SMEs are being increasingly well catered for by payments companies and fintech players who are looking to profit by providing customers with the means to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Given the rapid evolution of the fintech space, new innovative products and services aimed at SMEs are emerging by the week. Here are some of the latest developments in this space:
Accelerated cash flow
With late payments an ongoing issue for many small businesses, cash flow solutions provider Kabbage has launched a new payments processing solution to enable small businesses to be paid faster and more simply.
Kabbage cites the fact that two-thirds of its customers rely in invoicing to receive payments and wait as long as 90 days to be paid. Kabbage Payments significantly reduces the time required to receive payments in typical net-term invoicing, with users settling invoices as quickly as 24 hours.
The Kabbage Payments custom pay link tool allows customers to create a unique URL for their business and send payment requests through texts, emails or the web to collect card payments securely and quickly.
This flexibility removes the need to manually create new accounts, open new payment orders, and duplicate work for recurring invoices.
Digital receipt management
SME business banking platform Tide is using optical character recognition technology to give customers the ability to auto-match receipts to transactions and perform bulk uploads to accounting software.
The expense management feature also includes the ability to edit and delete notes related to expenses, download attachments linked to transactions, and auto-upload to accountancy software. Customers will soon be able to upload receipts in bulk, which will then be automatically matched to transactions made on their Tide account, removing the need to do this manually.
Tide user research has found that 28 per cent of small business owners spend between one and four hours per week managing their expenses.
More accessible business payments
High-street bank TSB and payments provider Square have partnered to make card payments more accessible for TSB’s business banking customers.
TSB’s small-business owners will gain fast, affordable and easy access to credit and debit card processing. This will enable TSB’s SME customers that process payments with Square to track performance with real-time analytics, and set up and manage inventory, as well as send digital receipts and issue refunds, for free.
In addition, business banking customers will have the option to receive free Square point-of-sale software to help them start, run and grow their businesses. They will get a free Square Reader for in-person payments, and will benefit from free processing on their first £1,000 worth of sales using Square.
New services through fintech partnerships
UK challenger Metro Bank, meanwhile, has partnered with three fintech companies to boost its offering for small business customers.
Firstly, a deal with Funding Options means firms that can’t get financing from Metro Bank will be able to scan a lending marketplace in minutes and easily compare financing options from more than 70 providers. In addition, a partnership with UK-based trade finance services firm Conance gives SME customers specialist trade advice and finance solutions.
And in 2020, Metro Bank will deploy DueDil’s predictive company intelligence platform for a speedier account opening process, with quick-search functionality and auto-populated company information.