Caucasus18: How it was


For the fourth time, SME Banking Club on May 17-18 gathered SME Bankers in Tbilisi (Georgia) at the Caucasus banking conferences devoted to financial services for SMEs in that region (#caucasus18).

More than 70 attendees from 12 countries and 39 financial organizations took part in this year’s conference.

Pre-conference day on May 17 was devoted to onsite visits to 3 Georgian bank branches where SME customers are serviced. In 2016, Terabank was the first bank in Georgia to open a co-working branch for SME customers called Business Hub. The new concept for the bank’s branches is to provide something of a domestic environment for clients, where the interior is arranged like a home: with a fireplace, comfy furniture, and beautiful photos.

Bank of Georgia is the only bank in Georgia which promotes SMEs in its new branches. On pre-arranged corners, the Bank presents customer products, helping them to network and gain greater recognition.

TBC Bank services all customers at new concept branches with a separate zone for business and TBC Status customers.

During the main conference day on May 18, speakers shared their experiences and best practices in servicing SMEs.

Maya Margie Younes, Head of the Marketing Group at BLC Bank (Lebanon), shared the way her bank implemented non-financial services for SMEs and about women entrepreneurship in Lebanon.

Maya Margie Younes (BLC Bank)

For TBC Bank (Georgia), SME Banking is a whole ecosystem that does not only involve lending to SMEs or opening current accounts. Tamuna Zhizhilashvili, Deputy Director of Marketing Communications & Business Banking at TBC Bank (Georgia), talked about this during the SME Banking Strategy Panel.

Tamuna Zhizhilashvili (TBC Bank)

Laila Nurkassymova, Head of the SME Department at ATF Bank (Kazakhstan) presented her Bank’s business model on working with SME customers.

Laila Nurkassymova (ATF Bank)

During the Marketing Panel, Lyudmila Sarycheva (Modulbank, Russia) and Yana Batasheva (Alfa-Bank, Russia) talked about marketing strategies for SMEs.

During the Panel. To the right: Lyudmila Sarycheva (Modulbank), Andrey Gidulyan (SME Banking Club), Yana Batasheva (Alfa-Bank)

During the Digital SME Banking Panel, Zviad Tsotskolauri (TBC Bank, Georgia) presented his Bank’s digital vision and strategy.

Zviad Tsotskolauri (TBC Bank)

Sergey Shevkunov (Belgasprombank, Belarus) talked about his experience in implementing internet banking for SMEs.

Sergey Shevkunov (Belgasprombank)

Andrey Gidulyan (SME Banking Club) presented Online and Mobile Banking Studies.

Andrey Gidulyan (SME Banking Club)

Anton Elikov (Merkata, Russia) presented a case study explaining how banks can make more money by using smart cash desk solutions.

Anton Elikov (Merkata)

Ekaterina Malandiy (Bank UralSib, Russia) talked about how to increase sales and keep SME customers loyal to the bank.

Ekaterina Malandiy (Bank UralSib)

Dmitriy Cherepakhin from bNesis (Ukraine) talked about non-traditional sources of data to acquire SME customers.

Dmitriy Cherepakhin (bNesis)

Michal Pawlik (SMEO, Poland) shared his experience at SMEO with financing Polish SMEs purely online and how a partnership between traditional financial organizations and fintechs can lead to future growth.

Michal Pawlik (SMEO)

See all the photos

Join us during our next events in 2018!