Magazine article American Banker

Small Business Mobile Banking Is All about Entitlements, Popular Community Bank Believes

Magazine article American Banker

Small Business Mobile Banking Is All about Entitlements, Popular Community Bank Believes

Article excerpt

Byline: Penny Crosman

To provide mobile banking for their small business clients, some banks recast and remarket their consumer mobile banking programs rather than create something new. The critical piece that such an approach lacks is entitlements a giving the small business owner a say in who can do what in the business account, according to Javier Reyes, vice president, manager cash management services for Popular Community Bank, Chicago. The bank last week launched a homegrown small business banking application.

"Having small businesses use the basic retail banking mobile app seemed to us like the easy way out, but not the best long-term solution," says Reyes, who handles development of technology and integration with small businesses. "It's all about entitlements; you cannot just change the color on a consumer app and offer it to small businesses. Entitlements can only be achieved if you have a business platform."

The U.S. subsidiary of Banco Popular (based in San Juan), which has been rebranding itself across the country as Popular Community Bank, spent two years developing this application. "The business application is generally more complex, the settlement process is a little bit more difficult, and the logistics are more complicated," Reyes says. "But we thought we needed to do that to be ready for the future."

Providing entitlements means being able to segregate duties, provide audit trails, and provide controls over who can do what. "Small businesses want to have the peace of mind that they remain in control," Reyes says.

In the bank's new app, each user on a small business account gets his or her own user name and password. The business owner can decide to delegate certain banking tasks to particular employees and makes those selections in the online banking site. "Maybe the bookkeeper is his right-hand person, he could allow that person to transfer money from the operating account to a payroll account or he can authorize the bookkeeper to make a payment to a vendor, but without losing control, because he could go into the entitlement piece and let that person make vendor payments only up to $3,000," he says. …

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