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From Open Banking to Open Finance – new opportunities for SME’s to thrive

By Abhinav Desai
May 2021

The many challenges of the global pandemic have forced all of us to adapt to new ways of working, learning, shopping and socialising. For many businesses, especially small to mediums sized enterprises (SME’s), this has meant rethinking virtually all aspects of running a company – from how to deliver a product or a service and how to engage with customers, to how to access finance and manage HR.

These new challenges saw a rapid growth in the development and introduction of new innovative services by Fintechs and established banks alike, using Open Banking as the primary infrastructure to deploy unique services and capabilities to businesses struggling to cope with the challenges of successive lockdowns.

We witnessed a significant uptake in the number of Open Banking service uses across Europe. In the UK for example, adoption of Open Banking increased by over 100% in the first six months of the pandemic. It is not only the adoption volumes that are interesting however, but the pendulum shift from consumer-focused Open Banking services to corporate and SME-focused Open Banking adoption that is significant.

It should come as no surprise that struggling SME’s have turned to Open Banking solutions to access previously unavailable or otherwise complex and costly financial products. SMEs accounts for three fifths of employment in the UK and around half of private sector turnover. This sector-shift also reflects a product shift – away from first-generation ‘Open Banking’ aggregation services to far more complex financial service and process automation solutions, which are more accurately described as ‘Open Finance’ capabilities.

Businesses have greater and typically more sophisticated financial requirements than individual consumers, including the need to understand and predict cash flow, make faster payments easily and at low cost, aggregate multiple accounts, better integrate accounting and banking systems, and obtain access to both short- and long-term funding and credit – all services which Open Finance based solutions should be able to provide.

This signals a growing maturity of the Open Banking platform, and the significant opportunities for innovation around a wide range of Open Finance products and services.

Scube (scube.com) is focused upon serving the rapidly growing business and SME demand for better and easier financial solutions – ones than can deliver meaningful efficiency and cost benefits.

Those solutions include the ability to monitor an overall financial position, to seamlessly move money between banks and accounts, and between credit and debit balances, can all be done far more efficiently and effectively using integrated Open Finance solutions.

For businesses large and small, as we all look ahead and focus on a return to growth, perhaps it’s time to review your current processes and finance management. Are you fully capitalising on the new services opportunities now available? Could you benefit from easier and better ways to manage your finances, lower your admin costs, and have greater choice of funding options? Could you benefit from improved efficiency and more time to focus upon engaging with your customers and growing revenue? If yes, then let’s talk today!

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