What Small Businesses Expect From Their Financial Institutions

Emma Schoth

Emma Schoth

October 28, 2022


Historically, small business lending has taken a back seat to consumer lending when it comes to digital transformation. It should come as no surprise to banks and credit unions that small business customer expectations shifted greatly throughout the last two years of the pandemic. Today, as the needs of small businesses continue to evolve, so do the expectations they have for their financial institutions. They have enjoyed the level of digital transformation that their consumer banking products provide, and they now require the same efficiencies in their business banking products. 

To receive the level of digital transformation they desire, borrowers are choosing to bank with non-traditional financial services providers like fintechs and alternative lenders. In this blog, we will take a look at a recent report from American Banker to explore what’s top of mind for small business borrowers when it comes to choosing a financial institution. 

What Business Borrowers Expect from Their Financial Institutions

This American Banker report includes survey results of the top things that small businesses want from their financial institutions. Among these top qualifications were digital tools, easy access to banking personnel and a wide breadth of products and services. 

Digital Tools
Today, having an easy-to-use digital experience has moved from the “nice to have'' category to a requirement for many small businesses. Convenience is key for these borrowers who simply do not have the time to visit a branch for every transaction. 

According to the survey, 46 percent of respondents reported that digital tools are critical and 35 percent reported that they are very important in their search for a primary banking provider. This statistic proves that if lenders want to remain successful in 2023, they should constantly be focused on broadening their use of technology to create experiences that are fast, simple, and efficient for borrowers, or risk losing them to providers that will. 

Easy Access to Banking Personnel 
While many borrowers favor self-service experiences, they still value in-person relationships with their branch employees for more complex transactions like small business loans. According to the survey 33 percent of respondents reported that it was critical and 45 percent reported that it was very important that they have easy access to branch employees. 

It’s important that lenders create omnichannel experiences for their customers, so they have the opportunity to choose how they would like to interact with their institution. Creating an experience that is truly omnichannel starts with choosing the right technology that enables lenders to provide customers with the same seamless experience both in and outside of the branch location.

Wide Breadth of Products and Services
Borrowers also expressed their desire for a wide breadth of products and services with 32 percent responding that it is a critical factor and 47 percent reporting that it is very important. In order to keep up with borrower expectations, it’s important that lenders are constantly innovating their services with a focus on providing more online alternatives to their popular small business products. 

Meet and Exceed Small Business Customer Expectations with a Digital LOS

As small business customer expectations continue to change, lenders will need to continue forward on their digital transformation journeys to remain successful in 2023 and beyond. 

The good news for lenders is that it’s not too late to begin innovating. To help financial institutions better understand where they’re currently at in their digital transformation journey and the steps they can take to move forward, we’ve developed The Digital Transformation Curve.  

With this model, lenders can easily and efficiently meet borrower expectations and scale their small business segments at their own pace leveraging Numerated’s award-winning technology. 

Learn more about how you can get started with Numerated today by contacting us today.

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