When compared with the retail Internet banking market, it is apparent that business and corporate banking Internet portals lag well behind in many respects. Expectation of Internet technology is driven by firms like Apple, Facebook and the multitude of new start-ups. These expectations quickly spread to the corporate world. As stated in a recent Finextra corporate banking survey, ‘Treasurers and cash managers know that the technology is available to provide the service they desire, and if it’s not delivered, they question the bank’s commitment to the client relationship’.
Clearly many of the questions that were asked in retail banks 10 years ago are still being asked in corporate and business banks today:
- How much more are corporate and business customers willing to do online?
- Will banks make money from online services?
- Are Internet services worth the investment?
The answers are ‘lots more’, ‘yes’ and ‘yes’. Missing the digital boat will have a negative impact with increased customer attrition, higher acquisition and servicing costs, reduced transactional revenues and suboptimal cross-selling. Customer demand is rapidly developing. Now is the time for business and corporate banks to act. The latest research from Finextra1 supports this view:
- 62 percent of corporate clients said they would consider switching to a different bank for better customer service;
- 57 percent said they would be willing to pay higher fees for a sophisticated web portal that enabled them to manage their entire portfolio through the web.