Finding the right set of banking services for your business can be a bit of a headache, unless you just decide to consult your friends, and go with what they say (if it sounds fine to you). But your needs and preferences may differ from those of the people, whose opinion you seek. You might come away disappointed with what you get from the bank they suggest.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had all the options presented to you at once, instead of having to ask a friend or take a speculative pick? You’ll evaluate them based on the peculiar needs of your business, and choose the best of the bunch yourself. That’s what we intend to achieve with this article. We’ve curated the top SME friendly banking packages in Nigeria, so you don’t have to scour your environment for them. Here they are.
Here are Access Bank’s standout products for SMEs.
The MPower Biz Account is designed for traders, professional firms, NGOs, schools and churches. There’s no monthly maintenance fee required of its holders, and they get quarterly newsletters on the latest market trends. There’s also the added benefit of getting business advice from trade experts.
MPower Biz can be opened with a minimum account balance of ₦50,000. Account holders are also expected to maintain a minimum daily balance of ₦50,000.
PrimusLite is Access Bank’s web-based platform for small businesses. It helps simplify banking transactions, track and forecast business cashflow, displays account statements, and ultimately, enables business owners make informed decisions about managing finance and investment.
- Diamond Bank
Diamond Bank Business Advantage current account has no monthly maintenance fee requirement. Account holders get acess to Diamond bank’s business loans, financial advisory, personal credit cards and periodic business newsletter. They can also attend the bank’s monthly Business Clinics, where they’ll be able to trash out their business challenges with experts and experienced entrepreneurs. In addition, they’ll have access to Diamond bank’s business club, where they could connect with large local corporations and clinch partnerships with frontline international organizations.
Diamond bank also has several business loan packages you can choose from. There’s the Emerging Business Revolving Credit; the Mediloan QualityCare for clinics, pharmacies and medical laboratories; contract finance for contractors; and import finance for businesses that need to import production input and other business-related material. Find out more here.
FCMB Business Account: There’s a rather enticing thing about this account: with it, you get to a bank without charge for three months. And you don’t have to pay any account maintenance fee afterwards (if your debit turnover is less than ₦40 million). Other benefits include access to FCMB’s mobile and internet banking, a business debit card you can use on any ATM or POS, and loan and overdraft facilities.
FCMB’s Business Account has a minimum opening balance requirement of ₦25,000, and a ₦5,000 minimum operating balance.
- Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Small Business Account: Aside from having no monthly charges and account maintenance fees for debit turnovers, this bank account package also comes with free business advisory services and company or business name registration assistance.
You can choose from these three versions of the package:
- Starter/Micro, which has a minimum account opening balance requirement of ₦10,000 and ₦10,000 minimum daily balance
- Growing/Small, with a minimum account opening balance and minimum daily balance of ₦20,000
- Established/Medium, with a minimum account opening balance of ₦35,000 and minimum daily balance of ₦25,000.
If you run a pharmacy, you might want to check out Fidelity Bank’s Pharmacy Support Facility as well. You could get some help with purchasing your stock, if you meet the bank’s criteria.
- First Bank
First Bank’s Business Accounts have a fixed current account charge, fixed monthly fees, and give account holders the chance to get financial advisory services. The opening balance for individuals is ₦5,000, and ₦10,000 for corporates. Withdrawals can be made up to five times a month.
Secured Term Loans of up to ₦20 million are also available at First Bank. Repayment is spread over twelve months. The loan facility can be renewed if the bank is satisfied with the way the account has been run.
- Guaranty Trust Bank
GT Business Account: With a minimum balance of ₦20,000 and fixed monthly charge of ₦5,000, GT Bank’s Business Account affords you unlimited number of withdrawals, access to business seminars and networking events, and the chance to sell on the SME MarketHub, the bank’s eCommerce platform for small businesses.
GTPay: This internet payment system connects business websites with banks and makes it possible for financial transactions to be carried out, via such websites (using credit cards).
- Union Bank
Union Biz account has no minimum daily balance requirements. If you agree to keep a minimum amount of money in your account monthly, you’ll be paid interest on it.
There are several other SME banking offers from Union Bank: the UnionONE online payments solution lets businesses manage business transactions from wherever they are; the bank’s cooperative lending scheme provides loans to small business cooperatives on behalf of their members; and businesses can also receive up to $20,000 a quarter (three months) for their import needs, without opening Letters of Credit.
The ball is in your court. Choose what suits your business needs, and boost your business finances on the best terms possible.
Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.