes all of that a little easier.
- CashPro Information Reporting. This is how you get all the data and information you need. It’s a pretty fast little app helping you to analyze and research your transactions, looking at meaningful data points and automating the process of printing all that information out onto spreadsheets, receipts, reports and so on. Look, crunching the numbers is the biggest headache in any line of business. No matter what industry you’re in, unless it’s accounting, you didn’t get into that industry just to run a calculator all day long. That’s the part of the job that you need to do in order to run a successful business, but it’s not the exciting part. It’s like doing the dishes, we all have to do it, no matter how much we hate it. With CashPro Information Reporting it’s like having a dishwashing machine: Still a bit of a chore, but a heck of a lot easier.
- CashPro Mobile. This doesn’t let you run every single feature that CashPro offers, but it lets you run all of the features you’re going to need to run in your car, at the restaurant, while out and about. Look, you don’t wanna be one of those workaholics who’s always on your phone anyways. CashPro Mobile lets you make deposits and view your accounts no matter where you are, and that’s all you really need from a mobile CashPro app if you know how to manage your work/life balance.
Does this make it worth it to switch to Bank of America?
Well, it’s a tie-breaker, anyway. A lot of banks offer similar apps and platforms, though few are as fast, dynamic, innovative and robust as CashPro.
Is it a revolution in the banking industry?
Not really. But it is a high-performance platform that will make life easier for entrepreneurs and CEO’s and business men and women and managers of all sorts. We don’t recommend moving from your bank to BoA just for the app, and if you don’t like banks at all, if you stick to all-digital platforms or credit unions, this platform isn’t going to change your mind. But it is a nice platform to have if you’re already banking with BoA, or trying to decide who to bank with as you start your business.