Smart money

Online banking has been a boon to small businesses. The anywhere anytime convenience fits perfectly with the 60-hour work weeks many executives are putting in to keep their companies on top.

Key Bank is taking the concept to the next level. Its online Solutions Center is aimed at providing small business owners with free information to help build their companies.

“A lot of people are looking to start a business or to better manage their current business,” says Bob Stoesser, vice president of the e-commerce strategy group at Key Bank. “We’ve put together a robust site that provides users not only with recommended solutions, but targeted interactive tools and resources as well. These are tools that will educate them and help them grow and manage their business. They are not focused around Key Bank products. The site is supporting our commitment to the small business audience that is serious about growing their businesses.”

The small business community has noticed. In the first two weeks of the sites relaunch, traffic was up 100 percent over previous levels. The site is public and not limited to just Key Bank customers.

Stoesser says the sophistication of the site will continue to grow as time goes on.

“It will become more targeted from an industry perspective,” says Stoesser. “If you’re a restaurant owner, the tools will be targeted to that specific industry.”

Eventually, he predicts that Key will be able to do even more for its customers by applying existing data. A customer might be able to click on a tool that calculates financial functions and have the bank fill in some of the fields automatically based on the user’s current account.

“Right now, it’s more of a self-serve model,” says Stoesser. “We give them the tools and they serve themselves. As we move forward, we will continue to have self-serve components, but we will add the ability where we can prefill or add in fields so the business owner doesn’t have to do it.”

Key Bank Online Solutions Center