CEE21: Bridging the SME financing gap

During his presentation at the latest CEE21 SME Banking Club Conference, Daniel Pana (Sales Director at FintechOS) stressed that SMEs were dramatically underserved by the financial system, and access to finance during 2020-2021 lockdowns hadn’t become any better. Getting a loan for SMEs from the banks is not a simple task.

How banks can make a step forward and help SMEs to finance and develop their businesses:

  1. Personalize their offer to SMEs. Reimagine core lending products by, for example, offering short-term ‘top-up’ loans to SME customers that can be applied for and approved in a matter of minutes. This use case sees a bank using existing data and advanced analytics to refine a product to meet a specific need.

Several banks have achieved a ten-fold increase in their data-driven recommendations’ success rate, while others have managed to boost new sales by over 30%. Where Relationship Managers (RM) have worked in tandem with these engines, banks have seen the number of RM -customer interactions increase by more than 50%.

2. Automate the lending process. Automation can improve the customer experience while lowering costs, so banks should aim to redesign back-end processes to eliminate manual input and enable real-time decision-making. An end-to-end automated digital loan origination process can reduce ‘Time to Yes’ to under 10 minutes, give SMEs the experience they need, and reduce lending costs by 40%

3. Build or participate in the ecosystems. 33% of SMEs are already using, or have expressed an interest in using, a range of services to help them run their businesses, improve customer service and boost sales, while 20% say they would be happy to pay an additional monthly fee for value-added services. 

In addition, banks will need the ability to connect with interlinked businesses from across a diversity of sectors. To do this they should embrace the use of API -enabled platforms designed to allow multiple stakeholders, from providers to end-users, to seamlessly connect, interact, and exchange value.


To learn more, watch the full presentation: