Article Written By: Bob Kaminski| President & CEO| Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Giving back to the communities we serve has always been a priority to us at Mercantile Bank. We are honored to once again be rated as “Outstanding” by the FDIC in our Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination.
The CRA is a law that requires banks to help meet the credit needs of their communities for housing and other purposes, particularly in neighborhoods with low or moderate incomes, while maintaining safe and sound operations. An “Outstanding” rating is the highest available ranking and one which only about 5% of all banks achieve. We are proud of the fact that this is the third consecutive time we’ve received this rating, meaning that we’ve had nine years of “Outstanding” ratings.
The “Outstanding” rating is based on our performance in lending, investments and services, focusing on areas such as mortgages, small business, and community development lending and services. Our CRA evaluation made specific references to our strengths in lending, including our responsiveness to credit needs, and geographic distribution of small business and home mortgage loans throughout low and moderate income areas in the markets we serve.
We believe that this rating is the result of the hard work and dedication of our employees, who year after year contribute and invest in the communities where we live and work. To this end, we are consistently looking for ways to build stronger relationships with our community partners by providing accessible banking and lending services in all of the communities we serve.
Mercantile Payroll Services was established in 1999 as an enhancement to the products and services offered by Mercantile Bank of Michigan. The purpose was to further fulfill the business needs of Mercantile Bank customers. Sixteen years later, we are processing payroll for over 300 customers, and have expanded our market with the growth of the Bank.
Trusted in banking, payroll you can rely on – Many customers of Mercantile Payroll Services are also customers of Mercantile Bank. These customers have come to appreciate the relationship-oriented style of banking that Mercantile offers and are pleased to see this same philosophy embodied in Mercantile Payroll Services as well.
Dedicated customer service – Customers utilizing Mercantile Payroll Services are recipients of a high level of service also reflective of Mercantile Bank. Each customer is assigned a dedicated Payroll Processing Specialist who gains familiarity of their business and specific needs. This dedicated specialist is the first point of contact for any questions or concerns that arise in the ongoing payroll relationship.
Experience where it matters – Mercantile Payroll Services has a diverse staff with significant technical experience in Payroll. One third of the payroll staff maintains a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation from The American Payroll Association (APA). Mercantile Payroll is a longstanding and active member of the APA at a national level, the West Michigan Chapter of the American Payroll Association, and the Independent Payroll Providers Association. Collectively, the staff is creative and solutions oriented; constantly looking for ways to enhance and create efficiencies for our customers.
Ever changing tax laws – Our Payroll Service has a dedicated Tax Specialist with over 30 years of payroll specific tax experience. This gives us the advantage of monitoring and understanding tax laws, employment laws and managing employee benefits. As part of our service, we handle payment of tax obligations accurately and timely. We file monthly, quarterly and annual payroll returns and submit new hire reporting on behalf of our customers.
A “Resource’ in Human Resources – For the small to mid-sized business owner, having the luxury of a full-time dedicated HR professional is not an option. Our Payroll Service provides both a partnership and a system to manage Human Resource information, Employee Self Service, Online Employee Benefit Enrollment, Retirement Contributions, Worker’s Compensation Coverage, and Third Party Benefits Administration.
No more paper timekeeping - We have a comprehensive Workforce Management system to assist our customers with their time and attendance needs. Hours can be manually entered online or punched with or without editing capabilities depending on the customer’s preference. Our solution offers up-to-date time off tracking, request process, calendar view and annual calendar or anniversary award. It will also help manage scheduling and/or labor and department allocations.
Regardless of the size of your business, or in what industry you compete in, Mercantile Payroll Services is here to help you with all the ongoing complexities of payroll administration.
Article Written By: Lori Knierim | Marketing Officer | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
We could all use a little rest and relaxation – but when it’s time take a break and get away, how do you not go over budget? We’ve got some great tips on how to travel without breaking the bank!
Search the Web. Check local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Bureau websites for events or festivals happening in towns throughout Michigan. Many of them are free, or very low cost and fun for the whole family.
Consider rental homes/cabins instead of hotel rooms. One of the largest parts of your vacation budget can be eaten up by expensive hotel bills… but consider checking out sites such as VRBO.com or HomeAway.com to find more affordable lodging options. Often times, they offer great accommodations at a much lower rate.
Be flexible! If possible, plan your trip during the “off” season or mid week. Many tourist destinations are able to offer package deals at greatly reduced prices if you’re able to visit when they’re not as busy. In addition, when there are fewer crowds, you’re able to enjoy the visit that much more!
Consider your mode of transportation. Planes, Trains and Automobiles! The cost of fuel can impact a vacation budget very quickly. If you’re traveling less than 300 miles taking the family car is usually more economical. Once you go beyond that point things change. Check airlines for last minute deals on flights, or consider taking a train or bus for a more scenic mode of travel.
When at all possible, try to avoid eating out. Easier said than done we know, but if you can pack snack food or sandwiches as well as drinks for the day you’d be amazed at how much money you can save. If you decide to eat out, try to pick one meal a day. Every little bit adds up so choose wisely!
The bottom line? Whether it’s a day at the beach, the local zoo, exploring a lighthouse, or hiking down a wooded path, there are so many ways to get out there and affordable enjoy that well deserved vacation time!
Article Written By: Cordell Zachery | Commercial Loan Operations Intern | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
As an incoming Senior at Grand Valley State University I’ve completed a variety of internships and worked a handful of jobs. As my undergraduate career is coming to an end, planning for post graduate life is now my top priority. Acing classes, making connections, and finding my niche within an organization are my main goals for my final year. This mindset is what steered me to Mercantile Bank.
Towards the end of my Junior year I came in contact with Don Williams a former member of Mercantile’s Board of Directors. With his guidance I interviewed with Mercantile Bank for a summer internship with the Commercial Loan Operations Department and shortly after I was offered the position.
From day one of the internship I knew that it was going to be different from my previous work experiences. The day was dedicated to training all of the interns where we learned about the bank’s values and structure, professional development skills, and went on a tour of the bank’s main branch. We even got to chat with the bank’s president!
The day after training I met the employees from the departments that I’d be working with. Each employee in the department was vibrant and welcoming. My supervisors really made me feel as though my task within the organization helped with the bank’s success. This feeling of actually making an impact as an intern is something that Mercantile Bank strongly values. Not once have I felt like a “cog in the machine”.
A unique part of Mercantile’s internship program is the experience outside of the office. Misti Stanton, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, makes it her duty to make sure that we not only develop connections within the bank but outside as well. In June Misti brought the interns to an event with the ADA called the “Father of The Year Awards” held at JW Marriot. During this event we were able to network with various professionals from Grand Rapids, learned a few pointers on dinner etiquette, and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal. This is only one of the many professional events we’ve attended. Being around these professionals motivated me to attend numerous networking and skill building events around Grand Rapids and at every event I can say that I’ve made a connection with a new person.
Another facet of Mercantile that I didn’t expect to get from my internship was the openness of employees to be a mentor and a friend. Whenever being around Don Williams he greets you with a warm smile and then gives you some tips or past experiences that contain a take away for you to use within your life. Also, I’ve been able to learn from departments other than mine as well. As an Advertising & PR major I was very interested in what the Marketing Department’s functions were. Monica Kreiger and Zach Roth both took time out of their day to meet with me. I learned about their strategies, use of social media, commercial making, and more.
As an intern here at Mercantile Bank I can truly say that I’ve had one of the best experiences as an up and coming professional in Grand Rapids. Within Mercantile’s mission statement it states that the organization maintains an “environment of growth and development” and I’ve seen that first hand. Not only do I learn new things every day about the inner workings of Mercantile but I also improve daily on my professionalism and transferable skills that I can use in any field that I choose to go into. Here at Mercantile you have your best experiences outside of your cubical.
Mercantile Bank is pleased to welcome our 2015 Summer Interns!
They are working in various capacities from Human Resources to Branch Support and IT. Interns are working in several locations throughout the Bank and we are very excited to have this great group of young professionals join us this summer!
In addition to offering these students real world experience and the opportunity to explore a potential career path in banking, internships are also a great way to increase professional networks and enhance their resumes. Investing in the next generation is an important part of strengthening the communities we serve.
Article Written By: Bob Worthington | SVP, General Counsel & Risk Management Director | Mercantile Bank of Michigan
Entrepreneurship has been a trademark of the State of Michigan since its founding back in 1835. The Fords, the Dows, the Kelloggs, the Meijers are just a few of the men and women who have contributed to our legacy of innovation and development. But if history has taught us anything, it teaches that each generation must build upon the generation that came before it.
Junior Achievement has taken on the challenge of building the next generation of entrepreneurs and Mercantile Bank is proud to support them. Junior Achievement’s volunteer-delivered, kindergarten-12th grade programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. With the help of more than 1,600 local volunteers, JA students develop the skills they need to experience the realities and opportunities of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st-century global marketplace.
Mercantile Bank believes the future is bright for the State of Michigan and it is organizations like Junior Achievement that are making it happen. If you are interested in becoming a Junior Achievement volunteer sign up at www.juniorachievement.org. We hope you will join us in building the next generation.
Mobile Wallets are quickly becoming a more accepted and preferred method of payment for consumers wanting to utilize their smartphones for purchases. Recognizing this growing interest and demand, Mercantile Bank has announced partnerships with multiple industry- leading Mobile Wallet providers bringing flexibility and choices to its customers. The bank has partnered with Visa Checkout, Google Wallet, PayPal, and coming soon, Apple Pay.
John Schulte, SVP Chief Information Officer at Mercantile Bank states, “We consider the Mobile Wallet as simply another extension of the opportunities that mobile devices bring to us in providing our customers with convenient ways to manage all of their financial needs. We’ve already prioritized the mobile channel as a strategic investment for the bank’s future, because we want to offer our customers the best package of convenience and personal service possible.”
With the rapidly changing landscape of mobile wallets, each mobile wallet provider is evolving to bring unique features to their wallet solution such as added security, integrated reward programs, and ease of checkout. The most recent development is with Apple Pay.
Apple Pay is used with iPhone 6 to pay in stores without swiping your cards and in apps without entering payment and contact information. Just pay with a single touch of your ﬁnger using Touch ID.
With Apple Pay, instead of using your actual credit and debit card numbers when you add your card, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored. And when you make a purchase, the Device Account Number alongside a transaction-speciﬁc dynamic security code is used to process your payment. So your actual credit or debit card numbers are never shared by Apple with merchants or transmitted with payment.
“Mercantile Bank’s goal with Mobile Wallet solutions is to curate for our customers the best set of choices to match their unique needs, and make them seamlessly integrate into Mercantile Bank’s existing mobile and online banking tools. As always, we want to match these new tools with the best local banking support available when you need it. Having choices means no compromises are required. Our customers get to pick which mobile wallet(s) fit their financial needs, purchasing habits, and lifestyle.” said Schulte.
About Mercantile Bank Corporation
Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mercantile Bank Corporation is the bank holding company for Mercantile Bank of Michigan. Mercantile provides banking services to businesses, individuals and governmental units, and differentiates itself on the basis of service quality and the expertise of its banking staff. Mercantile has assets of $2.9 billion and operates 53 banking offices serving communities in central and western Michigan. Mercantile Bank Corporation’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “MBWM.”