Did You Know You Have Choices?

Did you know you have choices?

Well. You do.

Choice is one of our themes for June. Everyone should be able to make the right decisions for their business, without having to choose between a bad option and one that is even worse.

Yet, more and more, we are starting to encounter banks, who are bundling non-bank services for their customers and not giving them a choice.

In some cases, it appears to be based on a discount, but then other services that are already in place are charged at a higher cost, rate or fee.

For example, banks are requiring non-bank services in order for a business owner to be underwritten for a loan. This happened both at Univest and Fulton for some of our clients. They didn’t even realize that they were paying more until they asked TransAct to evaluate their merchant services account – they thought they were paying more than they had BEFORE they got their loan when they were “required” to start using the bank for their credit card processing. The overall difference in the loan discount vs. the merchant fees was far greater in the end…but now, they have no choice. They have a contract for a minimum number of years and changing now would cost them too much.

A business also is allowed to hire their choice for an appraiser, financial consultant and title company for major (or minor) investments or divestments – aka the buyer and seller can have their own representative. This holds true for personal acquisitions, like a home, too.

Our advice: ask if the proposed requirement is mandatory or optional. If you have an option, then ask for a full evaluation; or, run it yourself. Be sure to know what the total cost will be over the term of the agreement before you agree to bundled services.

You absolutely have a choice.