Fintechs, once lauded, incorrectly, as the greatest threat to community banks and credit unions, traditionally sought to disrupt the consumer banking experience. Venmo and PayPal made exchanging money easier. Wealthfront and Robinhood brought investing directly to the consumer. However, the small business market has seen the least amount of attention and thus, disruption.
We are sitting on a precipice, as the need to streamline business processes begins to converge with consumer expectations and demands of a digital “anywhere” mentality.
So, we must continue to ask, “What if?” In 2007, Steve Jobs asked “what if” when he launched the iPhone. In 2011 mobile banking companies asked “what if” with an untethered mobile banking device. Just four years ago, Malauzai, a Finastra company, asked, “What if you could approve a wire from the comfort of your children’s t-ball game? What if we could give ACH to a consumer with the click of a button?”
According to a recent study conducted by JP Morgan, payments is the most valued online business banking activity.
What if you could offer a truly holistic view of payments? Think of account receivables, where the payments process starts with an invoice. What if we could empower businesses, of any size, to produce an invoice? That invoice then produces an outstanding receivable that could be further fed into a cash position calendar. If you know that there is an outstanding receivable, you know the balance is going to shift when that payment comes in. This allows the credit union, and the business, to predict cash flow today, tomorrow and even six months out.
What if we could enable all of our businesses with a mobile wallet? What if your credit union can help solve the biggest problems businesses see, such as getting paid?
At the end of the day, these “what ifs” are ways that you can give your business members the tools they need to get paid faster and identify future lending or investment needs.
The Institute of Financial Management reported that accounts payable departments still receive the majority of their invoices as paper, leaving 60% of businesses dissatisfied with their receivables processes.
If you have greater insight into what payments are coming in, when they are coming in, how much they will be and from whom, you can reduce the length of account receivable cycles. That means snail mail, invoice payments, client management, reconcilement and deposits are all streamlined.
Imagine your top business member is a property management firm. This business has established electronic debits to collect lease payments on a monthly basis. Payments are going smoothly until the inevitable call comes requesting an account change or extension, creating a lot of administrative costs, returns and delays in getting paid. Imagine the “what if” eliminating this burden by enabling the business with a self-service payment app that streamlines the payment and client management.
What if there were more integrations to your digital business banking? Unlike managing a siloed account receivable system, a common trait of account receivable systems, what if you had a single source of integrated data sources? It would certainly provide businesses and institutions with greater insight into their cash position.
Today, we are asking, what if we blended the line between your expensive cash management solution, your easy-to-navigate small business digital banking solution and your data analytics engine? What if an easier, complete business banking solution is exactly what your community needs to scale and grow?
What if indeed.
Michael Abare is Senior Product Manager for Finastra in Austin, Texas.