First Bankcard Adds Value to NFIB Membership
MYEXPERIENCE - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013
NFIB and First Bankcard® are working together to add more value to your membership: a small business credit card designed just for NFIB members. First Bankcard is part of First National Bank of Omaha, an independent, family-owned and -operated company based in Omaha, Neb., since 1857. It is also an NFIB member. To get you acquainted with the newest NFIB partner, MyBusiness spoke with Stephen Eulie, president of First Bankcard, about how you can benefit from the relationship, what you can gain from your bank, and, in his experience, what it takes to achieve business longevity.
Why did First Bankcard decide to work with NFIB?
We identify with NFIB’s mission and membership. Because we are a private institution and a sixth-generation-owned bank, we understand the unique needs of small, independent businesses. And we provide the service we know they need.
In your experience, how can small businesses benefit from a good relationship with their bank?
Banks can help level the playing field for small businesses. For instance, the NFIB credit card through First Bankcard provides access to discounts on products and services that small businesses use, from computer software to paper to car rentals. We are able to provide those significant discounts, which big businesses usually get, because of our scale. Small businesses should also take advantage of the online tools that banks offer. Our tools include a 24/7 online portal that helps keep track of spending, allowing you to manage your money better.
How can small businesses best use credit cards to their advantage?
We are seeing small businesses putting more of their everyday spend on commercial credit cards so they can get bigger discounts, write fewer checks, rack up rewards (such as cash back) and increase the efficiency of their business by using electronic transactions. Credit cards can also improve cash flow. A small business credit card can be an excellent tool to float expenses on a monthly basis without incurring finance charges.
First National Bank has been in business since 1857. What is the company’s secret to longevity?
Any business that has been around for as long as we have must be doing something right. Everyone here carries a small green book that codifies our mission and values: doing what’s right for the customer—regardless if it’s right for the bank. That strategy has proven, over time, to be true, because we’ve endured for 156 years. We think that’s a part of our secret to success.
Any other advice for small business owners?
Manage with a long-term view. I think being independently owned helps with this. Because we are not a public company, we do not have to focus on the short term to please shareholders. Our bank does our business planning in 50-year increments. And we are able to make investments in technology, products and people that don’t always have immediate payback, but create long-lasting effects.