CREALOGIX recently published a report on SME banking. Working with Censuswide, our research team spoke with Financial Directors at SMEs and senior executives at major banks. What we found by speaking to specialists in Germany, Switzerland and the UK is that change is on the horizon, and it is urgently necessary.
The pandemic highlighted how much was lacking in digital banking facilities provided to SMEs; SMEs are becoming more vocal about their requirements just as neo-banks are recognising the significant opportunity that SMEs present. In Europe, the 23 million SMEs account for 99% of all businesses and 67% of all employment; these numbers demonstrate why challengers are moving into this market and why banks need to urgently address the digital banking requirements of SMEs.
Pushing SME banking up the priority list
A recent report from McKinsey supports this finding and suggests that when it comes to banking, SMEs often find themselves stranded between large corporations and retail customers in terms of both products available and service delivery. This is demonstrated in the report; banks do acknowledge the need for more digital banking provision to SMEs but it is not yet a top priority, partly because banks are underestimating the importance of innovative digital banking solutions to SMEs and also because many feel it is too diverse and complex a market segment to fully address all the requirements.
Increasing digital touchpoints
One of the headline statistics from the report is that 90% of SMEs want their relationship with their bank to become more digital or manage all their finances online already. The message from SMEs is clear and CREALOGIX has been listening to the market. The report doesn’t just look closer at these requirements but also suggests potential solutions, from acceleration of funding applications through digitalisation to the use of secure chat functions to build stronger relationships and multibanking facilities that add value to SMEs.
CREALOGIX undertook the research to learn from the market and the results highlight the importance of digital banking solutions for SMEs that are easy to use and increase efficiency both at SMEs and within banks. With challengers looming large on the horizon, this is an issue that will become increasingly urgent for banks. The report provides an exclusive insight into this sector and also highlights how banks can combine their expertise in SME banking with the latest digital solutions to support SMEs as they thrive and grow alongside their bank.