In the decades before the digital revolution, it was virtually unthinkable for small and medium-sized enterprises to take their operations to a global marketplace. Not only was the prospect a costly one, but it was also stressful, time-consuming, and risky. After all the effort made to expand, how would an SME be able to recoup the considerable investment of going global?
Fast forward to the 2020s, and there are more precise answers to that question thanks to technology and innovations within the banking sector. For SMEs, doing business outside of their country of origin is a lot cheaper and a lot less burdensome than before. It is no longer impossible for these smaller businesses to tap the global economy and make names for themselves overseas.
Many of these businesses rely on their banking providers for their success, especially for facilitating customer payments. Banks, in turn, should provide services that assist these new entrepreneurs because the banking sector can stand to experience fresh new growth from heightened global business activity. If you hold a crucial position in a bank and are thinking of paving the way for these SMEs, here’s where you can start. Consider taking these steps to become the banking provider of choice for up-and-coming small and medium-sized businesses.
Make Global Digital Payment Transactions Easier and More Affordable
The first significant investment that your bank can make is in a modernized digital payment system that’s tailor-fit for the international business activities of SMEs. You can offer to collaborate with your SME clients by using digital payments solution that conforms to the new SWIFT GPI (Global Payments Innovation) standard. This will ensure much less friction when you move large volumes of global currency. A robust digital payment solution promises greater efficiency and lower transaction costs, making regular overseas transactions easier for SMEs and banks alike.
Offer Them an All-In Digital Banking Experience
Your bank can also court some promising new clients from the SME sector by offering them an all-inclusive digital banking experience and not one-off services that will feel disjointed from the rest of their operations. Beyond reliable digital payments that can be facilitated from anywhere in the world, you can also offer them in-depth business insight, financial management advice, and access to a whole arsenal of sophisticated APIs. Brand your bank as one that can provide a complete “starter pack” to help SMEs expand globally, and not only as a provider for a single service.
Empower SMEs to Be More Data-Driven
In the past, one thing that would prevent SMEs from branching out was their fear of risk. From the perspective of businesses that work light and have limited capital, one overly risky decision about expansion could ruin everyone’s future. But banks can help SMEs attain realistic assessments of the imminent risks and rewards of tapping into the global economy—and they can do this through the power of data. For example, the bank’s digital solution can show SMEs real-time data on their cash positions whenever their services are used for overseas payments. Fledgling entrepreneurs will be on the receiving end of rich and accurate analytics that they would not be able to harness from their modest tech stacks.
Extend Greater Automation Capabilities to SMEs
Some SMEs may already be relying on automation for the fulfillment of crucial business tasks. Others, however, may still be dependent on manual work for tasks like answering customers’ follow-up emails about payment. Your bank can add value to their business by extending their use of automation technologies beyond what they might be capable of themselves. Many situations, especially those regarding the status of high-value payments, demand that the business impart fast answers; luckily, with more excellent automation capabilities, these answers can be dispensed as quickly and as accurately as possible without the intervention of human staff.
Help SMEs Achieve a Higher Standard of Service for Their Global Customers
Customer satisfaction will be a crucial driver of SMEs’ global growth. An SME branching out overseas will need to go through the arduous process of earning customers’ trust and fulfilling their ever-heightening expectations. Ultimately, banks that proffer efficient and extensive systems will help their small business clients establish lasting customer relationships. That works for both interests, as banks also benefit from the satisfaction and loyalty of their clients’ international customers.
Increase SMEs’ Agility in the Digital Age
For SMEs that want to go global, the end goal is maximum agility in this challenging but exciting business environment. Your bank’s SME clients have their eyes set on a more extensive customer base and added mastery over various channels. If your bank can keep up your end of the bargain, your clients will thrive in the digital age—and ultimately, your organization will too.
Catering to your SME clientele, and bringing smaller businesses closer to their dreams of going global, will pay off handsomely if executed correctly. These SMEs will end up seeing your bank as a permanent-growth partner, and they will patronize your digital payment services, as well as other offerings from your brand, for the long haul. Help your SME clients break ground overseas and cement your own bank’s position as a global leader in your industry.