Research by PwC found that SMEs would prefer access to digital services as opposed to traditional in-branch facilities, however these needs are not being met. Below are the key reasons which prevent the banking sector from fulfilling the demands of SME businesses:
- The onboarding process of initiating relationships with SMEs can be challenging for banks, due to uncertainty around the ownership structure of these small businesses.
- The growth model of SME businesses means it is difficult for banks to assess the value of the opportunities they are presented with. With smaller businesses seen as a higher risk for doing business with, this causes issues for banks when granting credit facilities.
- Profitability from doing business with SMEs is a lot smaller than that of larger organisations, therefore making corporates more favourable.
- Existing software systems means banks are unable to service SME customer demands which are beyond the traditional offerings, pushing SMEs to look elsewhere for their needs.
The impact of underserving SMEs
With many challenger banks entering the scene, the impact of underserving SMEs could be quite severe. Many SMEs are now seeing the value of choosing challenger banks over the traditional high street players, meaning banks will slowly be losing out on their share of the market. It is inactivity that is holding them back from capitalising on the SME market; they must be open to collaboration with the new players and champion open banking if they are to tap into this market, or risk losing their relevance and share in the market entirely.
Achieving service differentiation with Exemplas
At Exemplas, we work with clients in banking and fintech, who have pre-start, startup and SME clients, to enhance their service propositions, helping them to set their business apart. Our advisory services provide customers with added value, which in turn enables client acquisition and retention.