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SunTrust Beefs Up Business Banking

SunTrust enhances online tool for small and midmarket.

Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank ($154 billion in assets) has enhanced its Online Cash Manager service to offer small and midmarket business users the ability to transfer payments and make cash advances among business checking accounts and commercial loans and lines of credit. "Small business clients depend heavily on credit services, and we want to make it convenient for them to draw upon their commercial loans and lines when they need extra capital quickly," explains Sonya Crites, group VP, business and commercial product management, SunTrust.

"We also wanted to simplify the payment process for them by making that ability available online," Crites adds. "It allows our clients to focus on their business rather than worrying about finding a stamp to mail out their monthly loan payment. That is a win-win for both the bank and our clients."

Powered by the business banking solution from Atlanta-based software provider S1, SunTrust first introduced the Online Cash Manager to the market in April 2005 as a small-business banking service. The online service allowed users to access account information, make payments and transfers, and perform other check services, such as retrieving check images online. "We wanted an online banking service that is tailored to meet our small-business clients' needs rather than offer a consumer or corporate solution that didn't really meet their cash management needs," Crites says. The service features multitiered authority with unique user passwords to help minimize the risk of fraud, she notes.

By investing in online technology to offer online commercial loan advances and payments, SunTrust can reduce internal costs for processing mailed payments and reduce branch traffic for loan advances or payments as more and more business clients choose to bank online, Crites relates. "This allows the bank to focus on more value-added, consultative interactions with our clients," she says.

It is this customer focus that prompted SunTrust to add the transfer functionality to the Online Cash Manager, according to Crites. "Clients that bank online prefer a bank relationship view -- both personal and business accounts -- to make it easier for them to manage all of their bank accounts," she observes. "Online Cash Manager is designed to fill just that need for our clients."

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