When Fintech first started providing automation solutions to SMEs and MSMEs, they started with the basic processes, i.e., documentation of all transactions and financial bookkeeping. Both these processes had always been manual and were prone to errors. Fintech not only reduced the margins of error but also freed up the time consumed in preparing these reports and statements. It brought down costs to a great extent and it was then that SMEs started embracing fintech into their flanks.
But Fintech is not only the SME sector's ticket to financial automation, but also is it's the ticket to greater financial freedom. By providing quick and easy loans to small and medium enterprises, Fintech has helped this sector flourish to a great extent.
Handling finances efficiently is one of the most crucial factors for business success. Hence, SMEs that can manage their finances efficiently, have a higher chance of achieving success and exponential growth.
Fintech can aid SMEs with this matter. With financial automation solutions of various kinds, Fintech can help SMEs save money, time, and optimize available resources; three things that are crucial to any business’s success.
In this article, we look at the types of SME automation solutions that Fintech has brought about to make handling finances easier for them.
While small and medium enterprises do have some free and regular software at their disposal to handle sales and accounting, like MS Excel or copybooks, they do realize that these methods of accounting are not only error-prone but also resource consuming. Fintech then brought about a cost-efficient automated solution, with an intuitive user interface, that would make using it easy and error-free. Thus, the new generation of online PoS management system came into being.
Here’s a look at the different ways automated solutions can be used by SMEs in the retail industry:
1. Gathering employee performance details and carry out employee analysis
2. Monitoring and stocking its inventory movement
3. Customer database management (purchase history, contacts, preferences, and loyalty)
4. Feedback collection & analysis (multichannel)
5. Strategizing marketing campaigns
6. Developing loyalty programs
7. Creating automated advertising, for example, through SMS ads
8. Handling bookings and reservations (service industry, specifically)
9. Selling through e-commerce channels and via social media
Every time the cash register dings, SMEs can collect valuable data relating to the customer, finances, stock, employee performance, and consumer behaviour, all at one go, using automation software. They follow an entire domino sequence, with every bit of information working together to give the business a look into the larger picture that will help them create winning strategies to help grow their business further.
Gone are the days of the bulky cash registers that would scan prices, open up the drawer for change, and print out the receipt. SMEs now understand the importance of both aesthetics and functionality when it comes to the cash register. This important business tool should be easy to manage and should also perform more functions than just securing the cash and printing receipts. Not only are these old cash registers less efficient, but they happen to be more expensive, too.
Fintech automation solutions thus brought about the tablet-based cash register. Sleek and super functional, these cash registers are based on tablets and run on a completely different system altogether as compared to their older counterparts.
These new-age cash registers use cloud-based SaaS and have the ability to save a copy of every transaction for future reference. Also, these are scalable, which means that SMEs can easily control how much bandwidth they need and pay as per usage. This feature makes it extremely attractive for SMEs, as it allows them to pay for only the amount of service they are using and not getting overcharged during low sales periods.
The older cash registers were mainly cash storing devices. With digital and online payments, that is not much required a service anymore. But what is required is to be able to extract and store information which will help in creating marketing and sales strategies that will help boost sales further and also attract new clients. The new generation cash registers help SME entrepreneurs do that by storing customer preference data, aiding inventory analysis, and boosting overall employee productivity.
The newest form of cash registers come with inbuilt card readers. This software helps SMEs in the following industries:
Cabs & transport – Drivers can easily help customers pay for their trips using their credit cards if they do not have access to digital wallets, for any reason.
Restaurant – mPOS help waiters save time on going back on forth with the bill and the card machine to realize payments every time.
eCommerce and delivery – eCommerce these days see a barrage of cash on delivery orders where the customers would prefer to pay via card. mPOS is a great way for small delivery and couriers to realize payments for such purchases, thereby speeding up the entire process.
Some other automation that has aided payment processes for the service and eCommerce industry are:
Automatic bill split – which helps multiple customers sharing a service, split the total amount and pay using their cards.
Custom invoicing software – This feature allows SMEs promote their brand instead of that of the banks. The software also provides the following benefits to SMEs:
• Low cost
• User-friendly interface
• Ability to edit easily
Here are some more reasons why SMEs should consider customized invoicing.
Tips directed straight to the employee’s account – Instead of receiving the payment, recording it and then transferring it to the employee, automation solutions can help customers pay tips directly to the employee’s bank account.
These examples of SME automation software not only make receiving payments easier for SMEs but also help in collecting vast amounts of data, which fintech has been using to create better and more focused solutions for the future.
In this fast-paced, competitive market, customer retention is key to continued growth. The cost of gaining a new customer is too high, as compared to the cost of retaining one. Still businesses, in the search of new customers, often forget to delight and retain the present ones, thus losing them to competitors.
Fintech being a visionary in the space of financial modelling has recognized this flaw and addressed it with new-age loyalty solutions. These automated solutions use technology such as AI, ML, gamification, and digital labour to provide ultimate loyalty solutions which can help SMEs retain their clients in the long run.
Making the collection of complaints and redressals for the same easy and quick is one of the best ways to ensure customer loyalty. With quick responses and solutions to their issues using coupons, benefits, or easy refunds, SMEs can retain their customers who might be on the verge of leaving.
Automating interaction is yet another way to boost customer retention. By using chatbots to answer initial queries until a customer care representative takes the call, helps address the basics of the customer query, without them waiting at the other end of the AVR.
Whether a business is planning to boost referrals or trying to get their current customers to extend their subscription using promotions such as ‘Buy 1 Get 1’ or ‘Get 20% off,’ fintech automation solutions have made these task as easy as just clicking a button for SMEs using fintech-based software.
SMEs that want to win the market in today’s date need to realize the importance of establishing an online presence. Millennials and Generation Z are comfortable shopping online. Whether it is a service or a commodity; apps and browsers are the go-to places for them to find out the same.
Many SMEs that have been working out of a retail space or brick and mortar set up might be wondering how to get their current customer base to move to their online setup. One of the best ways to do it is how Tesla did it. Turn stores into experience centres and let customers experience the products at the showroom. They still have the option of buying the product right there. However, if they buy the product from the online store, they will get a certain amount of discount. This will slowly push current clientele to the digital space where it will become easier for the SME to handle sales and automate all related processes that are currently being handled manually.
SMEs form 90% of the businesses worldwide and contribute to 50% of total employment, globally. It is important that such a crucial sector is nurtured and is benefitted by the best there is to boost their growth further. Fintech automated solutions have helped them achieve that and there’s still a long way to go. The sooner more SMEs come into the Fintech fold, the sooner they will realize the benefits of optimum resource utilization, i.e., getting a lot more done with a lot less.