By Ali Wadih Hassan, Jakub Pluta

In recent years, the banking sector has become aware of the great importance of the field of business and small companies, and banks are competing to provide innovative solutions for Internet banking. As banks embed their solutions by creating their own environments via the Internet browser, and it is important to integrate this work environment with mobile applications to be effectively similar and complementary to what is available through browsers.

When introducing their own mobile applications, banks should pay attention to the technical aspect, and not only to the ability of the applications to work and provide the required services to the customers. To this end, obtaining the right mobile applications is an important step to serve the business sector and small businesses.

Focus on accessing from the mobile phone first

With the important and increasing role of smartphones in various business sectors, especially for small businesses, it has become important for banks to provide their services to the customers in an accessible and simple way on their phones. Therefore, the development of mobile applications for small and medium companies is very important, as it is a practical and quick option, superior to the traditional access methods that require a browser, and usually suffer from performance problems when they are being used from the phones.

Over recent years, digital banking services have witnessed a great growth, especially in the Arab Gulf region, where data show that 79% of Emiratis and 81% of Saudis rely on banking services via smartphones, which are high rates compared to other places, but on the other hand the demand for obtaining With 23% of Emiratis and 25% of Saudis, digital banking services are relatively low, which means great growth prospects for this field in the future.

With the digital transformation of companies, access to phone banking services is more important than ever. Therefore, providing a good smartphone application is no longer just an option, but an essential step to ensure greater satisfaction for existing small and medium-sized companies' customers, in addition to attracting future customers as well.

How do banks decide to develop applications for small and medium-sized companies? What are the influencing factors?

The development of banking applications for small and medium-sized companies depends on two basic factors in reality: What are the services and specifications that banks want for these applications, and the second factor is the presence of the necessary resources to implement phone banking services.

As for the first factor, it is important for banks to define what they want in terms of interface design and user experience, in addition to vital protection methods (such as fingerprint or face lock), security and compatibility, as banks need to have their applications compatible with the largest possible range of systems, especially Android and iOS systems. Additionally they need to support work across various networks, from the third generation to the modern fifth generation networks.

As for the second factor, it is based on the available budget, the presence of the support teams, the following additional costs as a result of maintenance and subsequent development, and of course, the presence of competence to do the right thing.

What are the options available for developing banking services applications for SMEs?

Banks have several basic options for ways to deliver their banking services over the phone, and these methods vary in terms of their cost and difficulty of developing them on the one hand, and their effectiveness and ability to meet the needs of customers on the other hand. The most important of these approaches are:

Native applications: they are the applications built from scratch to provide banking services as required and they are the most challenging to develop,  but on the other hand -- they are probably the most stable in terms of security and  user experience.

Responsive Web Design: Any design of banking services sites to be able to work on various measurements, dimensions, screen resolution options, and the ability to move between several forms of the interface according to the user device and needs.

As this approach is not based on typical application installed on mobile device, RWD is not able to provide functionalities treated nowadays as market standards, e.g. simplified log in using pin code, biometrics, or device’s security verification. It means, that all the available functionalities and security level is as advanced as it is in its web version.

Hybrid applications: They are applications that are more like a framework for the same services provided over the web, but in the form of an application installed on the phone. These applications cost less but suffer from user experience limitations.

Generally speaking, combining these two types of technology makes the process of implementation more complicated –  on one hand with the risk of lower stability in functional part of the app, on the other, with the need to focus on increasing security level.

Progressive web applications: They are web-based applications that can be accessed from various devices, both computers and phones, but they remain limited to the browser rather than being installed applications. Despite PWA is a quite new approach and still not as mature as native app, Forrester points in the January, 2021 report „The Top Emerging Technologies In Banking In 2021”, that „Progressive web apps can solve many challenges that banks face across the variety of channels they need to support in the digital world, such as managing different native apps for different operating systems.”

Usually the preferred option for large service providers such as banks is native apps, whether developed internally or via a dedicated company. Although these applications require a longer development period and a higher budget. They provide more flexibility to add new features and a better user experience for customers.

Comarch apps for small business banking

Jakub Pluta, Business Development Manager at Comarch, says:

Comarch is one of the pioneers in the field of financial technology, as it is concerned with introducing modern and innovative technologies to the banking world through many diverse services, so the company's services to develop banking services applications are among the best in the field. It allows banks to get native apps with many features and excellent user experience to offer primarily to small business clients.

Comarch Small Business Banking Apps offer many features such as:

  • Easy and simple money management.
  • Sending invoices instantly and automatically.
  • Liquidity management assistant service.
  • Fast and easy access to banking and financial services from anywhere at any time.

Whether it is for the banks themselves or their small business clients, the Comarch Small Business Banking App is an ideal choice to use. You can try these apps and other Comarch services here:

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