of the most well capitalised and highly valued banks on the globe,
attention is swiftly turning towards how Australian banks intend to
maintain sustained, meteoric growth.
Regulatory pressure is expected to be a natural impediment to short
term gains in the interest of long term stability, yet it appears
merchant payments and technology innovation is the new battle ground
for business banking supremacy. The methods by which businesses
interact with banks are fundamentally changing.
Some banks have
anticipated this change faster than others following a protracted
battle for deposits, extensive cost cutting and operational
restructuring phase which itself shows no sign of abating.
The Big Four and regionals are successfully building on traditional
transaction banking and trade finance foundations through greater
investment in digital technologic innovation. CFO’s and treasurers of
Australian businesses utilise newly released mobile and tablet
technology in their own personal capacity, creating a discernible
expectation their bank can do the same for their business banking
Banks are in no way backwards in coming forwards in the race to arm
their customers with the latest and greatest in business banking
mod-cons, going to considerable lengths to position themselves at the
forefront of mobile and ‘forward thinking’ payment processing
But who is winning the race? Social media and mobile
technology innovation is often labelled as dehumanising or
contributing to heightened isolation, yet business banking development
in this field is achieving the opposite. Closer interaction between
banks and their customers is tabled as one of the most significant
achievements of moves to support customer’s growth aspirations.
The most populous
small businesses segment is predicted to benefit the most from moves
to incorporate multiple processes and streamline customer purchases
and accounting requirements with mobile devices.
are repeatedly nominated as a major barrier to further growth, adding
further importance to smooth payments processing and transactional
banking improvements that are cost effective and easily implementable. Rising competition from standalone payments providers such as Skrill,
PayPal and even Bitcoin wallets will struggle to compete with the
perceived stability and reliability superiority still offered by
East & Partners surveys over two thousand merchants on what their
perceived payment technology priorities for the next two years include
as a part of the biannual Merchant Payments report. The latest
research released in December 2013 indicates a clear preference
towards mobile phone payments proliferation, jumping from 16.0 percent
to 60.7 percent since 2009.
Contactless payments remain a focus area for merchants, outranking
security technology and online transaction reporting and management.
The need to monitor core business processes and interact with the bank
on product and service needs is paramount to future growth prospects.
Responsiveness to rising customer expectations and pre-empting
innovative improvements will determine which bank maximises customer
retention and drive new customer acquisition faster than the rest.
Lower payment processing costs, improved customer satisfaction and
ultimately better control over cash flow and payment services for
customers is the key to harnessing a long awaited pick up in business
banking lending and growth.