Banking holding company Heartland Financial is broadening its online bank account opening capabilities to the business community.
A press release Friday (May 31) said Heartland is offering online account opening for business deposits, an expansion of its existing online account opening services for consumers. Companies can now open checking, savings and money market accounts online.
In its announcement, Heartland said the move reflects the increasing demand for digital banking services from business customers, particularly in the local community banking market.
“Businesses are the heart and soul of our community, and we are excited to launch this service,” said Heartland Chief Executive Officer and President Bruce Lee in a statement. “Business owners are busy, and we’ve worked to make our online process convenient and easy to use.”
He added that today, only “a few” banks offer online account opening for business customers in the U.S.
“The benefits of our local community banking model, coupled with the technology of online account opening for business, gives us a unique competitive advantage and fulfills our commitment to provide the ‘Big Bank Punch with the Community Bank Touch,'” noted Lee, citing the company’s motto.
In another statement, Heartland head of digital strategy Lynn H. “Tut” Fuller noted that business owners seek digital banking experiences that they already have in their personal lives, and want high-tech offerings that they see offered from tech giants like Amazon and Apple.
Community banks continue to play an important role in providing financial services to small businesses, but the industry has faced challenges in providing personal services while offering high-tech, online products.
Earlier this year reports in The Wall Street Journal reported on the frustration of community banks with their core technology providers including Fiserv, FIS and others, arguing their offerings can be “mediocre” with “onerous contracts” that are making it more difficult for smaller FIs to compete with big banks.