A Guide to Making Payments Online with Howard Bank

  • 30 Sep 2020
  • Posted by khereema

There are many benefits to paying your bills electronically. Simplicity and convenience are two that might come to mind right away, but in today’s circumstances, the most notable benefits may be safety and security. Many state officials are still encouraging Americans to stay home when possible, especially those considered “at-risk” of coronavirus. Online payments can be done from the convenience of your home by computer, tablet, or mobile phone—helping you avoid an unnecessary trip. Plus potential postal service delays and delivery issues could result in a late payment or even fraudulent activity.

So, what are your options? If you’re looking to pay your bills online, one of the most efficient tools you can use is Bill Pay. Available for both business and personal customers, this service allows you to set-up payments for all of your bills under one platform instead of managing payments through individual sites. It’s always best to avoid linking your payment information to third-party sites. With Bill Pay, you’re already integrated into Online Banking so you can monitor your account balances and payments from a single location. Additional benefits include the ability to set-up automatic payments for ongoing expenses and email alerts so you never miss a due date.

Businesses needing more sophisticated electronic payment options may also want to consider automated clearing house (ACH) origination or wire transfer services. ACH payments are a particularly good option for recurring transactions such as business payroll. Wire transfers allow you to quickly and securely move money from your business account to people and companies all over the world.

If you’re paying an individual, Zelle® is a convenient way to send or request money. Personal customers can easily exchange money in a matter of minutes; all you need is the recipient’s email address or U.S. mobile phone number. It’s important to only send money to people you trust and always ensure you’re using the correct contact information. To access Zelle, navigate to Bill Pay within Online or Mobile Banking and follow the prompts after selecting “Send Money with Zelle.

Howard Bank loan customers can also take advantage of online payments via Online Banking, or if you’re making a payment from another financial institution, using our secure Pay My Loan platform. All you need is your Howard Bank loan number and the account and routing number where you want the money withdrawn from, along with the name of the primary owner on the loan account. From there the loan can be automatically paid from the account on the dates you specify.

All in all, there are a variety of methods for making fast and secure online payments. Evaluate your current money management plan and choose the options that best fit your financial needs. And, as always, if you have any questions, just give us a call.

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Coronavirus: A Message From Our CEO

  • 12 Mar 2020
  • Posted by Mary Ann Scully

Because we care about here, Howard Bank has a deep commitment to proactively communicating with all of our stakeholders. Consistent with that commitment, we wanted to reach out and share a few recommendations for you, our customers and prospective customers, to help you continue conducting your banking in the safest way possible in this new health environment as well as update you on a few precautionary measures that we’re taking. At the same time, we want to remind you that while transactions may be digital, communication can always be personal and we are always here to talk to you about your uniquely individual situations. Banking remains personal even in times of stress and uncertainty.

With the ongoing concerns about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, we are and will continue to closely monitor the latest reports and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local health authorities. We have already taken several precautionary measures with the objective of protecting the health and safety of our customers, our colleagues and their families and by extensions, the communities we serve.

Banking From Your Home or Office

Howard Bank offers several alternative banking solutions for those of you who wish to avoid public places and/or are unable to visit a branch at this time. We encourage you to utilize our Online and Mobile Banking solutions which provide you 24/7 access to view transactions, check balances, pay bills, deposit checks and more. If you need to sign up for these services, you can do so via the links provided below:

We have also recently launched Online Account Opening which allows you to open select accounts in a matter of minutes from your laptop or mobile device.

We suspect that social distancing or sheltering in place will put even more emphasis on electronic payments and remind everyone of our debit card, Bill Pay, Zelle®, and Mobile Payment alternatives to exchange funds for any reason.

If you are out and about and need access to cash, our ATMs are available 24/7 and we participate in the MoneyPass® network which allows access to over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Night depositories also remain available.

Our branches and regional offices remain open and we are closely monitoring guidance from the CDC, the Maryland Health Department, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). If we take the step of limiting branch availability or temporarily closing a branch or regional office due to COVID-19 related reasons, we will promptly alert our customers.

We are also monitoring possible short-term economic consequences that may develop as a result of the spread of this virus or the steps taken to prevent its spread. If and when these consequences begin to affect our customers, we always stand ready to discuss ways in which we can help you to navigate those circumstances.

Precautionary Steps We Are Taking

As a bank, we are part of a regulated industry and we are always focused on appropriately managing risks. We make continuous improvements to our standing business continuity planning and we regularly test different contingency scenarios including pandemics. We feel very prepared to manage any disruptions and want to help you do that as well. These plans, policies, and procedures enable us to continue to serve our customers in times such as these. The measures developed and in place will support our continued operations and support our customer’s financial needs during emergencies and disasters and we continue to enhance our plans and processes to appropriately address the specific challenges of COVID-19:

  • We are consistently monitoring staff levels throughout all areas of the bank. This includes the option to allow essential personnel to work remotely to ensure operations continue even in the most extreme circumstances.
  • We are actively testing our ability to operate with a significant percentage of our staff working from home not just for illness but for precautionary self–quarantining.
  • Augmented “extreme” cleaning procedures have been put in place at all branch locations and back offices.
  • We have made hand sanitizer readily available and are ensuring branch teams and back-office personnel know the best practices recommended by the CDC. You may also see some members of our branch team wearing gloves, especially when handling money.
  • We have instructed any member of our team who is feeling ill or exhibiting flu-like symptoms or has a family member who is ill, to remain at home and we encourage our customers to do likewise.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures to support our customers and communities as needs arise.

For additional information about COVID-19, as well as common-sense guidance for some simple, effective things that we can all do right now to protect ourselves and those around us, get the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or your local health department website.

Thank you,

Mary Ann Scully
Chairman and CEO


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A new and improved Howard Bank website is on the way!

  • 09 Apr 2018
  • Posted by estarr

We’re excited to announce that HowardBank.com is getting a makeover – and we’re almost ready for the reveal.

In just a few weeks, you will notice a new streamlined design that offers effortless navigation and enhanced functionality. Whether accessing the site from your mobile phone, a tablet, or desktop computer, you will have easy access to tools for accomplishing your most common account-related tasks.

Our mission is to deliver a website that is easy to use, getting you where you need to go with fewer clicks.

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The Future of Branch Banking

  • 12 Sep 2016
  • Posted by Admin

As digital banking use continues to increase, bank branch traffic is decreasing. But that doesn’t signal the end of branch banking. Quite the contrary; the interactions that are occurring in the branches are very important.

While consumers want the convenience of online and mobile banking, when they are making a large purchase (think home or car), need financial advice or have a service need, a person-to-person connection is the overwhelming choice, not an app. When people are making a major financial decision that involves short and long term financial planning they really want that personal relationship. And this is what sets Howard Bank apart from other banks – a hands on approach.

Branch banking will continue to change over the next five to ten years. The trend of customers coming into the branch less for transactions and more for advice will continue. “Our branch layout will change from the standpoint that there’s no need to have a 4,000 square foot branch tomorrow; an 800 to 1,200 square foot branch storefront is more appropriate,” says Barry Luciani, Senior Vice President, Branch Executive at Howard Bank.

The core function of the branch has become relationship building. And this means that the people in the branch are key. “They have to be equipped to problem solve and listen to customers and then come up with financial solutions. And they have to give value-added advice back to the customer,” says Luciani. “The days of accepting a check in our branches is going down. We’re seeing transaction counts decrease year over year. So now you have to go back and re-engineer. What does the branch really do now for today and tomorrow? It all goes back to providing advice and relationship building with our customers.”

Listening to customers and offering good customer service is important, whether that service is in-person, on the phone, or by electronic means. “At Howard Bank, we pride ourselves on customer service which is that hands on approach. We are proactively listening to our customers, because that’s really what drives coming up with those solutions,” notes Luciani, including electronic banking services such as online banking, online bill pay, mobile banking, and mobile deposit.

In addition to hands on service and financial technology, Howard’s size and community bank status offers great advantages to its customers. “We’re here, we’re in it, and the leaders understand the market. When you need to get to a decision maker, Mary Ann [Scully, President and CEO of Howard Bank] is only a thirty-minute drive or a phone call away. And the same with all the decision makers. If there’s a problem, we’re not calling Charlotte, Buffalo or Winston-Salem. We’re on the phone with the people who are involved with the day-to-day management of those processes. That really differentiates being a community bank, local, and managed in the Baltimore market.”

So while branch banking may be evolving, it is a positive change and will continue to be part of an overall hands on banking solution developed for the customer.

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End of the Year Financial Checklist: Time to Get Ready for The New Year!

  • 18 Dec 2015
  • Posted by Amarasco

1. Review your budget: did you stick to it this year? Do you need to make any adjustments? If you consistently ran over budget in one area, you may have been too strict when you planned your spending. Or if you were always over budget across the board, you may want to recommit to sensible spending – unless you had a lot of unanticipated expenses in 2015.

2. Evaluate your progress: did you meet your savings goals? Whether you were focused on building your emergency fund or stashing money for a dream trip, be sure to evaluate how far you’ve come and determine your new savings goals for 2016 early on in your financial checklist.

3. Prioritize: what would you like to do this year? Perhaps you’d like a weekly date night with your spouse, a new car, a renovated kitchen. Or your goal might be to get out of debt or go back to school. Choose the one wonderful thing that you’d like to accomplish financially this year, and create a plan that will help you to achieve that goal.

4. Cut the fat: think about the ways you can painlessly reduce your spending. Subscriptions to services or magazines that you don’t use or read, high interest and fees on your credit cards, accounts that now charge way more than the nice “special introductory offer” monthly payment – all of these should be canceled, switched, or downgraded to a more affordable package.

5. Check your credit score: you should be looking at your scores from the three major agencies at least once a year to understand your credit profile. You also want to look for any incorrect entries or other problematic entries – such as incorrect addresses or unauthorized credit checks – in your report. Spot a problem? See our post on how to fix credit report mistakes here.

6. Review your insurance: If your life has changed this past year, your insurance may need to change too. Review your policies to ensure you have the right coverage. You may want to purchase or sell a life insurance policy. You may be eligible for discounts on your auto insurance policy if you got married, moved, or have maintained a clean driving record.

7. Holiday spending assessment: If you’re shopping for gifts, consider how you can stick to your spending limit. It’s all too easy to get carried away by special offers or stocking stuffers. You may also want to set up a savings plan to cover next year’s holiday shopping, and you may wish to factor birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions into the plan.

8. Track your daily spending: whether it’s for a month or two, or the entire year, tracking what you and all the members of your family spend daily is an excellent practice that may reveal some big ways to save. Whether you use a notebook, set up your own spreadsheet, or use an online app or program, tracking expenditures will provide an eye-opening look at where your money goes.

9. Automate it: If you forget to pay your bills, or delay because you want to keep the money in your own account a little bit longer, signup for automatic payments through your own bank account or on the websites of your utility, cable, phone, insurer, etc. If you don’t have to think about making reoccurring payments, chances are your bills will be paid on time.

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