Want to win small business customers? Give them a better digital banking solution | Techy Kings

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SPONSORED CONTENT PROVIDED BY APITURE

By Missy Rose, Senior Product Manager, Apiture

When community banks go after small business customers, they face an uphill battle if larger institutions are in the sales mix. In fact, more than half (58%) of small businesses use services from one of the Big 4 banks, according to a recent Aite-Novarica Group report. Often, the Big 4 banks win in the end because they provide interest-free banking services to their customers for free. Furthermore, small businesses sometimes see large national banks as more innovative and quicker to adopt new technologies, adding to the perception of a richer product experience.

When community banks try to attract business customers, how do they differentiate themselves in the market to grow their small business segment?

What is attractive to small businesses
Small business banking needs are typically more complex than consumer needs, and businesses expect a variety of capabilities when choosing a financial institution. At least business deposits, loans and payments are no longer viable options for institutions serving these customers. Instead, small businesses need the ability to manage cash flow, support financial reporting and digital invoicing, and a way to easily collect payments and pay employees and suppliers—and they want to access these features digitally.

To compete effectively, an institution’s digital business banking platform must be comparable. The Aite-Novarica Group report revealed that 60 percent of small businesses are likely or very likely to bank with a community or small bank if it offers online banking capabilities and experiences comparable to larger banks.

Simplify banking
It is important for small businesses to simplify the banking process for their consumers so they can focus on running their business. A modern and connected banking experience enables business end users to access external systems of choice. A good platform will integrate with industry-specific platforms and external accounting systems, allowing business owners and financial professionals to manage funds and complete transactions in a digital banking experience. Business banking solutions should emphasize convenience, allowing end users to accomplish complex tasks, such as paying suppliers or repaying loans, from one location. With a connected platform, businesses can learn about products and services when they need them.

Treat businesses like you know them
Presenting personalized content based on what is known about small business customers should be refined to help, not distract. And in the case of winning small businesses, personalization is expected and appreciated. According to the Aite-Novarica report, 48 percent of small businesses say a personalized experience is important or necessary to sustain their business. Community financial institutions can begin to work towards this goal by investing in data intelligence solutions, taking the data they already have and using it to improve the consumer journey. Using this advanced technology will create a commitment to innovation.

Offer more products
Just as mobile devices continue to incorporate new features and functionality to expand the mobile experience, business banking platforms should continue to add functionality to improve user convenience. Small businesses are looking for digital solutions that offer non-traditional products, such as invoicing, faster payments and forecasting. In fact, 66 percent of businesses measured in the Aite-Novarica report stated they are more likely to give their valuable payment business to an institution that offers a richer selection of products.

Don’t go alone
The Big 4 banks have the benefit of a large development shop, but community banks typically don’t have the same budgets or scale. When looking for business banking capabilities, smaller institutions’ best bet is to partner with a digital banking provider that has built in-demand capabilities. When looking for an optimal partnership, choose a provider with an open and modern platform, an API-centric strategy for easier integration with third-party platforms, embedded analytics for a high level of personalization and a forward-looking roadmap.

Give businesses what they want
When examining the majority of small businesses that use large national banks for their business banking needs, it’s clear what they value in a banking platform—rich product selection, seamless connectivity and personalization capabilities. A robust business banking platform that offers the convenience of a single platform with integrated consumer and business banking is likely to provide the best experience, allowing small business owners to access consumer accounts with a single sign-on.

Sell ​​the solution
Indeed, community banks can differentiate their offerings and stand out from the crowd by focusing on complete digital banking solutions. When a financial institution’s digital banking solution is on par with the best available, they have a fighting chance of winning over small business customers. Without the advanced capabilities businesses are looking for, it’s likely these customers will look elsewhere. Investments in building a best-in-class business banking platform will pay dividends with existing small business customers, and it can lead to new business opportunities.

Learn about the Apiture business banking platform and download the Aite-Novarica Group business banking report, How Community Financial Institutions Can Make Money From Business Customers, to learn more about how to improve your business banking capabilities.

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