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Banks are still a trusted resource for small-business owners


Many small-business owners don't have a lot of extra money to work with and must ensure their financial reporting always stays accurate. Errors with money management are going to happen, which is why firms have small business insurance policies. However, companies that want to make sure they are keeping their finances straight are still relying on traditional banking, according to a recent study by BAI Research.

"As the financial services industry seeks to attract, retain and grow their small business relationships, these findings are critical in shaping strategic priorities," said Debbie Bianucci, president and CEO of BAI Research.

Small-business owners still visit local branches
Banks have been doing a lot in recent years to cater to their small business customers, such as providing them with agents to meet their every need and giving them opportunities to conduct online and mobile banking. Despite these innovations, more than half of business transactions are completed at a bank, while less than one-quarter of respondents claimed they take advantage of mobile banking.

Small-business owners will soon find banking on the go is a great way to become more efficient. A recent article by Business 2 Community stated mobile wallets will become a more important part of how firms will manage their finances, as they give business owners greater insights on where their money is going each months.

"This research tells us that banks have the opportunity to differentiate themselves in the market through the development of creative strategies around how the branch can be used more effectively and efficiently to service this important segment within the context of cost containment initiatives," Bianucci said.

Small-business owners seeking first-rate service
Many firm owners are happy with how they are being treated at banks, as the satisfaction rate among survey respondents was 75 percent, according to BAI Research. But the survey found banks aren't doing all they can to meet the needs of their clients. Many respondents said they aren't happy with the loan and investment products banks are offering. By receiving feedback from small-business owners, banks can switch up their products and/or services.

"Given the importance of the branch to these customer relationships, banks that can provide superior service at the branch-level can attract and retain these customers," said Todd Robertson, senior vice president of ARGO.

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