Banks See Revenue Opportunity in Small Businesses
Celent forecasts that 21% of small businesses will be banking online by 2005. This dramatic growth will be the direct result of better technology, increased comfort with the Internet, and a greater interest in this segment by financial institutions.
Most banks have always considered the small business segment difficult and costly to reach. They were often placed in the "no-man’s land" between retail and corporate arenas, where neither banking solution could sufficiently meet their individual needs. As a result, small businesses rarely banked online. Today, however, banks are beginning to recognize the revenue potential of this once ignored customer segment. As banks increasingly look to deploy solutions that target small businesses, fierce competition has arisen as both retail and corporate banking solution providers battle for market share of this untapped sector.
In a new report, Ranking the Vendors of Small Business Banking: Segmenting the Client Base, Celent Communications analyzes the solutions of 11 vendors and ranks them. The ranking is based on seven criteria: number of successful deployments, depth of features and functions, financial viability of the vendor, customization/flexibility, client support/customer service, technology platform and ease of use. Table 1 summarizes the results of the study.
"As banks continue to be faced with pressure to find new sources of revenue, small businesses provide a great deal of potential. Not only are they large in number (more than 25 million in the US), but they are also more loyal than large corporations and offer several cross selling opportunities to banks as they grow " said Christine Barry, wholesale banking analyst at Celent and author of the report.
Vendors included in this study are: BANKLINK, Corillian, Digital Insight, Financial Fusion, FundsXpress, Fundtech, Magnet, Metavante, Open Solutions, Politzer & HANEY, and S1.