Meeting small business needs in the changing digital environment

May 17, 2021

As clients are becoming more and more technologically savvy, they expect to be able to leverage that technology in all aspects of their lives -- from ordering their coffee in advance on their phone to sending in a digital ticket to changing their address for their account. This trend is now extending beyond just retail focused clients. Small business clients are also presenting the expectation of a fully digital interaction. This puts pressure on institutions to extend features that have previously only been available to retail clients.

With the introduction of the Beneficial Ownership Rule in 2016, a common concern of financial institutions is that small business clients have very different regulatory requirements than retail clients do. This creates a requirement much different than those of digital retail originations. In addition, there are different documents needed with the ability to digitally append them to a small business account application.

With the global pandemic, financial institutions are also trying to find solutions for reducing the touch required for functions that historically have occurred in the branch environment, from origination to servicing functionality. Digital interactions and the need for low touch services are now a requirement.

Providing secure and easy-to-use digital servicing functions are also rapidly becoming a requirement for institutions for small business customers. Clients need to manage their relationship with their bank even if they are unable to physically see their relationship manager. Ceasing operations is not an option for them.

Banks and credit unions will find consumer preference have quickly become and will be permanently different even after the crisis passes. At the start of the crisis, in-branch traffic had been a rising problem for banks, but now, more branches have closed, and consumers have been forced to use online banking, mobile banking, and telephone banking etc. Here’s how respondents said COVID-19 will change the way they interact with their bank:

  • 22% of respondents use a drive-thru instead of going into a branch bank1
  • 16% of respondents use more online/mobile banking instead of in-person at a branch bank1
  • 16% of respondents use a call center/chat service instead of going in-person at a branch bank1

Looking to the Future

1. Does your modernization strategy include more digital services for small business clients?

With the industry leaning more heavily on digital services, it is a natural progression to also extend those services to small business clients. It is important to have a strategy in place that includes expanding digital services to small business clients and to know what services your small business clients need in a digital platform.

2. Have you considered a consistent client experience?

Many digital offerings focus solely on the client experience and are lackluster when it comes to the institution accessed functionality. This leaves a disconnect between your associates and your clients that can ultimately hurt the client experience. Considering a consistent client experience should be a priority in your modernization strategy.

3. How are you meeting the strict regulatory requirements for small business accounts?

It can seem like a monumental task to not only provide the client experience that is becoming an industry demand but to also ensure that the experience is meeting the ever-evolving regulatory requirements. Making sure that the solution your financial institution invests in meets regulatory requirements and will continue to evolve with new and updated regulations can be a challenge. Choosing the right partner is more important than ever.

FIS Digital One - Your Solution for Your Small Business Banking Experience

FIS Digital One is not a monolithic point solution, it is a holistic platform that brings a continuous client experience to both clients and bankers at your institution. Digital One is a modular based platform allowing for an incremental roll out approach to suit your institution’s individual modernization needs.

The Digital One platform offers not only a solution for consumer origination, it has expanded into small business origination as we see the need in the small business sector more than ever. With the compliance guarantee of FIS, we have built small business origination into our Digital One platform.

With the global pandemic as a catalyst, we continue to see changes for how institutions engage with their small business clients. This extends to branch origination as well. Digital One allows for small business clients to begin an origination process remotely, providing all required documentation digitally and then to complete the origination process, as needed, in a low touch environment within the branch.

The seamless client experience continues after the initial origination process with easy to navigate servicing functionality. From disputes to document requests, Digital One creates an environment that empowers the end user to complete interactions with your institution digitally, ensuring a safe experience.

About the Author
Clarissa L Day , Digital Banking Solution Consultant, FIS
Clarissa L Day Digital Banking Solution Consultant, FIS

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