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Online options Featured

7:26am EDT June 28, 2002
Since 1994, a growing number of banking customers are taking advantage of the expanding menu of online banking services, according the American Bankers Association. And with real-time posting of payments, money transfers and other critical functions, if you haven't begun banking online, now may be the time.

"We're seeing our business customers logging on 24 hours a day," says Key Bank Senior Vice President in Charge of E-commerce Paul Ayers.

And it's not just the flexibility that's attracting customers.

"Clearly, online banking saves time and money," Ayers says.

Ayers says Key Bank's online banking portal interacts with most accounting interfaces, allowing companies to update accounting items practically as they post.

"Our business customers can update their general ledger functions as items are clearing, which increases efficiency," he says.

Ayers says online banking also offers businesses an efficient way to manage cash flow and investments and look for credit.

At Fifth Third Bank, Ryan Burgess, vice president and manager of the bank's Treasury Management department, says its Positive Pay online service is popular with business customers.

"Positive Pay sends a file to the customer via the Internet of all checks issued, matched with all that clear," says Burgess, so if a check was written for $100 and cleared for $1,000, a discrepancy report is initiated.

"This mitigates a company's check fraud liability," which is the biggest benefit of this service, he says.

According to Burgess, business customers are experiencing a higher incidence of check fraud, especially in Central Ohio.

"Police will not investigate a case unless the check amount is over $1,000," Burgess says.

And laws are being tightened so banks are not always responsible for reimbursing a client when check fraud occurs.

"The customer has to take steps to mitigate their liability," he says. "And one incidence of check fraud can be more costly than the Positive Pay service." How to reach: Key Bank, Online Banking, (800) 539-1539, Fifth Third Treasury Management, (614) 341-2553