There is no question that the world of community banking has been faced with many changes over the last 18 months. As a result of the numerous acquisitions that have recently transpired, your community bank may find itself in an unintended partnership with a new merchant services provider and asking how this change will impact your business. This transition may seem overwhelming, but rest assured, there are options for your bank if your current payment processor is acquired.
Be Equipped: Know Your Contract
Knowing the ins and outs of any contract you sign is always imperative, but when unexpected transition occurs with your existing merchant services provider, taking the extra time to review your current contract is a step that should not be overlooked.
One of the first and most important things to take note of in your contract is the expiration date – find out how long you are bound to your current agreement and if any changes in ownership affect the terms of the original contract.
It is also essential to understand your notice requirements which may include provisions on how and when notices should be sent, where notices should be sent, and any exceptions resulting from change in ownership. More often than not, contracts will automatically renew offering a short window for cancellation without expensive penalties and additional fees. Without submitting a proper notice as stated by the terms of your original contract, your community bank may be faced with easily avoidable challenges and expenses when transitioning to a new merchant services provider.
Your contract may also contain a non-compete or non-solicitation clause that could prohibit your community bank from entering into future partnerships with a new merchant services provider.
Built on Trust
Community banking is a tightknit industry with a foundation built on trust and established relationships; in the midst of a merger, your bank must carefully evaluate the new partnership it is in. Ensuring that your new merchant services provider works with banks of your asset class size is a critical component to the success of your community bank.
Fitech has seen firsthand the impact that mergers have had on community banks. They often result in the loss of multiple streams of revenue with little to no notice due to fee restructuring. Many large processors focus solely on the bottom dollar, often forgetting what means the most to community banks – relationships.
Change Doesn’t Have to be Scary
No matter who your current merchant services provider is, it is important to measure the value they bring to your community bank, especially during periods of change. Your bank should ask itself if your provider is offering the services you and your customers value the most. If it’s not, it may be time to move on.
With endorsements across 38% of the country by Bank Associations for merchant services, Fitech’s mission is to exclusively serve community banks with best-in-class payment processing solutions. We currently serve more than 111 banks across 19 states with a 100% retention rate. Fitech welcomes the opportunity to add immediate and measurable value to your community bank as your trusted merchant services provider.