Will UK SMEs move to digital banks?

A survey explored the attitudes of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) regarding their banking providers. Many expressed significant frustration with the banking technology currently being offered, and how at the moment this inhibits them from accessing banking services that they require.
A survey revealed that 83 per cent of UK SMEs use mobile banking, while almost all use online banking for their businesses.
Trust was ranked as the main reason for staying with their present provider. However, unsurprisingly, innovation and digital services scored low as the reason why they selected their bank, suggesting that digital propositions need to be further developed.
A concerning 39 per cent of SMEs regularly experienced technical problems that stop them accessing banking services they require, with eight per cent stating this happened ‘every time’.
Additionally, 47 per cent of SMEs would move to a challenger bank, digital bank or non-banking brand if they did decide to switch, more so than an established banking brand.
One in six SMEs highlighted in the survey that they are already looking to move bank in the next 12 months.
While half of the respondents said they would value an app that could facilitate all their banking needs in one place.
Results indicated that more than one third (37 per cent) were comfortable with having little to no human interaction for their business banking.
Simon Healy, Industry Director for Unisys Financial Services EMEA said, “SMEs are tech-savvy with, often, a higher uptake of online and mobile services than most consumers, and yet many experience technical difficulties regularly.
“They see the use of technology by banks as critical to retention, but also in the development of new and innovative propositions that can enable their business.”
Opening Banking has identified a gap in the banking industry and as a result, can offer SMEs with a new simplified innovative proposition.
From the survey, the SMEs that understood the new banking opportunity were 3.6 times more likely to switch banks in the future to reap the benefits of personalised digital offerings.
Healy added, “In today’s digital and customer-driven world, in which those who share data call the shots, it’s adapt or die – and banks need to respond.”

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