For many small and midsized business (SMB) owners, navigating finances feels overwhelming amid inflationary and recessionary threats and uncertainty spurred by high profile bank collapses. Their customers are increasingly demanding digital services, which puts the financial burden on these businesses to acquire data-driven technology to satisfy customers and gain market share — without breaking their budget.
Can banks deliver this to their small business customers without losing the personal service they love? Absolutely! It starts with banks examining their technology stack and scrutinizing how they show up for SMB clients.
There are 33 million small and medium businesses, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But only about 33% of these businesses feel like their primary financial institution understands and appreciates them, according to data published in Forbes; the Federal Reserve found that fewer than half say their credit needs are being met.
“While this isn’t a new opportunity, it is growing, thanks in part to big banks capturing clients and then underserving their needs,” said Ryan Sorrels, Chief Operating Officer at Nymbus.
In a time of financial uncertainty, client-centric banks are examining their current tech offerings and ramping up ways to partner in their success. Is your financial institution ready to tackle these best practices?
Invest in Tech Tools to Fuel SMB Success
Recent data indicates that 41% of SMBs are looking to use digital banking services. They need the infrastructure for their customers to buy from and engage with them digitally; at the same time, they have to acquire tech to make data-driven marketing and business decisions. Banks can relieve the pressure on both ends for SMBs. Banks with a tech stack tailored for SMB needs can partner in their success by helping to grow their market share and revenue, which increases their deposits and transactions.
Locality Bank, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an example of a community bank that delivers digital banking solutions for local businesses. Through their online tools, Locality Bank gives South Florida businesses options to open accounts, communicate with the banking team and manage cash flow in one place.
“We’ve taken a fresh approach to community banking that has been underserved for far too long,” explained Locality Bank Cofounder and COO/CTO Corey LeBlanc. “The technology we have in place enables us to be hyper-focused and adjust on the fly to best serve our customers.”
Dallas-based Comerica Bank is another institution that leverages its tech stack to help SMBs gather industry-specific market data. Through its free online tool, SizeUp by Comerica, SMB owners can get insights like local consumer spending data and how they rank against competitors.
“We are dedicated to helping small businesses reach their goals,” said Omar Salah, Comerica Bank’s director of small business banking. “This resource has the ability to make a significant impact on the growth trajectory of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs across the country.”
Advocate for Stability and Growth
In an uncertain economy, SMB owners need reassurance that their banks are in their corner and financially sound. The Harris Poll reports that about 25% SMBs have considered moving their accounts to a different bank in the wake of the SVB and Signature Bank collapses.
Is your bank feeling this strain? Think about how your institution can show up as an advocate to fuel SMB owners’ confidence in growth steps in an uncertain economy.
Citizens Bank of Edmond is a great example of this. Having served its Edmond, Oklahoma community for 120 years, launching SMB growth opportunities such as a coworking space, extended bank lobby hours and the first “bankerless” bank in their market, which offers on-demand rolled coin machines and deposits — a much-needed service for local restaurants, bars and cafes.
“While [Silicon Valley Bank] had over 90% in uninsured deposits, Citizens Bank of Edmond has just 9%,” said Jill Castilla, CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond. “Our bank has on-balance-sheet liquidity to meet every cent of our uninsured depositor balances.”
Small businesses with strong banking relationships experience better loan terms and higher credit availability. Just as the local coffee house knows your order before you get to the counter, community banks have a history of knowing what their customers need to thrive.
Now is the time to lean into your bank’s legacy of transparency, stability and customer-centric communication. And at the end of the day, helping small business owners find their path builds confidence in your bank’s role as a reliable long-term partner.