How to build an offer for SMEs, so that it meets their needs and brings profit? The answer is simple: by creating an ecosystem of services.
For decades the SME market has not been attractive enough for banks: small businesses mean higher credit risk and non-standard needs. However, they have started to be more visible to the banks recently. That's because bankers have noticed that they are strongly giving way to fintechs when it comes to responding to small businesses needs. And that generates losses.
But how to catch up? One of the EY's reports answers this question. It states that the opportunity for banks to manage the SME segment lies in banking ecosystems. EY analysts write that the banking ecosystem are about offering customers more than just classic banking.
Customer in the focus
Let's say an entrepreneur needs to expand the company fleet. He finds the right vehicles and begins the process. He starts by asking his bank for a loan, in the meantime he receives a leasing quote, and he compares them with the other quotes. He selects the financing and the partner. Then he submits the required registration and financial documents, signed application forms, fills in the blanks and waits for a decision. Within a day, he receives an answer and can finalise the purchase and collect the vehicles a few days later.
What if from his online banking system he could select a vehicle and then find the best ready-made monthly payment plan? Prepared automatically by the bank or its financial partner?
Next, in a completely automated way, the entrepreneur would provide all the required documents from the integrated registration and ERP systems. Finally, using e.g. biometrics, he would sign the documents. All this to receive, after a few clicks, a notification from the system about the vehicles waiting to be collected.
Convenient? Certainly! A full process joining together an auction portal, a financing partner, a registration system, an ERP system, a bank and an electronic signature. Thanks to automation, the entrepreneur may not even be aware of how much work has been done in the background. As a result, he gets what he needs quickly and efficiently without being distracted by side activities.
Friendship and partnership
Thanks to the ecosystems banks are no longer just providers of financial services. They become partners in the daily operation of companies, responding to their current needs.
The access to previously unavailable customer data is an added value for banks. Sophisticated Business Intelligence tools with artificial intelligence make it possible to catch anomalies in real time, analyse them and react to them. Banks also have the opportunity to change their existing business models. Through the ecosystems they can offer a wider range of products, including non-financial ones.
The banks, being architects and owners of ecosystems, decide about the content and scope of the environment offered. They will determine who will be the partner and on what terms.
Technology for the present times
The most important detail to keep in mind when designing an ecosystem is the choice of a technology partner. The changing environment forces the ecosystem to be alive and to follow or even anticipate the market needs.
Being the bank software provider, we know the market very well. We know what problems SME customers face. Therefore, we have created a platform that will help banks to meet the expectations of this segment.
The open architecture of the Comarch SME Banking system, ready to run in the cloud, allows for a constant expansion of the services offered. Non-banking services, i.e. online accounting, digital archive, factoring, e-store and many others, launched as micro-services, give unlimited possibilities in responding to the customers' needs and simplifying everyday routine tasks.
Grzegorz Urbański Business Solutions Consultant, Digital Banking