Looking to the future for small businesses

It’s no secret that the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about every industry. While some businesses have been able to adapt and remain semi-operational, others have had to temporarily halt their operations.

It’s also very difficult for small businesses that have to figure out what the “new normal” means for them. In this article, we’ll take a look at what the future looks like for small businesses and what steps they need to take to adapt.


Social distancing that works

It’s very likely that maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and social distancing, to a reasonable extent, will remain the norm in a post-COVID world. Small businesses will have to continue taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of their customers and team.

Here are some actionable tips to help you implement social distancing that works:


  • Reduce max capacity. Fewer people in a room means less risk of catching the virus. Instead of 5 people working in one room, make it 3. And instead of 10 people coming in for a presentation, make it 5. Small businesses can benefit from encouraging their team to work from home whenever possible.
  • Set up hand sanitizing stations. If you have people working from the office, make everyone feel safe by setting up hand sanitizing stations all over the building, especially near places where there’s more hand-to-hand interaction, such as the entrance of the building.
  • Incorporate the use of digital tech. Add tools to your existing tech stack that reduce contact with other people as much as possible. For example, you can use a business payments solution for contactless payments, online conferencing tools for meetings, and webinars for training employees.


Hiring new staff

The ongoing pandemic has embedded the fear of contracting the coronavirus, triggering career anxiety among people.

In the post-COVID world, people will likely be reluctant to work in the traditional office setting, making it difficult for small businesses to hire new staff. On the flip side, others might find it difficult to work from home due to a poor internet connection or lack of child care options.

As a small business owner, the best thing you can do at this time is to support your existing team. It’s easier to retain your existing workforce than to hire employees and get them up to speed with your business operations.

That said if you do have to hire new people to join your team, consider conducting interviews remotely. Be flexible with your requirements and open to suggestions. In fact, due to the pandemic, organizations around the world have already shifted to a remote workforce.


Simplifying the way you manage customer relationships

Loyal customers play an important role in deciding the future of your business. Managing and maintaining customer relationships should be on top of the list for small businesses.

During times of crisis, people prefer to buy from local businesses as a sign of support to the whole community. In fact, 83% of people are willing to buy local products even if they cost a little bit more. 26% of consumers in the United States purchased from a small business in the last week just as a sign of support for the business.

Being a small business, you should prioritize maintaining customer relationships through these challenging times. Here are some tips to help manage customer relations better:


  • Stay responsive on social media. You might be losing potential customers seeking support if you aren’t responsive on your business’ social media pages. Most people prefer to use social media platforms in their free time. It’s the most convenient way for them to approach you and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to build strong customer relationships.
  • Provide proper customer service. Give your customers a proper platform for support and service. The easiest way to do this is by adding a customer service platform for your tech stack. Investing in a good customer service platform – preferably one that integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool – will go a long way.


Figuring out how customer needs have changed

People’s lives have changed a lot over the past year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That also means that their needs have changed quite a bit too.

From preferring online shopping over in-store shopping for groceries, to buying takeout food instead of eating at a restaurant, people are adapting and changing their habits to the current situation.

Businesses must provide consumers with products and services during the pandemic but also after the pandemic is over. Figuring out how to deliver services that add value during the pandemic will enable you to stay in business even after the outbreak.

Re-evaluating your business model for post-COVID is going to be a worthwhile time investment. Ask about your customers’ experience during the pandemic and gain insight into how it’s affected their lives. This information will help you answer the main question: What can your business provide to its customers after the pandemic is over? 

As a small business, you’ll need an online business payments solution like Ablii to send and request payments. It lets you customize your approval process and syncs with Quickbooks accounting software, eliminating manual data entry.



The future looks promising for small businesses that are willing to learn from the COVID-19 crisis, shift their operations, and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Digitally enhancing your day-to-day operations will be a necessary challenge but could also be turned into an opportunity.

Getting through tough times in business

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, businesses around the world have faced some pretty tough times this past year. But that hasn’t stopped them. Instead, SMEs are constantly on the lookout for new and safe ways to deliver their products and services to customers.

While it’s impossible to predict the future, preparing for the worst is important during times of crisis. In this article, we’ll share some tips to bear in mind when your business faces challenging times.


#1: Be transparent

As a business owner, you’re probably used to keeping behind-the-scenes problems private. However, people who buy from you are interested in knowing what’s going on and, in some cases, what they can do to help support the business.

Use social media platforms to keep followers up-to-date. Post regularly and share photos describing how you’ve been affected and how you’re able to overcome challenges.

For example, if you run an online store and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is getting in the way of making timely deliveries, you can let followers know by posting an update about late shipping. You can even run a poll to see if people would like you to offer curbside pickup options.


#2: Pivot your business for recovery

Since you can’t go back in time to better prepare your business for the pandemic situation, the next best thing is to start planning ahead and move forward on the road to recovery.

COVID-19 has impacted businesses in different ways forcing them to rethink and re-evaluate their operations. Here are three questions to ask yourself for getting through tough times:


  • What can we start doing? From launching new products to upgrading your website, every new idea should be put under the spotlight for brainstorming.
  • What should we stop doing? This could be a product you can’t sell, services that you can’t provide, or a project that is no longer as important as other, more time-sensitive projects.
  • What should we keep doing? Anything and everything that’ll help with the current situation and keep the business afloat. Recognize the ongoing need and figure out how your business can fulfill that need.


#3: Reach out to people

It might seem counterintuitive to invest in new marketing campaigns when your primary focus should be to get your business back on its feet. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop marketing altogether. Try new, unconventional marketing strategies to reach out to people.

Here are a few ideas:


  • Customer referral program. Enable your customers to bring in more people that will buy from you. Affiliates earn a reward for each referral which could be something as simple as a discount on their next purchase.
  • Webinars and podcasts. Host your own podcast or join someone else’s to reach out to a wider audience.
  • Content marketing. Implement content marketing strategies to boost engagement on your blog and potentially attract new audiences.


#4: Spread empathy

A global crisis is a scary and uncertain time for any business. It’s difficult for people to handle the stress and responsibility that comes with it.

Understand that people around you handle their problems differently, and listen to everyone’s problems from a neutral standpoint. Actively listening to people’s experiences makes it comfortable for them to share and connect with you on a deeper level.

To make yourself more approachable you can:


  • Let people know how everything is affecting you and your loved ones so it’s more relatable for everyone.
  • Tell people what’s actually going on behind the scenes and how you’re coping with the crisis.
  • Share your fears with peers in hopes of creating a more trustworthy environment.

This will help you spread empathy and increase positivity through the workplace.


#5: Readjust your budget

As practically everything around you changes, it’s inevitable that your budget plan will also need to be adjusted. Here’s why: in a crisis, people’s demands change and businesses must reconsider their budget based on this change in demand. Start by converting fixed costs into variable costs.

Let’s say you rent a conference room for meetings every week. Consider hosting meetings on an online video conferencing app like Zoom. This eliminates conference room rent from the budget, reducing your fixed costs. Of course, you can always still rent out a conference room for important meetings making it a variable cost.


#6: Embrace digital technologies

Speaking of costs, taking your business digital is also a great way to reduce costs. By now, it’s evident that the future of business is going to be digital. Why not start now?

Embracing digital technologies is more efficient and more cost-effective. Most importantly, it allows you to automate routine processes.

The good news is that there are many technologies that will help you to step into the digital side of things. Ablii, for example, helps businesses manage their payments online, making it easy to send domestic and cross-border payments, reliably.


#7: Take action

Instead of flying away, pigeons close their eyes whenever danger is near. That’s an example of what not to do when facing a crisis.

For businesses, it’s crucial to take action as soon as you see disaster approaching. Failing to take action at the right time has a snowball effect on your problems. The situation will quickly start to get out of hand if you don’t do anything about it.

How is your business getting through tough times? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

Six inspirational quotes for when we’re dealing with challenging times (like now)

These are unprecedented times for small business owners, and it can be extremely difficult to stay motivated and focused when faced with so many challenges. We have compiled a few quotes and hope that you find a little inspiration and encouragement in their words.

“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

– John D. Rockefeller


“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”

– Peter Marshall


“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear- not absence of fear.”

– Mark Twain


“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

– Henry Ford


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

– Winston Churchill


And finally, our favourite, especially at the moment…

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”

– Jack Ma



How to open a business bank account in Canada

Canadian banks are known for their reliability and stability. Knowing how to open a business bank account in Canada can help you leverage those banking benefits.

In this post, we’ll answer all the pertinent questions related to opening a business bank account in Canada so that your organization can reap the benefits of one of the safest banking systems in the world.


Do I need to be Canadian to open a business bank account in Canada?

There are no residency requirements or citizenship requirements to open a business bank account in Canada. In fact, you can open your account in Canada even if you don’t plan to immigrate there.


Do I need to be in Canada to open a business bank account?

Some banks in Canada do require you to be there in-person when opening a business bank account while others don’t impose such requirements.

In case you choose to open your account without visiting, we recommend that you call the bank you wish to open your account in beforehand. This way, you’ll be informed of any account restrictions and requirements.

There are a number of international banks that operate in Canada. So, if there is a local branch near you, they may help you open a business bank account in your country of residence and transfer it to Canada. However, you may have to pay higher charges for holding the business bank account internationally and make a higher minimum deposit to open your account.


What documents will I need to open a business bank account in Canada?

If your company fulfills the qualifications given in the Access to Basic Banking Services Regulations under the Bank Act, the account opening process is pretty straightforward. Once you’ve submitted the required documents, you should be able to get your account up and running in one business day.

You’ll have to provide two valid forms of identification for the business owners along with a photo ID and a government-issued document.

In addition to this, you’re required to submit documents based on your company type:


  • 2 pieces of identification of individuals who are the corporation’s signing authorities
  • Articles of Incorporation/Association
  • Certificates of Status
  • Certificates of Compliance
  • Certificates of Existence
  • Corporate Annual Government Filing
  • Corporate Profile Report
  • Business License
  • Business Number
  • Notice of Assessment for Income Tax


Partnerships and Limited Partnerships:

  • Registered declaration of partnership
  • Trade name registration
  • Copy of partnership agreement


Sole Proprietorships:

  • Master business license
  • Trade name registration



Which bank should I open a business bank account in?

Think about the different services you need based on the type of business you’re running.

We recommend that you thoroughly research the services offered by each bank to shortlist the ones that can help you meet your business objectives.

Keep in mind that the Canadian banking industry is way more centralized as compared to other countries like the United States. There are also fewer banks in Canada (only five banks dominate 90% of the retail banking industry).

The main five banks include:

  • The Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)



What bank fees can I expect?

When opening a bank account anywhere, you’re required to pay different banking fees and charges. Some of the fees charged by banks (including Canadian banks) are the standard monthly/annual maintenance fees, foreign transaction fees, checkbook fees, ATM fees, fees for debit transactions over the monthly limit, and paper statement fees.

When doing business in Canada, you should take into account the high banking fees charged for sending cross-border payments. In addition to the bank fees, many banks set an exorbitant exchange rate for foreign payments.

Banks commonly increase their fees and charge unfair markups, especially when exchanging currencies. Moreover, keep in mind that the exchange rates mentioned on boards in exchange bureaus and banks vary from that day’s real Foreign Exchange market rates. They don’t include the additional variable bank fees which mean that they’re always higher than stated.


How do I send domestic and cross-border payments from Canada?

Ablii is a business payments solution that makes it easy for companies to send domestic and cross-border payments. It lets you send money from Canada to Canada, the USA, and India, as well as send payments from within the USA and from the USA to Canada.

Using Ablii, you can easily pay vendors and suppliers and collect payments from business clients. Plus, it doesn’t require businesses receiving payments to create an account.

In addition to this, Ablii integrates with Quickbooks accounting software and offers a customizable approval process. It also lets you set up real-time notifications for payments.



Opening a business account in Canada is pretty simple given that your business meets all the necessary requirements. You should research your options before opening a business bank account in Canada to ensure your bank can meet your specific business needs.

And, with a business payments solution like Ablii, you’ll be able to send domestic and cross-border payments from Canada to the USA, India, and within Canada easily!


5 inspiring businesses that have found innovative solutions in this challenging time

The last 5 months have been incredibly challenging, and this is particularly true for many small businesses. However, like all challenges, this one has forced many to dig deep and find an opportunity to serve their customers in new and innovative ways. We’ve compiled a list of small businesses that have inspired us through their ingenuity and tenacity and we hope that maybe they inspire you as well!


  1. Kendall Hills Farms– We believe it’s particularly important to support buying local during this difficult time, and a farmer’s market is a terrific way to do that. But of course, for many living in the city, this has been quite a challenge when it comes to buying local food, especially produce. Introducing virtualfarmersmarket.ca, which enables customers to shop at a farmer’s market without leaving their home office. Locally sourced, no-contact deliveries and curb-side pickup, and new, fresh options every week…we cannot recommend this enough! The farmer’s market supplies much of southern Ontario, but be sure to check that they deliver to your area!


  1. Rebalance Sports Medicine Physiotherapy & Chiropractic- With 2 locations in downtown Toronto, Rebalance is a highly regarded sports medicine clinic. Unfortunately, the province-wide shutdown forced the clinic to temporarily close its doors. However, the clinic managed to continue offering its services to patients by using a fully secure virtual platform (think Zoom for healthcare). Rebalance is not the only clinic to offer virtual services, and we recommend you seek out a clinic that meets your personal needs, but the highly touted clinic seemed to maintain its 5-star service throughout the shutdown. Now that they are allowed to open again, both locations are offering in-person visits, but continue to offer virtual appointments to those who’d prefer to see a clinician from the safety of their own home. To learn more, visit https://rebalancetoronto.com/


  1. Alo– Arguably Canada’s top restaurant, Alo was forced to close their doors due to the pandemic and resulting shutdown in Toronto. However, the restaurant launched a multi-course tasting menu for pick-up so that diners may continue to indulge in fine dining from the comfort of their own home. For those wondering, while it’s not cheap, the price is more than reasonable considering the restaurant was named the #90 best restaurant in the whole world last year! To learn more about Alo and their ‘Alo at Home’ service, visit https://www.exploretock.com/alorestaurant/.


  1. Toronto Neighbourhood Walks- A truly uplifting story, a 19 year old Torontonian, Jayden Daniels wanted to learn more about the city while he was out walking various neighbourhoods in the midst of the pandemic lockdown. He had taken to the internet to learn more about Toronto’s neighbourhoods and saw an opportunity to help the many people who were now exploring the city in an attempt to get some fresh air and some exercise during the difficult time. An impressive young man, Jayden Daniels made the app free to download so that everyone may enjoy it, but has encouraged users to donate to the North York Food Bank instead. To download the app, simply go to the app store on your phone and type in ‘Toronto Neighbourhood Walks’.


  1. Peace Collective- The online brand that became famous for their ‘Toronto vs. Everybody’ sweatshirts has seen continued success by introducing masks during the pandemic. They actually started producing masks due to requests from customers. While their typical apparel business was certainly hurt during Toronto’s lockdown, mask production allowed them to continue employing their seamstresses and keep the brand strong during a difficult time. As part of their push, they are currently advertising that they donate three meals to a Canadian food bank for every garment purchased during COVID-19. To learn more about Peace Collective, visit https://www.peace-collective.com/

We continue to see examples from around the world of how creative, innovative and most importantly, resilient small businesses can be. Using the power of digital, small business owners have managed to expand their reach, pivot their business, or reinforce their mission, and we at Ablii couldn’t be more impressed! As an online payment platform for small businesses, Ablii has always harnessed the power of digital, but it is now more important than ever that we share stories of how small businesses have adapted and sought opportunities from within such a unique challenge. Do you have any inspiring stories of how a small business you know has adapted to this difficult time? Please feel free to share it with us!

Adding a personal touch to your small (personal) business

When it comes to running your small business, customer satisfaction should be one of your top priorities. One way to deliver a good customer experience is by adding a personal touch to your customer interactions.

Here are three ways to add a personal touch to your small business:


Send a happy birthday email

Sending a happy birthday email to customers makes them feel special and lets them know you value them. It humanizes your brand and helps establish and retain relationships. Not to mention, it gives you an opportunity to show some personality.

The first thing you need to do is collect your customers’ birthdays. You can do this by asking customers to enter their date of birth at the checkout page. If you already have an email list, you can craft a birthday collection campaign instead.

To give your happy birthday email a personal touch, use your brand voice in the messaging. You might even consider offering customers an exclusive coupon or discount on their special day. Subway, for example, gives customers a birthday cookie.


Ask for feedback

Another way to add a personal touch to your small business is by asking customers for feedback. Not only is it a great way to let them know their opinion matters, but it can also help you improve your business.

To get started, you can set up a simple feedback collection form on your website. Keep in mind that you should only ask customers for as much information as you need. Typically, this means their email address, the product or service they’re providing feedback for, and their feedback message.

Alternatively, you can ask customers to provide feedback over email. The benefits of using email to solicit feedback are twofold:


  • You can automate feedback emails.
  • You can ask customers for feedback after key interactions.

For example, you can set up an automated feedback request email to be sent to customers a week after their purchase. Or, you can ask customers to provide feedback after the onboarding process. Ride sharing app, Lyft, asks customers for feedback after a ride.


Thank them for their purchase

Thanking customers after they make a purchase is perhaps one of the simplest ways to add a personal touch to your small business while delivering a good customer experience. You can use this as an opportunity to let customers know you appreciate their business.

From an implementation standpoint, you want to configure your marketing automation tool to send customers a thank you email soon right after they complete their order. Alternatively, you can thank customers for their purchase after the product has been delivered to them.

To give your thank you email a personal touch, remember to use your brand voice and tone in your subject line and messaging. You might also consider signing off the email with the CEO or founder’s name to make it feel personal.



Adding a personal touch to your small business can help you build strong customer relationships from the get-go. The best part is that it’s incredibly easy to do and there’s lots of room for creativity. You can get started by sending customers a happy birthday email, asking for feedback after key interactions, and thanking them for their purchase.

What are some of the unique ways you add a personal touch to your small business? Let us know in the comments below.

How much does it cost to start a business (hint: it depends)

Whether you’re launching a service-based company or a product-based startup, there are certain things you need to take into account to ensure business success and profitability – such as calculating startup costs.

While there’s no magic formula for finding out exactly how much money you’ll need to finance your business, there are some startup costs and additional expenses that are common to most businesses. Adding those costs up will give you a workable estimate of what you need to start your business.

Let’s start by discussing what business startup costs are and go through a step-by-step process on how to calculate them.


What are business startup costs?

Before we dive into what you need to start your business, it’s important to get acquainted with the different types of business startup costs. They can be classified into two main types: one-time costs and recurring costs.

One-time costs:

Capital expenses (or capital expenditures) are one-time expenses that are incurred when purchasing fixed assets. These are up-front payments you make when investing in your business to buy, improve, or maintain long-term assets. As a result, you’re able to upgrade the quality and quantity of products and services you can deliver.

Some common examples of capital expenditures are as follows:

  • Buildings (plus additional costs that extend the useful lifespan of a building)
  • Intangible assets (such as business licensing based on state and federal business laws and patents)
  • Property and rent expenditures
  • Land (plus the cost of maintaining and upgrading the land)
  • Furniture and vehicles
  • Inventory and vendor expenses
  • Technology expenses (such as computer equipment and software)


Recurring costs:

Recurring costs (also referred to as operating expenses) are ongoing expenses for running the business. They may contribute to startup costs but are incurred throughout the lifespan of the business. So, you’ll have to set aside funds to cover these expenses during the startup phase.

Here are some of the main recurring costs you need to take into account as a startup:

  • Rent
  • Administrative costs
  • Office supplies
  • Utilities
  • Sales and marketing expenses
  • Taxes and insurance
  • Website
  • Travel

You’ll also have to consider operational costs for initial business startups such as licensing, legal, incorporation, and permit fees.

How to calculate startup costs


Here’s how you can find the startup costs of your business:

Step #1: Identify what’s absolutely necessary

When you’re accounting for the above-mentioned startup expenditures, you may notice not all of them apply to your business. For instance, if you’re launching a service-based business, you don’t have to account for shipping and inventory expenses. Similarly, if you’re an online business, you may not need to factor in travel expenditures.

Once you’ve read through the list and figured out all the items that apply to you, determine what expenses are absolutely necessary to streamline your finances. For instance, if you can’t afford to rent space in a building, you might consider working from home.

Step #2: Jot down estimates

After you’ve drafted a complete list of your expenses, assign dollar amount estimates to each item. Keep in mind that these approximate expenses can vary based on your specific business requirements.

When finding approximate costs for your business expenses, consult peers in your field and do online research to make informed guesses about what amount you should allocate for each item. Doing this legwork early in your startup journey will help you come up with a realistic budget plan and devise a workable game plan to launch your business.

Step #3: Determine your break-even point

After you’ve figured out the estimates and have a clear idea about how much funds you’ll need to jumpstart your business and keep it running, you’re now ready to perform a break-even analysis.

Calculating the break-even point enables you to find out how much money you’ll need to cover your business startup expenses and ongoing operating costs. This information will help you make a business plan to ensure your startup remains profitable.


Financing your startup

Now that you understand how much money you’ll need to launch your business, you’ll have to arrange funds to cover the costs.

Here are a few ideas for raising capital for your startup:

  • Investors
  • Loans from friends, family members, or a financial institution
  • Business credit cards
  • Crowdfunding or Kickstarter campaigns

Although there are different ways to finance your business, you should do proper research and consult with your financial advisor for guidance.



While you may have a great business idea, it’s important to take control of your finances before you turn your winning concept into a thriving and profitable business. Calculating startup costs help you understand how much money you’ll need to start your business and keep it running.

Do you have any questions about how to identify one-time or recurring business costs specific to your industry? Let us know!

Why bank wires need to be retired

Did you know that the bank wire method for transferring funds is based on decades-old technology? This is one of the reasons it’s slow and cost-intensive.

The good news is that there are alternative payment methods that use modern infrastructure to transfer funds with low transaction fees and faster processing times.

Let’s take a look at why bank wires are outdated and how your business can benefit from alternate methods of domestic and cross-border payments.

Bank wire vs wire transfers


Companies frequently do businesses with entities located in geographically distant locations, be it remote workers, suppliers, or utility service providers. Sending funds from bank-to-bank is therefore a regular business activity. Most business owners use bank wires to transfer funds.

Many people often confuse bank wires and wire transfers though they’re different in more ways than one.

The main distinguishing factor between the two is that a bank wire involves the transfer of funds from bank-to-bank whereas a wire transfer is used to send money through a number of networks using a bank or third-party. In bank wires, funds are transferred only through banks. On the other hand, many non-banks and private corporations frequently offer wire transfer services.

Both bank wires and wire transfers are based on the same technology that was used to send telegraphs many decades ago. In fact, the first wire transfer was sent back in 1872.

However, there haven’t been any noteworthy advancements in wire transfers since the establishment of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT) network in 1970. This means transferring funds using a bank wire or wire transfer today is no different from what it was 50 years ago!

The traditional ‘fast and convenient’ way of money transfer has now become outdated and costly. The bank you use to send or receive a bank wire normally charges a fee for their services that both the sender and the receiver pay.

Wire transfer fees are based on different factors such as whether the funds are incoming or outgoing or whether they’re domestic or international.

Correspondent banks act as a middleman to facilitate the issuing bank and the receiving bank. This banking system has made bank wires slower and more expensive than ever before.

What is SWIFT and how does it work?


SWIFT is the world’s largest electronic messaging system that was originally designed to securely and easily transmit financial messages.

It’s essentially a bank-to-bank messaging network that uses a standard system of codes showing where a fund transfer is coming from, where it is going, and how it will get there.

According to 2018 estimates, SWIFT facilitates the exchange of an average of 31.31 million messages a day. The high volume of daily message transmission makes it almost impossible to trace fund transfers. Tracing lost fund transfers is costly, takes a lot of time, and there’s always a chance that you won’t recover your money.

The SWIFT regulations state that if a financial institution doesn’t have a correspondent account, the funds will be routed from bank to bank until it reaches the required destination. For instance, if your bank doesn’t have a connection with your beneficiary’s bank, it will have to loop another bank that does have a relationship with your bank – the correspondent bank – to complete the fund transfer.

In addition to this, SWIFT and other intermediary financial institutions charge different fees for their services. The payee has to pay a fee when receiving their funds. You also have to pay additional fees for international wire transfers that require currency exchange.

Two better ways to transfer money


Here are two alternatives to bank wires and SWIFT networks that are better in terms of security, processing times, and cost-effectiveness.



ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transactions offer a fast, secure, and cost-effective transfer of funds between banks. ACH transactions work in a batch process, unlike bank wires which involve the transfer of money from one bank to another.

When a money transfer reaches a bank, it’s stored on that day and sent on the next day. This way, these money transactions cost less than wire transfers. However, ACH transactions are slower than wire bank transfers and can take around 2 to 3 business days to complete.



Ablii is a business payment solution that lets you send and receive domestic and overseas payments. You’ll be able to transfer funds online directly between bank accounts. Moreover, both parties (sender and recipient) will receive real-time status updates on payments in transit.

This payment solution enables you to send payments using data saved in your accounting software including contacts and invoices. Ablii also allows you to manage a searchable payment history through an easy-to-use interface.



Alternative payment methods like ACH payments and Ablii offer fast and secure ways to transfer funds. They are also more cost-effective than bank wires, making them a better option for businesses.

Ready to implement a fast and secure payment system for your business? Get Ablii today!

15 Finance terms every small business owner should know

Being a business owner, you have to wear many hats. Especially when it comes to finance, the number of accounting terms and acronyms may feel overwhelming. You may not enjoy talking finance, but understanding these concepts are crucial to your success. We are here to help! We’ve compiled a list of the top terms you should know as a small business owner.

Assets: All things your small business owns for daily operations. These assets span two main categories: tangible assets or intangible assets. Tangible assets include items such as, cash, real estate, equipment, computers and furniture. Intangible assets include intellectual property, copyrights and stock.

Accounts Payable (AP): AP is the sum of outstanding amounts your business owes to vendors or suppliers that have not yet been paid for.

Accounts Receivable (AR): AR is the money owed to your business by customers for the purchases of goods and services made on credit. Account receivables are reflected as a current asset on a balance sheet, since the customers are legally obligated to pay the amount.

Balance Sheet: Summarizes your small businesses key financial data at any given time. This big picture view into your fiscal health includes assets, liabilities and owner’s equity.

Capital Expenditures: CapEx are the purchases your small business makes that will be used to improve performance long-term. These include vehicles, computers, building improvements, and machinery.

Cash Flow: Cash your small business generates from every-day business operations after subtracting purchases made on capital expenditures.

Depreciation: Is a representation of the amount of an assets value that has been used up. It applies to tangible or physical assets over its useful life. There are many types of depreciation, including straight-line and various forms of accelerated depreciation. These depreciating assets allow your small business to write off their value over a period of time.

Dividends: Are a portion of your small businesses earnings that are distributed to the shareholders. The board of directors manage and determine the amount paid to the class of shareholders, by issuing the dividends in the form of cash, additional stocks or other property.

Expenses: The cost of operations that your small business incurs to generate revenue.

Forecasting: A process that uses your small business’s historical financial statements to predict future trends. These trends can be analyzed for a specific period of time and can help with sale, profits and asset values predictions.

Liabilities: Are the debts your small business owes. These liabilities include credit card balances, mortgages, monthly bills and bonds.

Operating Expenses: OPEX are day-to-day operating expenses your small business incurs to keep it operational. These include inventory costs, payroll, insurance, rent, R&D and equipment.

Revenue: Is the amount of money that represents the goods and services your business sold before subtracting any expenses.

Retained Earnings: RE is the amount of net income available to your small business after paying out dividends to your shareholders. Your small business can incur positive net earnings (profits) or negative net earnings (loss).

Working Capital: The money your small business has available to spend or invest on items for the business.

Hopefully this quick list saves your time and helps you feel confident discussing your business’ finances. Still crunched for time? Get in touch with us today to save time and increase visibility while managing your cash flow and payments.

COVID & CORE banking hours in Canada

It’s been an extremely challenging time for small businesses. Cash flow issues and reliance on government funding have become the new norm. We’ve received feedback from our customers that have struggled with the digital options available from the banks, such as remote deposit capture and ATMs, as these options only accept checks up to a certain amount. When digital payments aren’t an option, before making a trip to the bank–make sure it’s open. To help, we’ve compiled a list of both COVID and CORE banking hours in Canada for the Big Five banks:

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)

The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest of the Big Five with respect to revenue ($46.0 billion in 2019) and number of employees (85,000 in 2019). Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a commercial bank financing the fish and timber industry. RBC now has over 10 million clients and 1,209 branches worldwide.


You can find your closest branch by visiting RBC’s branch locator where you will find up to date information regarding banking hours.

Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)

Toronto-Dominion Bank is the second largest of the Big Five with respect to revenue ($41.1 billion in 2019) and has 89,000 employees. TD Bank is the result of a merger of the Bank of Toronto and the Dominion Bank in 1955. TD now serves over 11 million customers at it’s 1,091 retail locations in Canada.


You can locate your nearest branch and its opening hours using TD’s branch locator.

Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)

The Bank of Nova Scotia also known as Scotiabank is the third largest bank in Canada with respect to revenue ($28.8 billion in 2019) and 99,000 employees around the world. Founded in 1832 also in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to improve the transAtlantic trade industry. Today Scotiabank serves 10 million customers at it’s 900 Canadian locations.


You can locate your nearest branch and its opening hours using Scotiabank’s branch locator.

Bank of Montreal (BMO)

The Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest Canadian bank with respect to revenue ($22.8 billion in 2019) and over 45,000 employees around the world. Founded in 1817, BMO is the oldest bank in Canada. BMO now serves over 7 million customers and has over 939 Canadian branches.


You can locate your nearest branch and its opening hours using BMO’s branch locator.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is the fifth largest bank in Canada with respect to  revenue ($18.6 billion in 2019) and employees (over 40,000 in 2019). CIBC was formed as a result of the merger in 1961 of the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the imperial Bank of Canada. CIBC now serves over 10 million customers worldwide at their 1,100 branches across Canada.


You can find your closest branch by visiting CIBC’s branch locator where you will find up to date information regarding banking hours.