Switch business bank accounts – important things to keep in mind

Switch business bank accounts - important things to keep in mind
  • Money transfer
  • International business

Thinking about switching your business bank account? There are many good reasons, such as more attractive interest rates, introductory offers or lower foreign transaction fees. Whatever your reason may be, switching a business bank account is time-consuming, disruptive and requires preparation. For this reason, we developed a guide of how to switch business bank accounts to remind you of all important factors you need to consider.

Reasons to switch business bank accounts

If you are not sure whether to switch your business bank account, you might consider if one (or a combination) of the following factors justifies the effort:

  • More attractive interest rates: Since global inflation rates hit record peaks, central banks have started tightening their monetary policies, which in turn leads to more attractive interest rates. The comparison is worthwhile, especially for huge amounts of capital. Keep in mind, however, that interest rates cannot keep up with the current inflation rate.
  • Lower charges: If you make use of expensive banking services, such as foreign transactions, your business most likely pays unreasonably high charges. It is worth comparing different options if you use costly services on a regular basis.
  • Better services: Depending on the institution you choose, services might differ greatly. Personal account managers, 24/7 online access or a bank that understands your industry are good reasons to switch your business bank account.
  • International commerce: If you regularly pay bills or get paid in different currencies, you might consider opening a foreign currency account. Banks have different types of accounts and may even be limited in the amount of currencies they offer.
  • Introductory offers: This factor might help your decision to switch business bank accounts if you are drawn between competing banks. Rewards might include a period of increased interest rates or lower charges.

Types of business bank accounts

Business bank accounts serve different needs. The following section lists the most commonly used business bank accounts.

  • Daily operations account: A daily operations account is comparable to your personal bank account. In most cases, daily operations accounts offer debit/credit cards and are used to conduct daily operations, such as transactions, payments and handling receipts.
  • Instant access account: Instant access saving accounts offer a compromise between high interest rates and flexibility. The interest rates aren’t as high as in regular savings accounts, but you still have the flexibility to access your funds anytime you need.
  • Term deposit account: If you possess a high amount of cash, a term deposit account might be the right option to let your money work for you. As the name suggests, you lock your money away for a predetermined period of time and a fixed interest rate.
  • Foreign currency account: If you plan to hold different currencies, you’ll need a foreign currency account. However, at traditional providers you won’t be able to use local payment schemes, but instead are still dependent on the costly SWIFT network.
  • Merchant account: If you own a physical or e-commerce store that offers debit and credit card transactions, you will need a merchant account. When you are paid, the money passes through this account before it reaches your other business bank accounts.

What to keep in mind before you switch business bank account

Next to choosing the proper types of business accounts, there are much more practical things to consider when switching your business bank account.

  • Current Account Switch Service: Before you switch the business bank account, check for opportunities to make the transition as smooth as possible. For instance, banks in the UK offer the Current Account Switch Service to switch your account in 7 working days. Ask your prospect bank about similar services before switching.
  • Check the user experience: Make sure the user experience of the online banking interface fits your purposes, as you will spend a considerable amount of time here. If possible, check whether there is a free demo account to get started.
  • Analyse fees for most needed services: Most banking services are lacking transparency and the fee structure consists of lengthy documents. Therefore, compare the prices of just a few of your most needed services. Or ask your banks to give you a short and succinct overview of the services and fees they offer.

Important indicators for your business bank account

When switching your business account, you should be able to cut your expenses. Therefore, make sure to compare the following fees and rates when you decide to switch business bank accounts:

    • Interest rates: Even though interest rates have increased, the gains are still below the current inflation rates: In Switzerland, Credit Suisse offers only up to 0.01% for savings accounts, while the Zürcher Kantonalbank offers up to 0.5% (Status: January 12, 2023).
    • Overdraft charges: If your company tends to overdraft, as you need to pay your suppliers in advance, it is important to compare overdraft charges and limits across different institutions.
    • Monthly account fees: This is just a small portion of the overall fees, but still worthwhile to compare to keep your running costs as low as possible, especially if you hold accounts for several currencies.
    • Transaction fees: Certain fees, such as foreign transactions, depend on the order amount. Make sure that your order amount meets the requirements of prospect banks to benefit from favourable rates.
    • Additional services: Make sure to read the fine print whenever you compare different kinds of services, as these details are crucial. For instance, you may only profit from favourable rates if you choose a certain amount of services or need to pay minimum amounts (e.g. in foreign transactions). Therefore, when making contracts, make sure to know all important services you need in detail before signing.

How to improve your current business bank account

Did you know that you don’t even need to switch your business bank account and still be able to profit from much lower charges, better services as well as an intuitive user experience for your global banking? If you enhance your current business bank account with amnis, you can profit from a multi-currency IBAN and access local payment schemes such as SEPA and ACH.

With a multi-currency business account, you can send and receive over 20 currencies with just one single account. One single IBAN in your own name also means that you can prepare one invoice for all your customers abroad, instead of navigating through multiple foreign currency accounts, thus avoiding the necessity to switch business bank accounts.

Further, you don’t need to make any changes for your current local customers, as you can keep your bank account. Even better: amnis enables you to make use of local payment schemes such as SEPA and ACH, which significantly helps reducing international money transfer costs for yourself and for your business partners!

Additionally, amnis offers a multi-currency business debit card, giving you even more financial freedom and the possibility to conduct international transactions at local prices.

Enhance your international banking services now

amnis provides an intuitive interface to conduct all your transactions at one single place. Create a free demo account to see for yourself what amnis can offer. amnis starts at 0,- and offers transparent and scalable subscription models. Reduce your banking costs and enhance your financial services now.

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Sabrina Maly
As a marketing manager at amnis I provide SMEs with fx market, international business and news updates on our blog & FAQ page.
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