Unisys survey shows UK SME interest in digital banking

By Harry Menear

A new survey by Pennsylvania-based global information technology company Unisys has revealed that the UK Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) market is interested in switching from traditional banking services to digital alternatives.

 

The survey, which interviewed 450 SME owners in the UK, found that innovative and modern banking services were a high priority for the sector. Digital news outlet, Finextra, reported that “while business owners have high-levels of satisfaction with their financial institutions, many still express significant frustration with the banking technology offered, which inhibits them from accessing the banking services they require.”

 

According to the survey, 83% of UK SMEs use mobile banking, with an even higher percentage using some form of online banking for their financial needs. “Whilst businesses said they find technology critical to their business, 39 percent of SMEs regularly experience technological problems that stop them access the banking services they require, with eight percent saying this happens every time”.

 

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One-in-six SMEs surveyed told Unisys that they were planning to switch banking services in the next 12 months, and over 50% stated they would “value an app that gave them access to all their banking facilities in one place”. Almost 40% of SMEs surveyed said it would be acceptable to have ‘little-to-no human interaction’ with regard to their banking interactions.

 

Unisys’ analysis posits that the Open Banking revolution may be at the core of future developments in the SME sector. According to a BBC report published in January 2018, “a change in UK law now means that banks and building societies must allow regulated businesses access to a customer's financial data, but only if the customer has given their permission”, meaning individuals and companies are now able to use apps to analyse spending habits.

 

“Organisers say this has the potential for consumers to get better deals, such as cheaper overdrafts, and to speed up the switching process.” The added ease with which companies and individuals can monitor the efficiency of their financial services is expected to “force banks to shift from being one-stop-shops for financial services, to open platforms where customers can start to embrace a more modular approach to banking by giving verified third-parties direct access to this data,” said  Simon Healy, Industry Director for Unisys Financial Services, EMEA told Finextra.

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