Category: Finance

Banking on Success

Build your banker into a trusted entrepreneurial adviser.

by Lesly Bailey

Creating a connection with bankers is more than just crunching the numbers, according to banking professionals in the region who detail how entrepreneurs can launch and maintain productive relationships that endure throughout the years and economic changes.

Michael Schneider, Northwest Indiana market president at First Financial Bank, says entrepreneurs bring a unique synergy to …

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Posted in Banking, Current Issue, Fall 2016, Finance | Leave a comment

Borrowing Online

Choose carefully when deciding on a lending source.

In today’s world, small business owners have increasing demands put on their time from customers, employees and suppliers. Because of this, they are constantly in search of ways to be efficient with their time to accomplish more each workday.

One way that business owners save time and increase efficiency is through the use of online business services. …

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Posted in Banking, Finance, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Buzz Points

Loyalty program benefits financial institutions, merchants, members.

by Phil Britt

Financial institutions and local retailers and restaurants alike find themselves competing with much larger national companies for customers.

For the local financial institutions, the need to attract and retain customers has never been more critical. The largest banks in the country control half of the financial industry’s $15 trillion in assets.

In order to gain …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Finance, Winter 2016 | Leave a comment

Keying Into Customer Needs

High-touch meets high-tech–personalization with less human interaction is keying into customer needs.

by Phil Britt

Over the past few years, banks have added mobile banking, enabling customers to deposit checks by taking pictures of them with smartphones. Banks have also extended their online banking offerings, so that customers can have more convenience to bank when and where they choose, and to take advantage of upgraded …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Fall 2015, Finance | Leave a comment

Rising Interest Rates

The Fed is expected to make a move soon; what will the impact be?

by Phil Britt

The Federal Reserve is expected by many economic experts to hike interest rates as soon as September and perhaps again in December.

The Fed took a pass on increasing the Federal funds rate at its June meeting, with Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen saying the board needed further …

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Posted in Business, Finance, Summer 2015 | Leave a comment

New Ways to Pay

Mobile payment technologies nearly ready for prime time.

by Phil Britt

Consumers enter 2015 with a new payment option at some retailers–a mobile wallet that enables users to pay with their phone rather than swiping a credit or debit card, writing a check or using cash–but this alternate payment method is still in its very embryonic stages.

Apple Pay, available on the iPhone 6 and …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Finance, Winter 2015 | Leave a comment

Playing It Safe

Protecting your business from cybercrime and scams.

by Shari Held

Target. Home Depot. UPS. JP Morgan Chase. They’ve all made the headlines lately–and not in a good way. They’ve been hacked! And confidential information was compromised.

“The threat is very real, and pretty much a weekly occurrence,” says Tanya Buerger, senior vice president and chief information and technology officer for Peoples Bank in Munster. “It’s …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Fall 2014, Finance | Leave a comment

Chipping In for Security

Card issuers pushing new system to fight credit card fraud.

by Phil Britt

Payment card issuers will be forcing merchants to take a more proactive stance against payment fraud by requiring that point of sale (POS) systems be able to meet so-called EMV standards, including the ability to accept chip-based cards, by Oct. 1, 2015.

Until that date, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express will …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Fall 2014, Finance | Leave a comment

An Alternative to “No”

With loans and advice, Accion Chicago helps borrowers succeed.

by Shari Held

This year Accion Chicago, a non-profit microlender affiliated with Accion International, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. And the thousands of underserved, aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners the lender has helped over the years are celebrating right along with Accion. That includes clients from seven Northwest Indiana counties–Lake, Porter, Jasper, LaPorte, Newton, Pulaski …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Fall 2014, Finance | Leave a comment

The Future is Now

Banking technologies add convenience, but some still prefer bricks and mortar.

by Jerry Davich

Today’s banking customers have more options than ever regarding their finances, but also more checks and balances when it comes to daily decision-making. Should they choose old habits over new technologies? Convenience over complexities? Face-to-face interactions versus online interfacing? Pen and paper accounting versus mobile accessibility? “The future is here today,” …

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Posted in Banking, Business, Fall 2013, Finance | Leave a comment