Unlocking growth for SMEs means faster, smarter business financial services

Unlocking growth for SMEs means faster, smarter business financial services

Running a small business is a challenging undertaking at the best of times, let alone during an economic downturn. Yet many SMEs are still spending large cash reserves and many hours of manpower on handling business and financial administration, which quickly becomes burdensome. In our recent survey of 255 UK SMEs, 71% said their growth ambitions had been slightly or significantly negatively impacted by financial administrative processes.

It is time small businesses had better access to modern technology solutions to streamline operations, saving them time, money and hassle so they can focus on growth. In our view, simpler, speedier money transfers, easy online commerce setup and a one-stop-shop for all financial needs are three transformative ways to make life easier for SMEs.   

SMEs need simple, quick payments that don’t cost the earth

When it comes to payments, too many businesses are settling for high fees, hidden charges, lengthy settlement times and cumbersome transactions. For example, one in five SMEs have late payment debt as high as £200,000 – this can be debilitating for any company, let alone a young one focused on growth.

In our SME survey, 53% of respondents said their settlement time for sending and receiving payments is currently more than one week, with 18% waiting 1-3 months. Additionally, approximately 60% said they have cash flow issues as a result of the time it takes to either receive sales revenue or send money to suppliers.

At Paysend, we believe sending funds around the world should not cost the world. In our digital era, business to business transfers and payouts to key stakeholders such as suppliers, partners and employees should be simple, instant and low-cost.

That’s why we are enabling SMEs to access funds in 24 hours, accept payments online from all major debit and credit cards in more than 38 currencies globally, including payment gateways Apple Pay and Google Pay. With Paysend Business, SMEs do not need their own website to accept online payments. Instead, they can easily create their own payment page with a shareable link for customers. SMEs also have the reassurance of high levels of security and free technical support at hand to answer any questions. All this comes together on one centralised platform, removing the need to navigate different providers and opening up access to the global financial market for SMEs.   

Setting up online commerce should be straightforward

Getting an e-commerce store up and running is key for many entrepreneurs who want to start selling their products and services online as quickly as possible. Yet the route to online commerce is currently complex, fragmented and inefficient – for example business owners can lack the technical know-how required and struggle to connect to their preferred payment methods.

In the current tech skills crisis where demand is outstripping supply, the cost of hiring technical talent has increased, in turn pricing out many smaller businesses seeking to onboard technical experts to help them sell online. But why should setting up e-commerce be so challenging in the first place?

We believe technology should be an enabler, not a hindrance. We want to make e-commerce easy, so business owners – regardless of their technical expertise – can get straight to selling their products and services online, and focus on connecting with customers. With Paysend Store, they can do just that.

Paysend Store is our free, no-code e-commerce platform which requires no technology development or third-party IT integration. Business owners, whether that’s creators, bloggers, professional services advisors or more, can get start creating, managing and growing their e-commerce offering in minutes. Paysend Store also conveniently brings separate elements – website, design and payments processing – all together into one end-to-end solution, saving entrepreneurs time and money, while increasing ease of use.

A one-stop-shop for SME needs

It is not just e-commerce where business owners find themselves having to navigate many different providers. On a broader level, managing numerous business financial services providers which don’t talk to each other or connect is one of the most significant challenges facing SMEs, costing them unnecessary time and money. This can be even worse for solo entrepreneurs and leaner teams with limited resources and infrastructure.

It is this issue that we aim to solve with our Paysend Business offering. We provide a one-stop-shop online ecosystem where SMEs can benefit from fully integrated, affordable financial services such as banking, payroll, e-commerce and FX plug-ins all under one roof.

In our survey, 22% of SMEs said they don’t feel their providers give them the flexibility to opt in and out of different products. We feel strongly about offering total flexibility for SMEs using our platform, offering them connected products which can work together or operate independently. The same goes for providing a transparent fee structure, round the clock personalised client services and a regular feedback loop to enable our clients to thrive. After all, at the early stages of growing a business, agility, efficiency and speed are paramount for success.    

The past few years have presented many challenges for businesses – navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and inflation. By leveraging technological advances and an ecosystem approach, SMEs can reduce their financial admin burden, saving time and money and putting them in a stronger position to weather turbulent periods. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy; they deserve easier access to tools that can help them grow and maintain a competitive advantage.

By Ashley Mallett, Head of B2B Growth, Paysend