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Business Transaction Accounts

A detailed guide to business transaction accounts and how to compare them with Savvy.

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, updated on July 31st, 2023       

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Compare transaction accounts for businesses

Finding the best bank account can save you hundreds on fees and connect you with the very latest in smart banking technology.  Compare bank accounts from a wide variety of providers with Savvy to find the very best offers available on the market right now.

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Business transaction accounts explained

The size and needs of your particular business will determine which transaction account is right the one for you.  Unpack the complexities of business transaction accounts with Savvy and learn more about how to choose the best option for your own particular business requirements.  We can help you choose which business bank account is most suitable for your needs by offering free, easy-to-understand comparison information.

What is a business transaction account and what do they offer?

Business transaction accounts are the accounts you use to do your everyday banking, such as paying wages, buying products and materials and receiving payments from clients or customers.  They range from free accounts suitable for small businesses right up to the most complex business platforms which have a range of features suitable for larger organisations.  They’re often linked to multiple credit or debit cards to allow employees to use PayWave or ‘tap and go’ payment systems and may also be linked either to accounting systems such as Xero or MYOB or to EFTPOS terminals or electronic cash registers.

They differ from personal transaction accounts in that they usually have multiple signatories and frequently have several different levels of access to financial data.  For example, an accounts receivable clerk may only be able to view payments received.  An accounts manager may have access to account balances for receivables and payables, whereas a company director may have full access to all financial information.  Daily or weekly transfer and withdrawal limits are also often higher for business accounts.  

By offering clear and precise comparison information, Savvy can help you decide which is the best business account for your business’s needs.

Why do I need a business bank account?

A sole trader doesn’t need to have a business bank account, but it is compulsory for a partnership, company or trust.  The ATO and financial advisers all recommend that business banking is kept well separated from personal funds.

Even for sole traders, having a business bank account allows you to track and manage your business funds and makes tax time far easier than if business transactions are mixed in with personal spending.  In addition, having a bank account in your business name appears far more professional and may create a better impression than using your personal accounts.

Because all businesses are different and have individual needs, the larger banks usually operate a separate business banking division, which isn’t always the case with smaller online banks or credit unions (which tend to concentrate more on personal banking).  Most businesses are allocated a business account manager, who is a senior bank employee responsible for liaising with their customer to ensure all the needs of their business client are met.

How do I compare transaction accounts for my small business?

If you’re a small business, look for business accounts which are fee-free when comparing your options.  There are many financial institutions which offer free business transaction accounts, although some of them do have conditions attached, such as the need to maintain a minimum balance or meet defined deposit requirements.

If you want to avoid bank fees eating into your profits, compare the free features offered by several banks and use them to help you choose which one is the best account for your business.  It may be financially worthwhile to have more than one business transaction account and use them for different purposes so you can get the best of both worlds.

For example, if you deal with international transactions regularly, it’s likely to be worthwhile opening an account which doesn’t charge you much, or anything, to do so.  However, a bank offering this option may charge higher over-the-counter fees for depositing cash, so if you need to bank your cash takings regularly, you may think about opening another business transaction account with a bank that offers a free 24/7 cash deposit safe.  This way, you’ll get the lowest cost international transactions and avoid cash deposit fees.

There are several other factors which are important to compare as a small business, though, such as making sure your account has a transfer limit which suits your business’ needs and an overdraft facility if you’d like one for your business.  Comparing as many different products on the market as possible will help you lock in the ideal account with more confidence.

How should I compare transaction accounts for my larger business or corporation?

Business customer managers may help larger organisations with many aspects of their banking requirements.  These specialist business managers can often assist businesses in getting complex or technical banking systems established.  They can offer customised solutions to accounts staff, and provide authorisations for data feeds to be established between a business, their bank and their accounting software or electronic cash registers.  They can also offer advice and help with such business transaction features as:

  • setting up customised business statements or reports
  • producing specialised reports for tax compliance
  • allocating digital security tags or key fobs to account personnel
  • designing and organising different levels of access to banking data
  • liaising with the company’s security department to organise data backup and control data security

When comparing business bank accounts for your medium-sized to large company, look at issues such as compatibility with your existing systems and ease of adoption of new systems.  Will a switch to a new bank account involve extensive hardware or terminal upgrades?  Also, consider the account support the institution is offering and compare this to the personalised services you’re currently receiving.

It’s also worth talking to your business account manager or customer relations manager about fee reductions for multiple products.  For example, banks can offer up to 25 free over-the-counter transactions a month depending on certain conditions, such as if the company has its business transaction account, savings account and overdraft facility with the same institution.  Other banks have offers which include linking a business transaction account with cards or term deposits.

Such ‘bulk discount’ deals can slice dollars off the overall cost of your banking and may make it worthwhile having multiple products with the same financial institution, rather than picking and choosing the best features from multiple banks.

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Why compare bank accounts with Savvy?

More of your questions about business transaction accounts

Do all banks offer multiple security tokens for business transaction accounts free of charge?

Most banks will provide multiple security tokens or key fobs for business users but how much you pay for them (if anything) will depend on the account you’ve selected.  One bank offers four fobs free of charge, but any more than four are charged at $10 each (which is described as a ‘$10 deposit’ which is refundable when the token is returned to the bank).

What is the best way to avoid paying transaction fees on my business transaction account?

The best way to avoid excessive fees is to carefully research the bank’s fee structure and design the way you bank around these charges. Spend the time to analyse all your business banking transactions for the past six months. Identify which transactions you’ve carried out the most and determine the volume of common transactions.  This will give you a base to compare the fees charged by various banks for these ‘most needed’ functions of your business.  You can achieve this by comparing your options thoroughly, which you can do right here with Savvy.

Do I have to pay to have a cheque book when I don’t use cheques anymore?

No – as fewer businesses use cheques, banks are responding to their customers’ preference for online banking by not including the provision of a cheque book in their standard business package.  Many businesses now refuse to accept payment by cheque and banks are charging fees of up to $3.50 per cheque that’s processed, further encouraging customers to turn away from that method of payment.  If you want to deal with cheques, though, look for institutions which charge low or no fees for doing so.

 

Can I receive an alert if my business transaction account balance is getting low?

Yes – many banks now have a function on their online banking platform or mobile app which allows you to receive an alert if a transaction would overdraw your account or if your balance reaches a certain set limit.  There are also ‘sweeping’ function accounts that will automatically transfer any excess cash to a designated business savings account. 

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