This issue of SBB Magazine is devoted to digitalization of banking services for SMEs. Though this is a subject we address on a regular basis and a permanent topic of discussion during the SME Banking Club Conferences in recent years, we decided to go into more detail in this issue.
In April and May of this year, SME Banking Club did research on online banking solutions for SME customers in the CEE region, analyzing bank offers in the following countries: Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Czech Republic. With a set of 100 parameters, we are establishing a kind of benchmark for the main functionalities that banks should have for the SME segment (pp. 5-7). On June 10 in Warsaw we awarded banks having the best online banking solutions for SME customers in the CEE region.
Creating an Ecosystem for SME customers – this is another topic we are actively pursuing this year. It was the topic of the Study Tour which took place in Warsaw in April this year (pp. 42-45). Non-financial services became a must for SMEs in the region. Another pool of banks implemented VAS this year: PKO Bank Polski (pp. 22-23) and Santander Bank Polska in Poland (p. 27). Partner Hub is sharing their experience in implementing e-invoicing services with OTP Bank in Hungary (pp. 24-26).
Digitalization of lending and other financial products remains a core target for this and the coming years for banks in the region. QLana presents their concept for Knowledge-Based Lending for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (pp. 34-36). SMEO is a good example on the factoring market demonstrating how the usage of data by a financial company can generate accurate decisions and provide factoring purely online (pp. 37-39).
We’re very excited that banks have been very active in supporting and developing SME customers through various startup & scaleup programs (pp. 30-31) during Q1 of this year. We were also following the social media pages of commercial banks that service SME customers in the CEE region. It’s time to develop a social media strategy that is aligned with the annual marketing plan. We discuss these and other questions with Arjen de Boer and Charles-Alexandre Gamba from ITDS later in this issue (pp. 32-33).
I wish you pleasant reading!
CEE Regional Director at SME Banking Club