Old Town Lansing was the 2015 Community and Economic Development Giving Together Program recipient of a $5,000 donation. We visited with them recently to see how they are doing and how the Giving Together grant made an impact on them and the community they serve. See what Jamie Schriner-Hooper, Executive Director of Old Town Commercial Association had to say about their positive experience last year.

We are currently accepting applications from non-profit organizations with a Community and Economic Development focus. If you would like to see how the Mercantile Giving Together program can impact your organization and community, please visit www.mercantilegivingtogether.com to apply by June 27.

eNewsletter, community bank, information, quarterly, spring 2016ID Theft, protection, Deluxe, Provent,In 2014, over 25% of U.S. consumers were notified that their personally identifiable information had been compromised in a data breach – over 2.5 times more than in 2013.1 That’s why we’ve teamed up with Deluxe to offer Provent ID Protect Plus.  Membership for this program is $4.95 per month and includes great services such as;

-Monitoring to scan the Internet’s black market chat rooms for your personal and credit information.

-An online vault to store sensitive information with top level data security, with 24/7 online customer access.

-A certified Resolution Specialist to manage your fraud or identity theft case.

-Daily credit monitoring and alerts to notify you of activities associated with your credit file.

No one wants to be the victim of identity theft, so why not protect yourself with the help of your trusted financial partner.  Enrollment is easy, so come in and talk to us today! 

Click here to learn more!

 

The Mercantile Bank Leadership Camps featuring Kirk Cousins took place in April. Students from Grand Rapids and Lansing Schools were invited to spend a day learning about self-awareness, communication, and teamwork with pro quarterback, Kirk Cousins. It was an impactful day for students and volunteers alike. We have an incredible group of young leaders here in our communities! Thank you to everyone involved in making these powerful events possible!

 Loans, Mortgage, Cars, RV, Boat, House, Construction

Mercantile Bank is excited to offer some great mortgage, construction and consumer loan specials! 

Construction Loans- are you thinking about building that dream home?  Ask about our convenient one-time close construction to completion loan.  This great loan option provides you with a 16 year loan, with a one year construction and a 15 year repayment period.

First Time Homebuyers*- we offer a wide range of options for those looking to purchase their first home!  For a limited time, we have special rate options, access to up to $10,000 in down payment assistance, and we’re waiving the origination fees (up to $545 value.)

1.99% Consumer Loans (2.66% APR)** It’s back by popular demand! If you’re in the market for that new boat, truck or RV, let us show you how affordable it can be.        

Stop in and talk to our friendly, knowledgeable loan officers and find out how we can help you find the loan option that best fits your needs.

 

*Please consult a Loan Officer for complete details. All loans subject to credit and collateral approval. Waived origination fee available through October 1, 2017. All loan products and programs are subject to additional terms and conditions. Down payment assistance available through the Homeownership Opportunities Program for households at or below 80% of area median income. To be considered a first time home buyer the purchaser and purchaser’s spouse may not have owned a primary residence 3 years prior to purchase. Home buyer must contribute a minimum of $1000 toward the purchase and complete pre-purchase counseling; grant is repayable if the home is sold or refinanced within five years. Funding based on availability. Other restrictions may apply for down payment funds.

**Annual percentage rate (APR) is based on a $10,000 loan with 47 payments of $219.83 and 1 payment of $220.33, includes $135 processing fee. Loans subject to credit approval. All loan terms and conditions apply. 48 month maximum term. Automatic payment from checking account is required. Rate only applies to personal secured loans with maximum collateral age of 10 years and does not apply to real estate secured loans. Minimum credit score of 690 for advertised rate; APR may be higher based on credit qualifications. Offer valid on new loans and does not apply to refinancing of existing Mercantile Bank loans. Offer cannot be combined with any other loan discounts or offers. Limited time offer available as of 05/16/16, subject to change without notice. Contact a Mercantile lender for complete details.

Shredding, recycle, free, service,

The safety and security of your important documents is important to you, and so it’s important to us.  That’s why we’ve brought back our annual free Shred Day events!  Bring us your unneeded, sensitive documents to take advantage of this free service.  Check our website to find a location close to you.  It’s just one more way, we’re here to help you! 

Click here to find dates and locations near you!

-1 Javelin Strategy & Research, 2015 Identity Protection Services Scorecard- Direct-To-Consumer Market, April 2015                                                                                                                                                                     

It was a great start to our 2016 Giving Together Program! We enhanced our program in several ways, doubling the number of organizations who can compete for votes from 10 to 20, and adding a 2nd and 3rd place winner.  We just wrapped up our first voting period focusing on Schools and Education and are happy to announce our winners:

$5,000 1st Place Winner- Holt Public Schools (Holt, MI)

$1,500 2nd Place Winner: Calvin Christian Schools (Grandville, MI)

$500 3rd Place Winner: Ogemaw Kids Club (West Branch, MI)

It was a fun week of voting and we’d like to thank all of the schools and non-profit organizations that participated. You are all winners in our book!

The next application period begins on May 23 and continues through June 27. The focus for this period is Community & Economic Development. Non-profit organizations can apply at www.MercantileGivingTogether.com. The selected organizations will be announced on July 8 and voting will be the week of July 18-25th. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates throughout the year!

Winter 2016 eNewsletter

Research shows that in recent years 85% of the world’s population shop online and the average American uses electronic media up to 11 hours a day.  Spending time online is a quick and convenient way to communicate, get our news and shop.  However, it can be dangerous if we’re not vigilant in protecting our private information.   

With help from our friends at NerdWallet, we’ve put together a list of important steps to keep in mind to help protect yourself from online dangers. 

1. Do your online shopping/banking from home

You’ve probably taken steps to secure your home network, so it makes sense to do most of your online activity there. Public computers are convenient, but be careful about entering passwords and sensitive account information when using these machines. Many will keep your login data in the web browser history, so after you leave, the next person who uses the computer might be able to see what you typed and access your account.

If you’re on your own laptop or mobile device but using public Wi-Fi to access the Internet, you could run into similar issues. You can’t be sure the network you’re on is secure, and if it’s not, a lurking hacker could see any information you send. When you use public Wi-Fi, consider updating the settings on your device to make sure you don’t automatically join networks you won’t use regularly.

If you have to shop or bank online while away from home, consider using a virtual private network, or VPN, service to protect your account information.

2. Install antivirus software

Many antivirus companies will send security patches to your computer automatically, so you don’t have to be a tech genius to get the most up-to-date protection. In addition to installing an antivirus program, it’s a good idea to check your operating system, web browser and mobile devices to make sure they also have the latest software updates.

3. Be smart with account passwords

Strong passwords include both upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, and they can’t easily be guessed. Security experts recommend that you change your passwords regularly — at least once every few months.

4. Don’t skimp on mobile security

Sometimes you may need to shop or bank online while you’re on the go. When using smartphones, tablets and laptops, you can help protect your accounts by adding a password to lock your device screen. Also, install a “find your phone” tool to help locate your device if it’s misplaced. Many such tools give you the ability to disable your device remotely, in case it can’t be recovered.

 5. Remember, “secure” starts with an S

Before sending over account numbers or other sensitive information, check to see whether your browser address bar begins with “https” instead of “http”. The extra “S” literally stands for “secure,” because the page is encrypted. In addition to checking for the “S,” you can also look to see whether the webpage has a seal from such organizations as the Better Business Bureau, Trusted or VeriSign, which means the site is more likely to be trustworthy.

Margarette Burnette is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @margarette and on Google+.

 

Debit Card protection

We are proud to offer our customers an innovative new service!  CardValet is a mobile app that lets you control your debit card usage and spending on the go.  This free app is available on the Android App store or iTunes.

Exciting features of this product include

•      Card usage controls: Establish spending limits to allow transactions up to a certain dollar amount and decline transactions when amounts exceed pre-defined thresholds.  Transactions can also be monitored or controlled for specific merchant categories such as gas, hotel, travel, groceries or electronic stores. 

•      Card on/off setting:  When the card is “on,” transactions are allowed in accordance with the usage control settings you’ve established.  When the card is “off,” no purchases or withdrawals are approved until the card is turned back “on.”  This control can be used to disable a lost or stolen card.

•     Location-based controls:  Restrict transactions to merchants located within a certain range of your location (using your phone’s GPS); transactions requested outside of the specified area can be declined.

•      Fraud protection: Report or restrict PIN and signature transactions, enabling you to manage, track and report specific types of transactions and quickly detect unauthorized activity.

•      Interactive alerts: Real-time alerts can be sent when a card is used, when a transaction is approved and exceeds any of the permitted use policies, or when a card transaction has been attempted but is declined.  

•      Financial features: Conduct limited card-related transactions wherever you are, any time of the day, including real-time balance inquiries and locating ATM’s.

If you have questions or would like find out all the ways that CardValet can help you, visit our website at: https://www.mercbank.com/cards/cardvalet.asp.  You can also stop in to any of our offices for full details.

Community Investment is “Outstanding” at Mercantile Bank

 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. 

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.

community bank michigan news kirk cousinsWashington Redskins Quarterback MSU Football NFL Kirk CousinsWe’re proud to be partnering with pro Quarterback Kirk Cousins and wish him success this season.  Our new commercial starring Kirk is making quite an impression and has even been featured by Sports Illustrated!

nonprofit contest to win money

Giving Together Contest WinnerMercantile Bank´s Giving Together Facebook program is a way for us to give back to the communities we serve. Each quarter we give away $5,000 to one Nonprofit organization. To be considered for the program, Nonprofit organizations must complete a Grant Application. Ten organizations will be selected by Mercantile Bank from the submissions each quarter to compete for the public vote on our Facebook page.  The organization that receives the most votes during the week long voting period will receive a $5,000 donation.  Visit http://www.mercantilegivingtogether.com for more info.

Congratulations to our recent recipient of the Giving Together Grant; Roscommon Area District Library! 

 

EMV credit card debit card smart card community bank

We take your security seriously and will soon be offering an easy and new way to help you protect yourself from fraud.  Chip card; also called EMV cards contain an embedded microchip which produces a unique code that cannot be used again; adding an additional layer of fraud protection when making purchases.  Mercantile Bank debit and credit card holders whose current cards expire soon will begin seeing their new cards beginning in October 2015.                    

For more information regarding the new Chip cards you can visit:

mercbank.com

gochipsanddips.com

emv-connection.com   

Facebook twitter youtube

Want to stay up to date on events happening in your community?  Follow us on social media to get the latest stories, photos and more!

                   Community Bank on Twitter - Mercantile Bank     bank commercial and more community bank videos

Be sure to check us out at the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids during the Bankers vs. Bankers Basketball game, where we’ll put our skills to the test as we play Macatawa Bank in this fun charity event!

Community education participation

 We know that by sharing our financial expertise we can help children, families and businesses achieve their goals.  We have partnered with schools to teach young children the importance of saving money and teenagers the basics of personal finance.  We also work with nonprofit organizations to provide financial education classes to help families learn to make good financial decisions and to work through financial problems.  We also help entrepreneurs and small business owners strengthen their businesses by reviewing business plans and sharing our knowledge.

Do you have questions?

Do you have questions that we can answer or is there a topic you’d like us to cover in an upcoming issue?  Send us an email and let us know!  Email us at: marketing@mercbank.com

 

NATIONAL PAYROLL WEEK 2015

0
September 8, 2015 // Payroll

Mercantile Bank of Michigan celebrates National Payroll WeekArticle Written By: Teresa Rogell | Payroll Technical Sales Specialist | Mercantile Bank of Michigan

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.

 

 

Budget Vacation. Affordable Travel. Tips.

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!

Beyond the Cubical

9
August 10, 2015 // Community, Culture

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 of Michigan Community Banking
We recently held the first Mercantile Bank Leadership camp featuring MSU and NFL quarterback Kirk Cousins.  These events were held in both Grand Rapids and Lansing where we were able to offer this amazing experience to local high school students.  Not only were they able to meet and talk with Kirk, but they also interacted with local community leaders, and professionals from all walks of life to share stories and gain leadership skills that will enable their future success.

 Each year Mercantile Bank hires some of the most talented local  students as interns in a variety of capacities and locations throughout the Bank.  We are very excited to have this great group of young  professionals working in area’s such as; Commercial Loans, Human Resources, Mortgage Department, and Accounting. We are pleased to provide these opportunities to all of these bright, ambitious young people and look forward to delivering an educational and meaningful experience for everyone.

 

Have you been dreaming about fun this summer on a new boat?  How about riding the trails on your own ATV? Or maybe it’s time to start looking for a new house?  We’ve got just the thing to make those dreams a reality!  With our dream loan rates you could get that new toy or move into that new house sooner than you think.  Call or stop by your local office today or visit http://www.mercbank.com for details on this limited time offer.

 Simplify your life by saving time, and reducing clutter by signing up for eStatements. They’re free and available on your checking, savings and loan accounts.  You can print and save your statements anytime, and with our enhanced security features, you can avoid having      sensitive financial information sent through standard mail.  They’re also environmentally friendly!  Click here to use our conservation  calculator to find out how much you can help the environment with simple steps like reducing your paper statements.   There are so many reasons to sign up for eStatements, and it’s simple and easy to get started.  Just visit our website for more information.

 

We are pleased to announce that Mercantile debit cards can now be added to Apple Pay!

Apple Pay will change how you pay with breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into the devices you have with you every day. You can use your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad to pay in a simple, secure, and private way.  With Apple Pay you can use your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch to pay in hundreds of thousands of stores accepting contactless payments. You can also make purchases within participating apps on iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3.

For more information visit: https://www.apple.com/apple-pay/