How to Protect Your Business Bank Account

Erin OsterhausMay 1, 2024

Reviewed By: The Amplify Business Banking Team

In 2022, a JP Morgan survey of businesses reported that 65 percent of the participating organizations had been victims of payment fraud attacks or attempts. Such a high percentage of fraud victims might have you worried about the security of your own small business bank accounts.

There are concrete steps you can take to make your accounts as secure as possible. If you want to achieve peace of mind when it comes to your online bank accounts, put the following security measures in place so that you can focus fully on what matters most: growing your small business.

1. Stay Informed About Types of Bank Fraud

As with any potential type of fraud, knowing what you’re up against is half the battle. When it comes to bank fraud, there are several types of fraud to look out for. The US Chamber of Commerce advises business owners to be on the lookout for the most common, which include:

  • Phishing: In this type of fraud, criminals create emails or other types of messaging that impersonate a trusted institution or employee to steal protected information, such as bank account numbers. Always examine any online communication carefully to ensure it’s from a trusted sender.
  • Pressure tactics: Some fraudsters may request payment for products or services they claim were never received, threatening legal repercussions if their request is not met promptly. This type of fraud can take place using a variety of communication types, with criminals contacting your business via email, phone, text, or even postal mail. If you or an employee ever feel pressured to transfer money or share account information under a tight deadline, there’s a good chance a criminal is on the other side of the request.
  • Account takeover: Cyber criminals can often gain access to a company’s bank account by using a current employee’s online credentials. Make sure that you and all your employees only use secured Wi-Fi networks—don’t ever check bank account information using public Wi-Fi—and create complex passwords that are required to change periodically are some of the best ways to prevent corporate account takeover.
  • Internal fraud: Unfortunately, there are times when current employees may commit payroll or accounting theft. While this is perhaps the hardest type of fraud to prevent—and also the most upsetting—it can be prevented through a system of organizational checks and balances that foster transparency and forces employees to remain accountable for their actions.

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2. Educate Your Employees

Being aware of common types of bank fraud is a great start toward protecting your accounts, but ensuring your whole organization is aware of potential security threats can have an even greater impact. As a follow up step, be sure to educate your employees on how to recognize common tactics employed by cybercriminals. This might be through semi-annual training, or if your small business is really small, even a simple verbal or email reminder to your staff might do the trick.

3. Boost Your Cybersecurity

If you own a small business, implementing a cybersecurity strategy might sound complicated, overwhelming or even impossible given the limited number of resources you have available. But cybersecurity isn’t something that only large corporations should worry about, and putting some measures in place may be easier than you think. Although you might not have a dedicated cybersecurity department—or even one employee dedicated to protecting your online presence—you can still create an effective cybersecurity program. In fact, it can include simple tactics, such as:

  • Using spam filters for your company email.
  • Blocking access to suspicious websites.
  • Updating software on your devices as soon as updates are available.

By taking these relatively simple steps toward enhancing your company’s cybersecurity, you can drastically reduce the chances that your bank account information is compromised.

4. Set Up Alerts

In addition to putting in place cybersecurity measures, you can also take advantage of cybersecurity features offered by banks and credit unions. Many financial institutions allow account holders to set up alerts via their banking app, SMS, or email to help monitor account activity. Some of the most common and useful alerts to set up are:

  • Security alerts. You’ll be alerted if any of your profile information changes, or if an unknown source is trying to gain access to your account.
  • Transaction alerts. You can be informed when money is deposited or withdrawn from your account.
  • Transfer alerts. Large incoming or outgoing transfers can often be signs of fraud, so many banks and credit unions will send you a notice when the transfer of funds over a certain amount is initiated.

By opting into these alerts, you can react quickly to any suspicious activity, and protect yourself from becoming the victim of fraud. If any unexplained activity pops up, be sure to alert your bank or credit union as quickly as possible. It’s a good idea to halt all online activity until you’re able to determine what has occurred and keep records of the event for future reference.

5. Limit Account Access

Depending on just how small your small business is, as well as your company culture, you may feel comfortable giving access to your business bank accounts to multiple employees. While it’s always great to be able to trust your employees, even if that trust is well placed, it can make your company more vulnerable to fraud attacks. When several people have access to your accounts, that gives fraudsters multiple avenues of attack. By limiting account access to as few people as possible—while also creating a safe online environment—you can drastically reduce the chances of a criminal successfully gaining access to your accounts.

Focus on What Matters

Owning a small business can be challenging, but the rewards of creating and running your own company usually far outweigh the difficulties. By taking proactive steps to protect your small business bank accounts against fraud, you can worry less about the security of your online bank accounts and focus your efforts on taking your business to the next level.

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Erin Osterhaus

Erin is a personal finance writer based in Austin, Texas. Her work has been featured on TechRepublic, Yahoo Small Business, and She’s been passionate about helping others manage their money since she successfully paid off $60,000 in student loans in four years. When she’s not writing, Erin loves reading, studying languages, and spending time with her family.