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Where do SMEs fit in the fintech boom? Not only has this important demographic gone woefully underserved in regular retail banking, but now SMEs seem to be largely overlooked in digital banking initiatives as well.
Many banks worry more about data privacy than offering a superior customer experience to their business banking clients, but they’ve got it backwards: the SME customer is exactly where banks need to start when it comes to reimagining and upgrading the digital experience in small business banking.
FinTech has been lauded as a game-changer in nearly every sense of the word, but can it also revolutionize the way banks serve women?
Right now, women clients are finding that FIs simply aren't meeting their specific needs. In fact, a BCG survey of more than 12,000 women from 21 countries found that of all the industries that affect their daily lives, women feel most dissatisfied with the financial services industry, both on a product and service level.
The surveyed women also reported a strong willngness to switch to a provider that would understand them better. This translates to real costs for banks failing to deliver an empathic understanding of women's unique situations and needs in running their homes and businesses (oftentimes happening simultaneously).
After all, we're talking about 50% of Earth's population here, and that's no small change - particularly when it comes to women who run their own business. Women entrepreneurs represent a very profitable and financially engaged segment with an even more specific set of needs that have traditionally been ignored. According to a 2014 Goldman Sachs report, woman-owned SMEs represent an untapped potential market for banks of approximately $235 billion!
So why, in so many aspects of banking, haven't women's needs been prioritized? And how can FinTech help the financial services industry cater more effectively to women entrepreneurs?