CREALOGIX commissioned a major survey, speaking to Finance Directors at SMEs in the UK, Germany and Switzerland to ask them what they valued and require from their banks. One message that came through loud and clear was that for SMEs, UX matters. The team also spoke with senior executives at major banks in these countries to discover their views and priorities. A key finding from the study was that 90% of SMEs want their relationship with their bank to become more digital and this means that increasingly, digital UX will be in the spotlight.
When it comes to SME banking, digital UX matters
Digital Banking UX received one of the lowest satisfaction scores from SMEs. This is an important area to address because without the best possible user experience, banks risk missing out on up- and cross-selling opportunities and even customer attrition. The importance of UX is underscored by the fact that SMEs are asking for digital improvements in what they consider to be the basic elements of business banking, including making payments and applying for new products such as loans. There’s no doubt that all the established banks will offer these services, so the perceived problem lies with the digital UX. If SMEs either cannot find this functionality or find it too difficult to access and apply for new products, they may move elsewhere.
Why are banks finding UX for SMEs challenging?
One of the reasons that providing banking services to SMEs is so challenging is because there is so much variety within the segment. As well as covering all industries, SMEs have different needs depending on their size – and of course, these needs may change over time as a company grows. This highlights the importance of developing clear UX principles rather than simply focusing on specific functionality. If SMEs can tailor their dashboard to their priorities and have easy access to additional services and products as the need arises, this can help banks to personalise their services to each client and address the full range of requirements.
Challengers growing rapidly in SME banking
The urgency of the need for improvements to UX is underscored by the arrival of challengers into the SME banking space because this is often one of the key strengths of digital neo-banks. In the UK in particular, challenger services such as Starling Bank are making significant inroads into the market. In just three years, Starling Bank has won 6% of the market share in SME banking and they continue to focus on this segment and refine their offering. While Starling Bank had always set out to deliver SME banking services, other challengers from the retail banking space are now starting to address the opportunity. With their advanced digital UX, these challengers are well-placed to win business from busy business-owners looking to move all their financial interactions online.
Banks can use their expertise to develop a positive UX in digital banking
While challengers may have the edge when it comes to digital UX, banks can get back into the race to win the SME market by using their expertise and understanding of this segment to deliver a premium UX. By partnering with digital specialists to translate their extensive knowledge into digital functionality and finding new ways to share their highly-valued financial advice and expertise, banks have the opportunity to rapidly transform the provision of digital banking services for SMEs.
Learn more about the importance of digital banking for SMEs and how banks can address the challenge of digital transformation in our SME Banking Report.