BCSG and Westpac are partnering to provide MyBusiness Assist to Australian SME customers. We spoke with Julie Rynski, Westpac General Manager and Paul Wenck, Managing Director Australia, BCSG to find out more.
What are some of the challenges facing SMEs in Australia?
Julie Rynski:As many as 8 out of 10 new small businesses in Australia fail within the first three years of operating. This is because some of the key challenges currently facing SMEs include finding new customers;managing finances; and navigating through all the necessary paper work to set-up their business. Research has also shown for SME owners that some of the risks to their success include lack of time (27%), lack of support (21%) and lack of funding (21%).
SMEs have also highlighted business planning, finance management, business protection and marketing as areas where support is required.
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Can you tell us more aboutMyBusiness Assist and how SMEs benefit from this new service?
Julie Rynski:To help SMEs thrive, survive and grow, Westpac has partnered with small business expert BCSG to offer a digital suite of business application services – MyBusiness Assist. MyBusiness Assist is an online non-financial, value-added service available to SMEs. The applications included will help business owners manage the day-to-day running tasks – less time on administration and more time on their business.
MyBusiness Assist seeks to address SME challenges by focussing on the following areas:
- Planning my business – start, plan and grow a business
- Managing my finances – bookkeeping and expense management
- Protect my business – data backup and legal document builder
- Get online – attract new customers and sell online
Paul Wenck:MyBusiness Assist is available to Westpac and non-Westpac customers.
MyBusiness Assist helps small business owners by providing them with access to essential business tools. These tools save the business time and create efficiencies, so that small businesses can focus on their core business objectives rather than admin, finance and customer acquisition
What are the benefits for bank from platforms like MyBusiness Assist?
Paul Wenck: Platforms like MyBusiness Assist deliver quality customer engagement positioning the bank as one that helps SMEs start-up, survive and grow whilst providing a new business market share. It is an opportunity to be a leader not a follower – as demonstrated by Westpac’s first to market advantage. Importantly, by using this platform SMEs will benefit from big data and tools which provide them with business insights which will help them make better decision. Not only do the SMBs receive timely information,and business insights, but the banks do as well, meaning they can provide real-time, contextual and personalised engagement over the SMB lifecycle. SMEs want and need to leverage ‘smart data and tools’ to help them save time, manage risks, survive, compete and grow.
The significant growth in SaaS and ‘Cloud’ usage by Australian SMEs demonstrates their desire to use these tools, especially if recommended by their bank.. They also appreciate a banking partner who understands their business and can help them survive and grow on a daily basis.
Westpac already has many services in place to support SMEs in their day to day business. What gap does MyBusiness Assist fill? How easy is it to navigate?
Julie Rynski:MyBusiness Assist further enhances Westpac’s current extensive product and service offering, assists Westpac in supporting the goals and objectives of SMEs and aligns to its service revolution by empowering our SMEs.
MyBusinessAssist complements Westpac’s existing product suite by:
- Understanding and addressing SMEs day to day challenges, concerns and risks;
- Providing more than just banking products to SMEs;
- Providing SMEs with simple and easy to access tools to survive and grow; and
- Offering a digital solution enabling SMEs to access MyBusiness Assist anywhere, anytime.
With a simple, easy single login process, SMEs are able to access seven services.
IsMyBusiness Assist indicative of banks’ approach to SMEs?
Julie Rynski:Yes, a number of global banks such as Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargoare also partnered with BCSG to move beyond offering traditional banking products and services to providea holistic business application services solution that aims to help SMEs survive and grow.
MyBusiness Assist complements our existing bank products and services by providing an online non-financial, value-added service to SME customers.
Paul Wenck: Increasingly banks are recognising that they must be able to engage with their customers in a cost-effective, digital manner whilst providing a source of value for their customers that will protect them from new-age competition.
To achieve future return on equity targets, banks must embrace technology that will allow them to engage customers in a personalised, timely and contextual manner. This technology also needs to deliver a lower “customer cost to serve” whilst also building the banks’ insights into customer behaviours. A trend BCSG is seeing across the APAC region.