Free online checking accounts are fast becoming a viable alternative to low interest rates at local offline banks. Winning the lottery probably isn't likely and chances are Oprah won't be sending you a check any time soon. Banks are a business, plain and simple, but how do banks with free checking accounts make money? If you have a purchase going through the bank, but don't have enough money to process it, the bank will charge you a fee. However, accounting mistakes happen from time to time, and if you've made several of them, it may be that there are several transactions all waiting to go through at your bank but there isn't enough money in the account to cover them.
Most financial institutions, including banks with free checking, have a "high-low" processing strategy.
Actually, most banks will process the higher charge first and then charge you an overdraft fee on each smaller check that doesn't go through.
Of course, the best course of action is to keep careful track of your records and avoid overdrafts altogether.
You can also link your credit card or savings account to your checking and have that cover any unfortunate overdrafts. It also allows you to take advantage of competitive interest rates by moving money from checking to a high interest savings quickly. ING offers free online checking accounts, while HSBC has one that is free as long as you have direct deposit. In addition to saving money on stamps, banks with free checking and online bill paying help you keep better track of bills. Thus bills get paid on time, gather no late charges, and don't cause overdraft fees on your checking account. For the stay at home mom interested in saving money and keeping her family in the black financially, free online checking accounts are the way to go! Two weeks ago I attended Business of Software 2011 and saw a talk by Alex Osterwalder on the business model canvas, a tool for documenting and exploring business models. If you’re not familiar with Startup Weekend, it is an event where programmers, designers and business people team up to create a startup business within 54 hours. Finally, the business model canvas isn’t necessarily designed to model businesses while watching presentations.
Nudge is a social alarm clock that wakes you up with a recorded audio or video file from a loved one or friend.
Let’s Eat is a coupon solution for restaurants that provides real-time, time-limited coupons similar to GroupOn Now. The above business model canvas was what I documented during the presentation–that is, what Marc and Juan presented to the judges. Crib Sheet helps you keep track of your baby throughout your day by logging the mood and activities of your baby.
Presentations focused too much on the technology or product and not enough on the other aspects of the business.


Value propositions were often described in terms of features or benefits rather than value.
Business model canvas provides a useful tool for evaluating startup presentations, especially the right half of the canvas.
Mapping other people’s businesses can be a great way to learn the business model canvas.
Overall, I rated the experiment a success and would recommend others try it at future events.
A soon to be published Strategy, desktop software for the complete management of the Business Model Canvas, analysis of the Value Curve Blue Ocean and SWOT analysis. But when you are a stay at home mom already stretching your spending dollar by using coupons and making good financial decisions for your family, what else can you do? As a stay at home mom, you probably have your finances in immaculate shape and every penny in the bank accounted for.
Imagine that you have a check for $300 waiting to process, along with 4 smaller checks of around $20.
Another option would be paying for every day purchases with cash, thus avoiding any chance at loosing control over your spending account. Besides being free, you can pay your bills online and move money back and forth to various banks. Online banks typically have much higher interest rates for savings than local brick and mortar banks. If you are used to walking into your branch of your bank and depositing your money, this may not be the way to go.
If there is a problem, you may be on the phone for long periods of time trying to resolve it. With great options for online bill paying, ATM access, debit cards, and minimum fees, these banks are worth learning more about.
Then last weekend I attended Charlotte Startup Weekend 3 and explored the business model canvas in more depth. It starts on Friday night and ends Sunday night when each team presents their business to a panel of judges. During the weekend, as we discussed the business model, I downloaded the Business Model Toolbox app onto my iPad so we could use it in exploring our business model.
But I was on the tech team and didn’t get a chance to use it as much as I had wanted. These do not get exported from Business Model Toolbox, so the building blocks may appear cryptic or incomplete. I was doing this as an experiment, both to learn how to use the software and as a lens through which to view the presentations.
They distribute the app online through app stores and then sell ads or premium versions for their revenue.
They serve both sit-down restaurants looking for customers and people looking for places to eat, allowing restaurants to do yield management and increase their number of customers during slow times.


They sell to municipalities through personal relationships gained from trade shows, referrals and associations.
They serve both people looking to go out and nightclub owners, using direct sales to reach nightclub owners. The businesses that detailed their customers, channels, value propositions and revenue streams felt more solid. I very much agree with your observation that few start-ups take a holistic view on their business (9 building blocks).
This would make the intellectual property that forms the basis of your licensing one of your Key Resources. You might have enough money to cover the smaller checks, which means the $300 one will be charged an overdraft fee.
Most of the online banks with free checking accounts don't have lots of branches all over the country. Some online accounts can be slow to process your money, and it's not like you can get a cashier's check from them if you are in a bind.
So, during the presentations, I decided to attempt to document each team’s business model based on their presentation.
I have yet to read the Business Model Generation book (though, thanks to Business of Software, I now have a free copy).
When a canvas has both blue and yellow building blocks, the yellow building blocks refer to the consumer customer while the blue building blocks refer to the business customer.
Below I’ve included one reflecting where we started from in our internal discussions. Special offers can be presented to customers to entice them to visit a club and nightclub owners can track the effectiveness of their marketing efforts through analytics. But you’d still have to define the rest of your model, such as what value that license holds to your customers, who those customers are, how your going to reach them, etc?
Start by looking at how your bank does business and learning about free online checking accounts.
As each team presented, I read the help within the app to learn more about the business model canvas and how Business Model Toolbox worked. But please don’t rely on this post as your only experience with the business model canvas. We debated whether to provide a value to our customer directly and use partners to help support that value, or whether to act as a referring agent only and not include that value proposition as a core part of our solution.



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