The Temecula Valley Bank in Temecula, CA, was formed only about three-and-a-half years ago and already has a track record of superb profitability. It places first for the year 2000 among banks with assets ranging from $100 million to $129 million, and second in the three-year ranking."Do we have to keep that up?," asks CEO Stephen H. Wacknitz. "The head of a bank is like a football coach, you're only as good as your last quarter." But first-quarter 2001 results indicate that Wacknitz is keeping up the pace. Earnings were up 20% over the first quarter of 2000, he says. "I love banking, I love the challenge of it, and [Federal Reserve chairman Alan] Greenspan has certainly been adding to that challenge," says Wacknitz. Lower interest rates have been hurting small banks because rates on loans tend to decline faster than rates on deposits.Wacknitz doesn't take full credit. "As much as anything else, we owe our success to Southern California, with its good economy," he says.The second ranked company in the 48-bank group, Santa Lucia Bank, Atascadero, is also from California. "We do business the old-fashioned way, we offer the latest in technology but we still talk directly to people," says CEO Stanley R. Cherry. "We don't charge people to talk to a teller."Santa Lucia concentrates on dealing with businesses and keeps its operations simple. "We're not involved in securities or selling insurance. We do one thing and we do it well," Cherry says.
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The increasing adoption of virtual card payments by accounts payable departments has created an unexpected complication for suppliers: more friction in the processing, posting and reconciliation of payments and receivables. The root of the problem is that most suppliers rely on a manual approach to processing e-mailed virtual card payments. Suppliers are forced to balance their organization’s need for operational efficiency and control with rising customer demand to pay with a virtual card. But a new breed of technology enables suppliers to process virtual card payments straight-through, addressing the needs of buyers and suppliers. This paper details the growth of electronic business-to-business (B2B) payments, shows how manual approaches to processing virtual card payments cause friction in accounts receivables, describes a way to process virtual card payments straight-through, and highlights the benefits of frictionless payments.