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Banks fintechs and SMEs

A global review of the opportunity

Here at Fraedom we regularly commission research into the banking sector. Recent projects have indicated clearly that after decades of focus on winning hearts and minds in large enterprises, the banking industry is now keen to address SMEs globally. To do this, they are looking for technological advances that will give them service differentiation in what we think is set to become a hotly competitive market.

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For example, one of our research findings substantiates the notion that 61% of senior executives in the banks that we sampled view SMEs as their current biggest growth opportunity, with a strong bias towards the medium enterprises (50-249 employees). That’s not to say that large enterprises are viewed as a non-opportunity – 26% of UK bankers and 42% of US bankers see their focus for growth here – but there is a clear shift of attention towards SMEs.

It is interesting to note that terms like ‘personal‘ and ‘customer-focused’ are mentioned when discussing customer engagement in the SME sector by 60% of those surveyed, with 58% preoccupied with offering fairer pricing. All of this points to a costlier model for a lower price, which is invariably the clarion call for ground-breaking innovative use of technology. Yet 47% of our sample cited the lack of relevant technology as a major concern in addressing the needs of their SME customers, second only to concern that large enterprises invariably take priority over resources (55%).