On average, small entrepreneurs and self-employed people in the Czech Republic spend almost one full working day out of each week on activities that keep them from productive work. They often complain about unnecessary administration, bureaucracy, paperwork, and accounting. They also lose valuable time traveling to customers, suppliers, offices, or banks. The latest survey by Raiffeisenbank and Mastercard showed this among more than three hundred small entrepreneurs and self-employed people.
The experience of Czech entrepreneurs shows that they spend an average of six hours and twenty minutes a week on activities that keep them from doing business. Among those with a limited liability company, it is even eight and a half hours a week. At the same time, they see the greatest degree of delay in disproportionately long waits on information lines when calling (51%) and in situations where it is not possible to communicate online with authorities (47%) or with banking institutions (31%).
If the respondents to the Raiffeisenbank and Mastercard survey managed to save some of this time, they would most like to use it to relax (55%), devote themselves to their hobbies (49%), or their family (48%). The answers don’t differ too much, neither among entrepreneurs starting nor among those who have been in business for ten years or more.
At the same time, more than three-fifths of entrepreneurs (63%) perceive that the bank where they have their main account, which they use for business, fundamentally helps them to save time. They consider functioning and clear internet and mobile banking, through which they can easily and quickly enter or check payments, to be the greatest help in everyday life.
“We know that time is money, and that’s why time is the main criterion for us to design our products and services. Raiffeisenbank’s goal is for our digital solutions to provide small entrepreneurs with all the advantages of the modern era: from the possibility of opening an account online, through its management for free, to the hassle-free creation of a POS on a mobile phone or the submission of an application for a business loan via Internet banking. Thanks to digital banking, entrepreneurs can focus more on their business or use the saved time to devote themselves to their hobbies or relaxation,” – says Martin Vakoč, Director of the Small and Medium-Sized Companies Segment of Raiffeisenbank.
The shifting away from cash
Two-thirds of respondents (67%) say the main account they use for business is free. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of those who still pay for their account management believes that it is impossible to have a free account at all, or they do not know the specific conditions that need to be met for it.
“Several small entrepreneurs, in particular, use regular personal accounts with the idea that the business accounts are unnecessarily expensive. But that is not true. At Raiffeisenbank, keeping an account for entrepreneurs is truly free, without additional hidden fees or complex conditions. And compared to a current account, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to get a lot of additional benefits, such as the possibility of creating a POS for accepting payment cards directly from a mobile phone, simply connecting to accounting systems using an API, or having up to nineteen currencies under one account number. Owners of premium and corporate Mastercard cards also have the option of free online health consultations and appointments with a suitable specialist throughout the Czech Republic as part of the uLékaře.cz service,” – adds Jiří Zeman, Raiffeisenbank Segment Manager.
Small entrepreneurs and traders are still looking for a way to accept cashless payments. Only a tenth of them (11%) have a payment terminal most often cited reason is that they do not need it for work and prefer to work with cash, invoices, or customers pay them by bank transfer – or that the operation of the POS is too expensive. A large part of the respondents also believes that they cannot have a payment terminal at all, because they do not have a permanent point of sale, electricity, or internet connection.
At the same time, many customers prefer non-cash payment by card over other payment methods due to its speed and security. In addition, small entrepreneurs these days no longer need to buy special equipment and connect it to the cash register in a physical store. Thanks to Raiffeisenbank’s innovative solution, it is possible to easily turn any mobile phone with the Android operating system into a POS. Accepting a cashless payment is thus a matter of a few moments, basically anywhere and anytime.
The deviation of entrepreneurs from cash was also shown by this survey. Young and starting entrepreneurs and self-employed people use cash only in two-fifths of cases (39%). Almost half of all respondents (47%) also believe that handling cash is risky, and a third (30%) feel threatened when working with physical money.
Emphasis on digital solutions and the importance of the personal agreement
Young and starting entrepreneurs, and tradesmen as well, in particular place great emphasis on digitization – and that is precisely in the area of banking. In the first three years of business life, three-quarters of them (75%) want to solve all or at least the simpler matters with their bank online. Only a quarter of budding entrepreneurs prefer to deal with banking matters in person at a branch.
Along with business experience, on the other hand, the preference for personal meetings with a banker also grows, especially when dealing with more complex matters. A third of respondents (33%), who have been in business for more than ten years, always want to solve all their financial matters at a branch.
“Raiffeisenbank is ready to cater to both groups. As one of the few Czech banks, we offer the establishment of a business account and application for a business loan online, i.e. without the need to visit a branch. In addition, our customers have a wide network of branches at their disposal, where they can discuss with their business advisors, for example, more demanding requirements and situations,” – concludes Martin Vakoč, Director of the Small and Medium-Sized Companies Segment of Raiffeisenbank.
Source: the Bank`s press release dated August 09, 2022