Your small business is a big deal to us
That's why we take the time to truly understand every aspect of your business—including the dreams and aspirations that drive it. Wherever you see your business heading, look to BB&T for informed solutions to help you get there.
Why choose Merchant Services with BB&T?
When it comes to managing your business cash flow, you need reliable answers from experts with more than 45 years of experience in creating customized, affordable payment processing solutions for our clients. Our regional consultants gain expertise from managing one of the largest merchant portfolios in the US. They can use that knowledge to develop solutions that best meet your specific needs.
Merchant Services payment processing
Streamline your operations and get useful information from transaction data
- Simple and more secure payment options for clients
- Advanced data reporting and analysis
- Competitive pricing and faster access to funds
- Cloud-based solutions that are compatible with other technologies
Security and compliance
Keep your business compliant with more security requirements
- Reduced risk and liability for your business and clients
- Fraud protection and data encryption
- More secure payment transactions
- Up-to-date technologies
Value Added Reseller Program
Create solutions that will make you stand out from the competition
- Partnership with industry-leading financial institution
- Dedicated relationship manager
- Referrals from a community-driven banking network
- In-house client support team
BB&T Merchant Assurance Program
In an ever-changing world of business products and services, it's challenging to keep up with the latest trends while running a business. That's why we created the BB&T Merchant Assurance Program for our small business clients—we want to make sure you always get the best solution at the best pricing for your unique business needs. And if you get a better offer, we'll provide a comparable solution (one per year) or waive the early termination fee should you choose to close your account.
To have our team review a written offer you've received, please contact us at 877-672-4228 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to midnight ET; Saturday, 10:30 am to midnight ET; or by email at MerchantSupport@BBandT.com.
Tips for managing cash flow effectively
Did you know that more than 80% of small businesses fail because of poor cash flow management? Here are nine tips to help manage your cash flow successfully.
1. Create cash flow projections
Track your business' day-to-day cash flow to project inflows, outflows, and any gaps. After collecting these projections for even a few weeks, you'll have good insight into your company's finances and be better equipped to manage cash-flow-related decisions.
2. Collect payments as soon as possible
Once you've delivered your product or service, immediately invoice the customer and note on the invoice that "payment is due upon invoice receipt." Have a process in place to deal with late or delinquent payments—you may choose to charge a fee for late payments. Be sure to follow up on all outstanding balances, or ask a trusted and reliable employee to do so.
3. Delay payables when possible
Early payment to vendors may hurt your cash flow and should be avoided if possible. Postpone payment as long as you can, but make sure you remain consistent with contract terms to avoid any late payment penalties. Slowing the outflow of cash is important, but it's just as critical to maintain a good credit rating and positive relationships with your vendors and suppliers.
4. Set aside cash reserves
Your long-term survival depends on your ability to prepare for gaps in cash flow. What happens if you're delayed in getting paid by a client? Or, your computer system is compromised in some way? Reserving cash in an interest-earning business savings or money market account allows you to temporarily bridge these gaps.
5. Use technology for efficiency
Use an online service to streamline your invoicing and accounts receivable. Track and manage your money using online banking, and consider using accounting software to get a 360-degree view of your business finances.
6. Increase cash flow
Look for ways to increase the amount of cash you bring in regularly. Can you set up contract payment schedules that equal or surpass your costs? Is it feasible to require money upfront for projects, or ask for a security deposit of some kind? Consider prepaid subscription sales to receive upfront cash and secure future sales, or even layaway programs to help you access cash prior to incurring any costs.
7. Reduce unnecessary costs
Cutting or avoiding expenses reduces demands on cash. Review how your business spends money and identify ways to cut back—but be realistic. Some strategies may include repairing equipment instead of replacing it, buying used equipment in good condition, delaying product upgrades as long as possible, contracting complex jobs to consultants instead of hiring internally, and more.
8. Get creative with marketing
Marketing your business doesn't have to cost a lot if you're willing to do a little legwork. Increase your sales by hosting an event in your community, or offering referral incentives to existing customers. Use social media and email marketing to share items of interest with your customers and prospects.
9. Keep credit available in reserve
In addition to cash reserves, it's a good idea to maintain a business line of credit or credit card to use in case of emergencies. Just be sure you can pay off your balance easily so you can continue to build and maintain good business credit.
The bottom line
Effective cash flow management provides the peace of mind you need to focus on day-to-day business operations and plans for your future success.
ACH vs. wire transfers: What you need to know
Making payments electronically is a safe and efficient way to send money. There are two key methods you can use for your business: ACH and wire transfers.
What's an ACH transfer?
An ACH transfer is a low-cost way to send and receive money. Plus, it streamlines the process of collecting receivables and processing payments. Ultimately, you'll save time and money and improve your cash flow. Whether you want to make one-time or recurring payments, or receive payments from your customers, you'll need authorization to do so.
Sending an ACH payment
To send an ACH payment, you'll need the bank account number and routing/ABA number for the receiver. In most instances, the receiver will provide you with an authorization form to fill out so they can withdraw your funds through the service. You'll be notified when the payment will be made so you can ensure the funds are available.
Receiving money from customers
To receive money from customers, you'll need to get the authorization from your customers to automatically withdraw funds from their checking or savings accounts though the ACH. Your bank will then process the payments through ACH and credit your account the next banking day.
Timing of ACH transfers
Depending on your need, ACH transfers can occur as soon as the same day or can take up to several days to process. Same-day ACH payments usually cost more to send due to the expedited turnaround time, however the benefit associated with faster payment processing may outweigh the fee increase. If you don't need same-day ACH processing, a good rule of thumb is to make sure a new ACH transfer is set up at least 29 days prior to your payment due date. The funds don't have to be available in your account to set up the ACH; however, if they're not available at the time of the transfer, you'll be charged an insufficient funds fee (as well as other applicable fees).
Cost of ACH transfers
Depending on the number of ACH transfers you make, the transaction may only cost a few dollars. In certain situations, you can even make ACH payments for free, or get a discount on a product or service for doing so.
What's a wire transfer?
A wire transfer is the fastest way to send money electronically. In most instances, money can be received within 1 business day or even on the same day it was sent. Wire transfers are typically used for large payments and are great for one-time or infrequent payments.
Sending a wire transfer
To send a wire transfer, you'll need the name of the recipient's bank, their account number, and routing number. You can also send money to another wire transfer location (instead of a bank account). You'll need the recipient's name as well as the name and location of the final transfer location.
Timing of wire transfers
When you send a wire transfer, the money is immediately removed from your account; therefore, you must have the funds available in your account at the time of the transfer. And, it's important to understand that wire transfers usually can't be reversed, so make sure the information and money amount you want to send are correct. Once the receiver gets the payment, he or she can use the money immediately. The same applies to your business. If a customer or vendor sends money to you via wire transfer, you'll have immediate access to those funds.
Cost of wire transfers
In most instances, you can set up your wire transfer online, but you can also set up the payment over the phone or in person. The fee to send a wire transfer typically ranges from $10 to $30, depending on where you originate it. Also, the receiver may have to pay a small fee to get the funds, so make sure you understand how that may work ahead of time.
Which electronic transfer method is better to use?
It depends. As a business owner, you deal with different payment needs every day. There are certain times ACH transfers are best and, in other circumstances, a wire transfer may be better.
When ACH transfers are best
ACH transfers are great for making small, regular payments. Many business owners use ACH transfers to pay monthly and recurring bills—once these transfers are set up, you really never have to think about it again. You can also use ACH transfers to pay your employees—simply use your payroll provider to set up direct deposit payments, or if you're a smaller shop, use a payment service or online banking to transfer funds. All you need is your employees' bank account information (and their authorization) and you're set.
When wire transfers are best
On the other hand, wire transfers are best used when you need speed and certainty of payment for a large amount of money. So, if you need to make a down payment to purchase a building or office space, a wire transfer is a great option. If you need to send money internationally, a wire transfer is an excellent way to ensure funds arrive in the right place at the right time.
The bottom line
Whichever choice you make, ACH and wire transfers offer you a way to streamline payment processing and the collecting of receivables. Ultimately, electronic transfers will save you time and improve your cash flow.