Benchmark Bank’s Blog

Banking on People

| Benchmark Bank News, Public Relations

View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.

Benchmark Bank and Austin Street Center are coming together to offer financial aid and loans to Dallas’ homeless through a program called “Banking on People”. The program was developed by Keith Price, the shelter’s director, to benefit the residents.  Keith describes it as an opportunity to “help them rise above their homelessness.”  Watch Benchmark’s very own Layne Newman talk about Banking on People in the news clip from NBC above or check out the video and full article on NBC’s web site or learn more at Austin Street Center!

Bill Pay FAQs

| Personal Banking

Bill Pay FAQs

I.  There are some known issues with the Safari Browser. If you are having an issue getting to the main Bill Pay screen and are using Safari, see below for workarounds:
  Here is the workaround for 5.1.5:

  For Mac - Hold down the Apple/CMD key while clicking on the link.

  For Windows - Right-click on the bill pay link and choose “open in new window.”
  After doing it once, the cookie should be tracked properly when the customer logs in.

  Global Safari Issue:
  Here are the settings for the Safari browser that should be enabled. This wording could differ slightly between versions:
  1.        Please clear your cache, then close browser, and reopen and test again.
  2.        Please verify the OS you are using. (Either OSX 10.6.8 or OSX 10.7.4)
  3.        Provide the date and time you are receiving the error.
  5.        Please try an alternate browser. Google Chrome or Firefox are both supported browsers. 
  6.        Please follow these steps as indicated in the picture above-
              a.        Select “Safari”
              b.        Click “Preferences”
              c.        Select the option “Security”
              d.        Make sure the following are selected: Enable plug-ins, Enable Java, and Enable JavaScript
              e.        Cookies must be accepted as well for online banking to work.

II.  Will I have to reenter all of my payees?
    No - just click on “Make Payment” from the initial Bill Pay screen and there you will see all of your previous payees.

III.  My Quicken is not syncing with my new Bill Pay set up?

    We are currently working on this issue, but in the mean time you can go through the normal online banking portal instead of Quicken to access your bill pay.  To access bill pay via our online banking site,  click “Bill Pay” and then click the link to “View and Pay Bills.”  You will then click “Make Payments” and all of your payee information will filter in to select for payment.  We are sorry for the inconvenience and hope to have this resolved quickly. 

Note:  If you had a nickname for a certain bill to a payee, the payee/nickname fields might appear reveresed.  For example:  Payee Name-Nickname will appear as Nickname-Payee Name.  The bills will still be paid to the proper payee (which can be seen by clicking on the payee & selecting “View/Change Payee Details”).  It is just the display that you are seeing that has these fields reversed.

 

“Banking on People”

| Benchmark Bank News, Public Relations

Benchmark Bank is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with local nonprofit Austin Street Center called “Banking on People.” This revolutionary new program will help transform the lives of those previously plagued with homeless who are now ready, willing and able to contribute as active members of society.

Below is the Press Release which Austin Street Center just released about the program:

Austin Street Center, a nonprofit ministering to up to 460 homeless men, women and
children, daily, located in Dallas, TX is associating with Benchmark Bank of Plano and
Dallas to initiate a program called “Banking on People”.

“Banking on People” is modeled on the concept of micro finance, used in impoverished
nations to increase their GNP and, therefore, create better, more productive lives for the
participants through small start-up bank loans. “Transferring this concept to our
ministry,” remarked Keith Price, Executive Director of the Austin Street Center, “we
would have participants not normally seen as an acceptable risk due to mental illness,
addictions, physical illness, negative credit and personal history.”

Benchmark Bank will provide loans for individuals who meet the criteria established by
the bank and the shelter to start a personal business. “We have candidates,
periodically,” said Price, “who have worked their way through our various programs, or
who have taken the “bull by the horns” themselves and are just short of their goal,
where a loan would give them the boost they need to be contributing to society again. In
looking for an entity to work with us on “Banking on People”, we sought a lending
institution who understood that there is more to the story of homelessness than what
appears on the surface, was compassionate and was prepared to take an element of
financial risk, in order to help an individual get their businesses off the ground and build
their much needed self-confidence.”

“When Keith mentioned the idea to me,” said Layne Newman, Senior Vice President of
Benchmark, “we discussed the strategy internally and found it appealed to our desire to
work with an underserved segment of the Dallas community.

By making a simple loan developed with the expertise of Austin Street, we could clearly
help others who had no access to capital. There are some worthy people in need and
our institution is committed to assisting such folks where it makes sense, financially and
holistically.”

“We will be starting very, very small with this program,” said Price, “because we have to
present the right candidates to the bank, so the bank and each participant can build a
relationship that suits them both. This bank is willing to work closely with our client,
giving both of them the clearest possible shot at a positive outcome.”

“Very few agencies, if any, are starting a program like this. It is one piece of the puzzle
in reducing chronic homelessness that we, as a ministry and a community, have been
lacking. Having a financial institution like Benchmark see this vision, embrace it, and be
willing to step up to potentially help our clients, is a dream coming true I did not see
happening for years,” said Price.

Benchmark Bank is a Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

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