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Community Banking Month – Celebrate the Past, Build for the Future and Don’t Overlook HSAs

Apr 14, 2021 10:30:00 AM

Every April marks Community Banking Month.

While community banks are busy serving their accountholders’ needs every month of the year, it certainly seems fitting that we take the time to recognize the history and spirit of all community banks are, and celebrate how they serve as foundational elements to essentially every community across the nation.

The concept of community banking is strongly rooted in the U.S.—in practice for nearly 200 years. Community banking is centered on places, people and keeping decisions local. These premises ring as true today as they did in the mid-1800s.

But along with these constants, many other factors in community banking have changed and evolved over the years. And Community Banking Month serves as the perfect opportunity to celebrate the past while looking to the future and touching on the increasingly important role health savings accounts play to both community banks themselves, as well as to their accountholders.

HSAs – An Often Overlooked Tool for Community Banks

Community banks have a unique opportunity to become HSA champions and help their accountholders and business partners leverage a savvy way to save money, take control of their healthcare costs and boost their overall financial well-being. Individuals and employer groups alike can benefit greatly from HSAs.

Just like community banking itself, the concept of financial wellness is ever-evolving. It’s not enough to simply look at a bank account and see a positive balance. Now more than ever, financial wellness means taking a holistic view of all assets, expenses and income—with current and future healthcare expenses playing a critical part of the big picture.

Offering HSAs to accountholders can no longer be an option for community banks—it’s become an expectation. And when implemented correctly, it creates a win-win scenario:

  • HSAs bring in new accounts and deposits
  • HSAs remain for the long term, with no need to be closed or cashed out when an accountholder changes jobs, switches health plans or retires
  • HSAs deepen relationships with existing accountholders, improving satisfaction, loyalty and retention, while creating more cross-selling opportunities—this holds especially true for employer groups, with HSAs being a great tool to offer their employees while still keeping all their banking functions in one place

HSAs Continue to Grow Rapidly and Provide Sizeable Growth Opportunities for Community Banks

The HSA market is still in its growth phase, and the numbers paint a telling picture. The time is now for community banks to refocus their HSA strategy and unlock the potential of this burgeoning market.

25 percent 36 Million 82 Billion 2.5 Billion
HSA-eligible health plan enrollment will continue to grow by nearly 25% annually HSA accounts have topped 30 million and are on pace to exceed 36 million by 2023 HSAs hold more than $82 billion in cash and investment assets, with assets consistently growing nearly 20% year over year The HSA industry is estimated to generate $2.5 billion in revenue annually


Leverage Simplification, Guidance and Consistency to Drive HSA Success

When it comes to community banks providing the best HSA offering to their accountholders, three key principles can make all the difference. By focusing on simplification, guidance and consistency, they can drive their—and their accountholders’—HSA success.

By proactively providing their accountholders resources to help guide them to understand their HSAs and simplify their use, they help unravel the mystery of an HSA and maximize the win-win potential of these unique accounts.

Providing an easy-to-use, seamless interface is also key—along with providing a consistent approach that allows for easy integrations and flexibility of funds. Money movement between banking accounts and HSAs needs to be easy and quick to execute. And offering an HSA that can easily integrate with an accountholder’s health, vision and dental plans to automate capture of all eligible expenses and track annual deductibles and claims data in one place is a must.

Eliminate the Struggle of Implementing and Supporting HSAs Through a White Label Solution

For community banks, supporting an HSA product in-house can be difficult and costly, with core deposit platforms and other systems not designed to effectively manage the nuances of these unique accounts.

Luckily, with an industry leader like Bend, community banks can take advantage of a white label HSA solution and offer their customers a powerful, next-generation HSA platform—complete with their own branding—without adding stress or overloading their own resources.

The right white label solution aligns with community banking principles and offers flexibility, keeps decisions local and maintains continuity of a personalized, relationship-centered approach. Other benefits of the Bend HSA white label solution include:

  • Providing a unified accountholder experience through single sign-on and advanced APIs
  • Integrating with core banking systems
  • Keeping deposits on the bank’s balance sheets
  • Offering the industry’s most innovative, modern investment platform
  • Integrating with an accountholder’s health, vision and dental plans to automate capture of all eligible expenses
  • Providing easy tracking and monitoring of annual deductibles and claims data in one platform
  • Improving efficiencies for community banking teams and eliminating paper enrollments

Community Banks and Bend – The Perfect Match

Community banks play a vital role in nearly all our communities, and by offering their accountholders HSAs and staying on the leading edge, they can continue to cement their status without compromising who they are or why they exist.

So, this April, be sure to say “thank you” to your community banks in recognition of Community Banking Month. They’re the ones backing the local businesses that make your community great. They support local programs, events, youth sports and other activities.

Community banks create better, stronger communities—whether or not you utilize them for your banking needs, that’s something we can all be thankful for.

If you’re a community bank looking for the best way to move forward in the HSA market, don’t hesitate to get in touch and learn more about our white label HSA solution.

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