Even before COVID-19 restricted our movement and interactions, digital was our go-to shopping preference. We ordered everything from take-out to toilet paper, groceries to rideshares. But now that we’re often homebound due to social distancing orders, consider adding digital banking for yourself and your business to the growing list of cell phone magic. At Heritage Bank, it’s safe, easy and you can start today.

Heritage Bank’s Megan Stone loves the ease and security of mobile banking through their app, digital platforms, Customer Service Call Center. Photo courtesy Heritage Bank NW

A key benefit to digital personal banking is that it can be done from anywhere at any time. If you’re working from home while wrangling kids and remote learning, one less item on the day’s to-do list is a blessing. Skipping a call—or packing everyone into the car for a drive—to the bank does wonders for your sanity. 

The Heritage Bank app, which is available for Apple, Amazon and Android devices, “is our most used digital banking product,” admits Megan Stone, the branch relationship manager at Heritage’s Tacoma Mall Boulevard branch. From the app, individuals can transfer funds and check balances like they can with traditional desktop online banking. They also have access to a few extra benefits.

Through the app, you can deposit checks with a click of the camera. Simply frame the image, take photos of the front and back, and submit. Hold on to the paper copy though, as it goes through a review process just to make sure, but once it’s cleared, the original check can be safely shredded.

You can also set up automatic bill pay and push notifications that let you know if your accounts need attention. “My favorite is a low balance push notification,” says Stone. This can be set to any dollar amount you choose and sends a quick heads up so you don’t overdraw your account.

Through the app both individuals and business owners can deposit checks with just a cell phone camera and set up push notifications as alerts of a low balance. Photo courtesy Heritage Bank NW

Businesses of all sizes can also access digital banking. Above and beyond the services offered to individuals, owners can arrange wire transfers, ACH (or direct) payments and set up administrative access via customized controls.

“There is a more robust online banking system for larger companies,” explains Stone, as well as a full array of services for what she calls “micro-businesses” that only need one or two accounts and “don’t have to have the works.”

Of course everyone can use Heritage Bank’s customer service call center for questions or when they need help. Open from 7:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, call center staff hours exceed those of most branches. “It’s a great service,” says Stone. “The center has seen an uptick in call volume since COVID-19 but that’s what those guys are there for.”

For many, the thought of banking by phone brings up worries about the security of their account and finances. But, says Stone, “I think being able to utilize online banking reduces fraud. Constant notifications keep you updated and you have more freedom to be pro-active and the one in charge.”

Banking through the app is available to all Apple, Amazon, and Android devices and allows 24/7 access. Photo courtesy Heritage Bank NW

Plus, Heritage Bank has a place on their website dedicated to your privacy and security. There you’ll find informative fraud prevention articles, resources from the Federal Trade Commission and FBI, and checklists of ways to keep your money and identity safe.

Megan Stone is a Tacoma-area local who started with Heritage Bank in 2007. She left the banking world in 2014 to be a small business owner but came back in 2019 and is happily settled back in. Outside of work, their family is keeping quarantine-sane with the help of a newly adopted golden retriever puppy. Seeing the world of pumpkin patch trips and turbulent PNW weather through her eyes has been an exciting—if exhausting—delight.

New Heritage Bank customers can sign up for online banking through their website or by downloading the app. To enroll in online banking for your business, stop by a branch or reach out to a relationship manager. Business mobile banking is available through the Apple or Android app, which can be found through Heritage Direct, along with how-to tutorials, user guides and answers to frequently asked questions.

“U.S. mobile banking stats reveal that 89% of American bank account holders use mobile banking for account management,” say the industry experts at Business Insider. “For 70% of them, mobile banking is the primary way of managing accounts.”

That’s a lot of folks on a lot of phones. But if it saves a few precious minutes (and a lot of precious sanity!), give them a try today. Follow Heritage Bank on Facebook for insights and product launches or call 800-455-6126 to learn more.

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