Evolutions in mobile banking for small businesses

Looking at the changing ways personal finance is evolving and how this affects UK small companies.

The way people manage their money is changing, and the development of mobile banking and new payment solutions is a major consideration for small businesses in the UK.

The infographic below was created by Barclays to show mobile banking apps such as Barclays Pingit, which has encouraged people to try new and easy ways of managing their finances.

Barclays Pingit enables customers to send and receive money or pay bills using their smartphones. This makes money management easier and reduces the reliance on computers, telephone banking and visiting a branch. The app can even be used by non-Barclays customers to receive money.

The increase in contactless payment options, mobile wallets and even services like Apple’s Pay app – which allows Apple customers to buy products in store without visiting a till or interacting with staff – means consumers increasingly expect innovative and seamless ways to pay for goods and services.

The availability of personal banking through mobile phones is encouraging people to track their spending more closely. Barclays Pingit has seen strong uptake from both men and women of all ages.

Small businesses should certainly keep abreast of how the payment and personal finance landscapes are evolving, as staying at the forefront of these changes could pay off down the line. Consumer appetite for new technologies is high and early adoption could be the move that sets your business apart in the future.

Clearly consumers are enjoying the added convenience that comes with mobile banking and digital wallets. But what about businesses? Are we likely to see increased uptake on corporate mobile banking in the near future? There are still a few obstacles that make mobile banking less popular for businesses than for consumers. For example, many finance management tasks are easier to carry out on a computer due to the bigger screen size. But when execs need to make payments or move money around on the go, mobile banking (including tablets) certainly has a place.

As long as businesses can be assured of the security of their corporate data and they can see the efficiency savings that could be made by using mobile technology for financial management, it’s likely that small businesses will want to be part of the mobile banking revolution.

New technology is already making transactions much faster, and the increased uptake in mobile banking is making personal finance more convenient than ever before too. So watch this space for further changes in how consumers and businesses move money, track spending and carry out transactions.

Smallest businesses unhappy with their business banking

Only 48 per cent of micro-enterprises are happy with their business banking, research finds.

Some 59 per cent of the smallest companies believe business growth would be significantly improved with specialist banking services, but most are not being offered them.

However, banks are getting the basics right. Companies think banks are helpful (69 per cent), trustworthy (72.5 per cent) and are happy with their lending policies when it comes to getting credit (63 per cent), according to a study by software and IT specialist Comarch.

Despite this, banks are not delivering on specialist value added services. Of the companies surveyed, 27.5 per cent have been offered payment automation and 8 per cent have been offered cash flow forecasting.

The research comes after concerns raised by Comarch earlier this year that banks are simply rebadging basic retail banking services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and are not offering dedicated business services which could help them grow their business.

The company gained access to more than 50 Tech City companies in London’s Shoreditch to ask them about the service they received from their banks. While there are areas where banks are getting it right, especially in making credit available, there are still areas of concern where banks could do more to support SMEs.

Eva Jasiecka, UK managing director of Comarch says, ‘Services such as cash flow forecasting and payment automations are vital for SMEs to control their finances and streamline internal processes.

‘Despite the dedicated services not being offered, many of the companies we spoke to said they would be willing to pay for them. Only 7 per cent of micro-enterprises had been offered cash flow forecasting, for example, but more than one-in-four would be willing to pay for them.’
Jasiecka adds that for micro-enterprises, it’s crucial that banking should be quick and easy, allowing them the maximum amount of time to get on with running their business and driving growth.

‘If these services are not being offered, it’s little wonder that more than half are dissatisfied with their bank. The demand for the services is there and, crucially, so is technology required to deliver them.’

Further reading on business banking

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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