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September 8, 2016
/   Insights

We're constantly being warned that fraud is one of the biggest threats facing the banking industry, but the true scale of this was revealed by a recent survey that suggests it could make up...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

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Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

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Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

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Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

There’s nothing more suitable for technology disruption than traditional small business banking. And there’s no better way to target Millennial entrepreneurs than with the technology they crave to help them in their business pursuits.

More than any other generation, Millennials experience life, work and business through technology and they expect seamless interactions regardless of location. These expectations also extend to financial services. Study after study shows they expect innovative financial solutions to come from tech startups and leading tech companies like Google, Apple and others, rather than financial institutions themselves. In fact, Millennials don’t think very highly of the banking industry as a whole and many of them don’t believe they even need a bank!

Financial institutions are taking notice. As part of its semi-annual small business trends surveys in 2014, Bank of America noted that as Millennials become a force in small business they are embracing tech-based solutions faster than older business owners. And 77 percent of them said that technology makes them feel “more in control.”

Savvy community banks and credit unions can position themselves to cater to this group – by appealing to them as both retail customers and small business customers. Will your financial institution be ready with the small business banking services and channels – especially mobile – that Millennials will expect?

Here are three things to consider:

  1. Recognize that you might have retail customers who also operate small businesses. Expanding your institution’s appeal to younger generations begins with the idea of banking individuals as they move through the stages of life.
  2. Offer solutions that can easily scale — from the ‘solopreneur’ all the way up to mid-market companies with multiple employees – on one simple platform. The needs of these groups differ and your solution should be able to grow along with their businesses. A solo entrepreneur, for instance, might give family members access to accounts and make just a few payments a month. As the business grows, the owner might delegate basic permissions to a bookkeeper and “graduate” to use of ACH and wire transfers. A mid-market sized company might have upward of 200 invoices a month and transition to commercial banking and cash management solutions.
  3. Offer solutions that are very similar to what your customers expect on the retail side – feature-rich, free of business jargon, easy to use and navigate. The goal is to deliver simple tools that allow entrepreneurs to easily manage the financial aspects of their business.

As small businesses multiply, robust opportunities exist to appeal to the growing base of Millennial entrepreneurs. Financial institutions that are poised to offer a simple, rich suite of options to these business customers and members will be well positioned for future growth.

About David Potterton: David Potterton is director, business banking at Digital Insight, an NCR company. He has 25 years of experience developing online cash management, payments and other digital commercial banking solutions.


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp