NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Local businesses could save up to 75 percent in banking fees by embracing digital banking capabilities, according to a local banking executive.
According to Gregory Stuart, director of corporate and commercial banking at Scotiabank, the global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the bank to fast-track aspects of its own digital adoption programme, and has allowed it to deliver both new and enhanced services to its diverse base of business banking customers.
According to Stuart, the bank’s digital platforms can prove extremely useful even as they contend with the significant challenges posed by COVID-19.
“Broadly, we have placed emphasis on providing clients with alternative banking avenues, focused on three main areas — receivables, payables and reporting. Proactively supporting a client’s transition to digital channels and solutions during this pandemic has resulted in greater efficiencies for our clients,” said Stuart.
With lockdowns, reduced foot traffic and operating hours for physical locations and other virus-containment measures still impacting normal business operations, Stuart said that with the added use of technology, Scotiabank continues to facilitate critical day-to-day business banking operations.
One such solution has been the bank’s provision of additional options for businesses to collect from customers via merchant services, collections services and bill payment options.
“We now offer standalone devices (wired and wireless devices equipped with a sim card) that facilitate point of sale transactions in remote locations. Additionally, all of our machines now have the function of accepting contactless transactions (TAP) for added safety during these times,” Stuart continued.
“Through a variety of bespoke banking solutions, we have helped many of our customers to maintain buoyancy and in many cases, they have been able to pivot, accelerate or even expand operations, despite ongoing challenges in the local economy.”
The bank has also seen a spike in the number of local businesses signing up for online banking services, and in turn, have been able to offer, in some cases, reductions in annual banking fees and significant reductions in processing times for certain transactions.
Scotia business internet banking offers customers the opportunity to make deposits, view transactions and credit card statements, make payroll and local utility payments, complete third-party payments to suppliers and conduct local Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions or wire transfers overseas, among other services.