Photo by James Sanna | Commercial Record staff

Rhode Island-based Citizens recently launched a pair of products aimed at meeting what it believes are in-demand services for the region’s small businesses.

Earlier this week, the bank announced it had stood up an online and mobile-capable cash management platform which it called Citizens Cash Flow Essentials, and a digital invoicing service integrated into the bank’s existing online banking platform.

The Cash Flow Essentials platform gives business customers real-time account information, “seamless” payment functions and tools like automated clearing house (ACH) payments, wire transfers, real-time payments and an uncapped number of mobile check deposits, the bank said.

When paired with the new digital invoicing service, Citizens said, the bank’s small business customers will be be able to bypass the normal two- to three-day waiting period for checks to clear, and let small businesses accept credit cards and other electronic payments that directly settle in their Citizens checking accounts. The service is free to sign up for, the bank said, but customers are charged a fee on each payment.

The result, Citizens said, would be less pressure on companies’ liquidity and better cash flow.

“Citizens is committed to helping our customers achieve their goals and these digital solutions are a key extension of that commitment, simplifying the job of analyzing payment data and helping customers make informed decisions to fuel growth,” Mark Valentino, head of business banking at Citizens, said in a statement.

The bank noted that a recent survey it commissioned found that small- and medium-sized business leaders wanted more digital tools to let customers pay online, speed up collections and simplify payment data tracking.