BCSG and ath Power Uncover Underserved Majority in Small Business Banking

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White paper reveals how banks can boost relevance with sole proprietors and micro business owners

BCSG, the leader in value-added solutions for small and micro businesses, has released a white paper entitled “Engaging More Effectively with SOHO and Micro Businesses,” which provides compelling evidence that financial institutions need to look beyond traditional banking products in order to increase relevance with small business owners. ath Power Consulting, a leading financial services research and strategy firm, performed the research and analysis for this white paper, as an addendum to The ath Power Small Business Banking Study™(http://www.athpower.com/home/smallbusinessbanking.php)

570 interviews were conducted with business owners across the U.S. who have businesses with annual revenues under $400,000. Although businesses of this size represent more than 90% of businesses in the U.S., many banks do not provide relevant products and services to this segment, leaving them vastly underserved.

Study findings revealed that 75% of small business owners consider the small business products and services offered by their bank to be “very” or “somewhat” similar to those offered by other banks.

Some additional findings from the study include:

  •     64% of small business owners use their personal checking account for their business
  •     63% of the small business owners interviewed view payroll services and 57% view cash management services offered by their bank as not at all relevant or mostly irrelevant.
  •     Only 16% are currently using a business line of credit and 9% have taken a business loan

As stated in the white paper, "By proving to small business owners they truly understand their needs and are motivated to serve them, banks will likely improve loyalty and retention, while in the process attract new customers away from competitors unwilling to let go of outdated business models.”

"Now is the time for financial institutions to address the disconnect between the products and services they offer and the needs of the vast majority of small business owners,” said Frank Aloi, ath Power CEO. "As our report affirms, offering service bundles and tools that help business owners manage and grow their businesses will appeal to the important segment of micro business owners and sole proprietors. Companies like BCSG are leading the way in developing products that help small business owners while creating lucrative new revenue opportunities for banks."

"This white paper validates what has been our driving force since day one: the smallest businesses represent significant growth opportunities for banks, but the traditional approaches to small business banking are hindering their enormous potential," stated Kevin Burke, GM, International of BCSG. "By offering value added services that address the real challenges and struggles micro business owners face, banks can gain substantial value from this segment through increased customer acquisition, brand loyalty and fee revenue.”

A complimentary copy of this white paper may be downloaded from the BCSG website: http://www.bcsg.com/index.php/article/bcsg-and-ath-power-uncover-underserved-majority-in-small-business-banking.

About ath Power Consulting
ath Power Consulting is a premier provider of customer experience solutions for the financial services industry, offering customized survey research, audit and mystery shop study, competitive intelligence, market analyses, training and development, and strategic brand planning. ath Power owns the largest panel of financial services field representatives, and executes more proprietary banking audits than anyone in the industry. Since 1997, our fully customizable solutions have helped improve customer retention, build brand loyalty, ensure compliance and increase profitability, performance and market share for financial services organizations across North America. To learn more, please visit http://www.athpower.com.

About BCSG
BCSG enables the world’s leading financial institutions to drive greater value from their small business customer base. By providing tailored, fully-managed packages of best-in-class online services, BCSG helps banks achieve increased service differentiation, much deeper customer relationships and incremental fee income. To learn more, please visit http://www.bcsg.com.

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Carole Wood
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