Written by Victor Sosa | Marketing Intern

Welcome back to our intern spotlight.  Interns are in full swing with their work, projects, and volunteering. Let’s meet a few more!

 

Maria Acosta is a sophomore at Western Michigan University and is majoring in Accounting. She is a Card Services Intern and her most memorable moment was at the Steve Smith Golf Outing where she connected with a lot of people and created wonderful memories with her colleagues. A fun fact about Maria is she wants to explore more countries in Europe and wants to travel the world.

 


Allison Fike is a junior at Loyola University majoring in Accounting and Minoring in Finance. She is an Accounting Intern. She has learned how a bank’s day to day operations impact businesses and each branch. This knowledge will help her bring a different perspective to any future employment. She enjoys running in her spare time and is currently training to run the Chicago Marathon in October.

Brandon Fuller is a junior at Hope College double majoring in Economics and Mathematics. As a Mortgage Clerk Intern he’s learned a great deal about the mortgage process and specific products Mercantile offers. His biggest take away is realizing that the banking world is more lively and energetic than he envisioned, he didn’t realize the creativity and strategic thinking involved. For Brandon a guilty pleasure meal consists of a nice cup of green beans with a strawberry mango cooler from Culver’s.

 

Corey Gilmer is a senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in Finance. He is a Mortgage Clerk Intern and he’s learned just how complex banking can be; especially within the mortgage department. His most memorable moment thus far is when he was learning how to fax and received an email with a quote of Michael Scott from The Office saying “Fax? Why not just send it over on a dinosaur?” He found it even more hilarious when the email was marked as important. Corey is appreciating the time he has left in college and sometimes feels nostalgic about it. 

Austin Gregory will be finishing his bachelor degree in Accounting at the end of summer at Northwood University and plans to attend graduate school there as well. As a Mortgage Clerk Intern, he’s learned a great deal about overdraft protection and how to close out loans. His understanding on banking has tremendously increased working as an intern.  A fun fact about Austin is that he is the all-time leading scorer of the Ionia basketball program—Impressive!

 

Stay Tuned for our next installment of the Intern Spotlight!

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!

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/

 

 

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.

 

 

junior achievement and mercantile bank of michigan

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Written By:  Monica Kreiger| Marketing Team Leader | Mercantile Bank of Michigan

We are now mid-way through the 2nd year of our Giving Together Facebook Program and we have some exciting updates! This program has been a great way for us to give back to the communities we serve in an engaging way. Each quarter, non-profit organizations are able to submit a short application to be considered to compete for public votes via our Facebook page. At the end of a weeklong voting period, the organization with the most votes receives a $5,000 donation.  Not a bad way to end a week!

Since we started the program in January 2013, there have been over 16,000 votes cast and we have had six $5,000 recipients including 3 Mile Project, Restorers Inc., Arts in Motion, Family Futures, Conductive Learning Center, and our most recent recipient, The Geek Group. Each organization is unique and it has been such a treat visiting these groups and learning about what they do and the impact that they have on others.

Due to our recent expansion, as of July 2014, the program is opening up to include a much larger portion of Michigan. We are excited to be able to open up the program to reach a wider audience and to learn about organizations across the state making a difference in their communities. Applications are now being accepted through July 31 for third quarter. The organizations selected will be announced on our Facebook page on August 29 and voting will start on September 15.

For full details on the program, including application dates, voting periods, a list of Michigan counties included and full program rules, you can visit www.MercantileGivingTogether.com. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates!

 

Budgeting & Saving

0
March 26, 2014 // Saving, Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Written By:  Zach Roth | Creative Media Specialist | Mercantile Bank of Michigan

Budgeting is not easy.  The best intentions of saving and taking financial control can quickly become forgotten as old spending patterns creep their way back into your routine.  Instead of attempting to take on your budget all by yourself, why not utilize available tools and resources to help keep you on track?  Mercantile Bank of Michigan offers a variety of tools and services to assist you in taking control of your finances.

 

1.  Track Your Spending

Maintaining an awareness of where your money is going is a great place to start.  You’re able to notice spending patterns that you may not have even been aware of.  Seeing just how much your morning coffee is costing you over the course of a month can be shocking.  Changing the coffee routine from daily to weekly can have a significant impact on your savings over the course of a year.

Mercantile Bank’s MercMoney application tracks all of your spending for you.  Any purchases you make are immediately categorized.  The application displays your spending habits in charts and lists that help you to visualize where your money is going.

 

2.  Build a Budget

Clearly seeing your spending habits can help you find areas where you might like to make changes.  Giving yourself a budget for various expenses will allow you to stay in control of your spending.  Once again, the MercMoney application is a great tool to create and maintain a budget.  You’re able to set different budgets within each expense category.  The app can send you notifications via text or email when you are nearing your spending limit within a category.  If you need to make any adjustments to your budget throughout the year, it is easy to make changes.

 

3.   Pay Yourself

Saving money can be difficult, especially if you have to make the decision each month of how much to put away.  When money gets tight, it becomes easy to procrastinate on your own savings.  Why not take the decision out of your hands?  If you set up an automated transfer into a savings account, you will no longer have to continually decide if you can afford to pay yourself.  Set a reasonable amount and you won’t even notice the movement of funds.  By the end of the year you will have built up your savings account without even realizing it.

It’s easy to manage your accounts with Mercantile’s Internet Banking. Setting up a recurring transfer between your accounts is a simple and convenient way to make sure your savings grows.

 

4.  Be Aware

Having an awareness of your budgets and balances helps you to stay on top of executing your financial plan.  MercMobile is a great way to maintain that awareness no matter where you are.  If you are in a store contemplating a purchase, it may be helpful to check your account balance from your phone before making a decision.  The MercMobile app is free and can be quickly downloaded from your favorite app store. Don’t have a Smartphone? That’s ok, we also offer Mobile Web Banking and Text Banking so you can always get balances on the go.

 

5.  Be Intentional

Taking the first step to set up a budget is necessary.  However, your efforts are meaningless if you are unable to follow through with your budget.  Gaining the self-discipline to adhere to a budget can be incredibly challenging.  You may find yourself struggling to stay within your spending limits.  Mercantile Bank’s Reloadable Cards may be a helpful resource for staying on track.  For example, say that you are regularly exceeding your spending limit for groceries.  Unnecessary items continue to catch your eye and cause you to overspend.  You may find that putting your allotted grocery money on a Reloadable Card will help you to gain the self-discipline you need.  Knowing that there is only so much on the card can serve as your continual reminder to stick to the plan.

 

For more information on these financial tools and more, visit us at www.mercbank.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Written By: Mike Kroft | eBanking Services Manager | Mercantile Bank of Michigan

At Mercantile Bank, we take pride in providing our customers with innovative and helpful banking technology.  We are excited to announce that we are preparing for a major upgrade to our Online Banking, Mobile Banking and Bill Pay systems.  We believe these new resources will provide a new level of banking convenience.  These upgrades will ensure that managing your online accounts will be both easy and convenient.

The new Online Banking system is incredibly intuitive and easy to navigate.  As a part of the effortless navigation, you will be able to use a single login for both Online and Mobile Banking.  Our upgraded online bank statements are redesigned to make them more visually appealing and most importantly will be easier to read.  You will be able to print online statements as a pdf in the same format as the paper version.  If you would like to be notified when online statements are ready, you will be able to receive email alerts to let you know they are ready to be viewed.  Additionally, you will now be able to review your account history from the past 24 months.

Our new MercMoney personal finance management tools provide cutting edge banking technology that will impress.  If you have struggled with budgeting in the past, we believe these new resources will help you take control of your finances and simplify your life.  Budgeting, account aggregation, auto categorization, and debt management are a few of the tools that will allow you to visualize and interact with your money in a variety of constructive ways.  For example, all of your transactions will be automatically categorized when you enroll for MercMoney.  You will be able to examine your spending in a variety of ways that makes sense to you.  We also will have our new MercMoney app for additional convenience to the tools. Our MercMoney app along with our MercMobile app for the Apple and Android platforms will be available for download on October 23, 2013.

There are numerous amounts of new features and improvements with this upgrade.  Please visit our website (www.mercbank.com) to make note of the dates in which these changes are taking place.  We will also be hosting a library of tutorial videos to illustrate many of the new features.  We eagerly anticipate the release of this upgrade and are certain that you will appreciate it as much as we do.