Treasury management

The term treasury management may
not ring a bell for most depositors
but to the huge commercial market, the function provides a host of products
and services vital to a firm’s day-to-day
accounting and finance operations.

Often the purview of only the largest
business-to-business banks, treasury management services today are increasingly
offered by smaller banks that focus on
small business and middle-market clients.

“The megabanks are competing for the
Fortune 500 companies, so small to mid-size businesses may have trouble getting
noticed,” says Robert Surko, director of
treasury management at Plano-based
ViewPoint Bank.

ViewPoint represents one of a growing
cadre of smaller banks offering value-added treasury management services to
small to mid-size businesses that before
now could not avail these functions
through their banks.

Smart Business spoke with Surko
about the changing face of treasury management.

What is treasury management?

The term refers to a range of banking
solutions to help businesses maximize
their cash flow. These include remittance
processing, cash disbursements, online
banking services including review of
check images, electronic funds transfer,
overnight sweep investment options,
remote deposit capture, positive pay — to
prevent check fraud — and medical remittance imaging.

Some of it is simple cash flow — monitoring what checks clear, what deposits
have posted and other daily activity. But
there are other things like managing the
speed of money coming in and going out,
and investing, securing and protecting the
funds.

An example would be remote deposit
capture — a device that scans checks so

that deposits go directly into a customer’s
account, eliminating the need to visit a
branch or possibly use a lockbox.
Businesses benefit from the technology
because it puts money into their accounts
faster.

What kind of business uses these services?

Just look at the Yellow Pages. Any business that needs its revenue proceeds to be
deposited where they will be handled
smoothly, timely and with appreciation,
can benefit.

We count retailers, manufacturers,
municipalities, staffing organizations,
healthcare providers, property managers,
transportation providers, homeowner’s
associations … you name it.

Is technology the key selling point in choosing treasury management services?

Treasury management is more than
technology. Sure, clients recognize the
huge productivity gains from access to
increasingly sophisticated technology.
But one thing remains constant: everyone still wants to talk to a banker — someone
who can solve a need professionally and
responsively.

And there are also simple services that
can help businesses. For example, at
ViewPoint we offer a courier service that
will pick up checks from a business and
deposit them in the bank for them.
Nothing technological about that, but we
think it’s a nice convenience to ‘bring the
bank to them.’

The key is to listen to customers and get
to know their businesses. By doing so,
you deliver the products and services that
provide them with a one-stop solution.
Businesses appreciate a personal relationship.

What do you think is important for a small or
mid-size business to know about treasury
management?

You’re not too small for treasury management services. If you use a bank that
caters to a small- to mid-size business, you
don’t have to have hundreds of thousands
of dollars to take advantage of the technology and services available, from basic
online banking to your bank coming to
you. It’s become very cost-effective to
manage your cash flow through these
services.

ROBERT SURKO is the director of treasury management at
ViewPoint Bank. Reach him at [email protected]
or (972) 801-5867.

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