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Solve the late payments challenge with The Co-operative Bank

“BankiFi has enabled us to deliver our shared vision of supporting micro businesses and SMEs”

The problem to solve

2020 saw The Co-operative Bank commit to transforming its digital services for SMEs. By understanding the evolving challenges faced by SMEs, the bank sought innovative solutions to better serve UK businesses.  

Are SMEs underserved by banks?

Short answer: typically, yes. However, 2020 saw The Co-operative Bank take strides in their business banking offering by transforming their digital services to directly meet the needs of SMEs. Wanting to understand the challenges faced by SMEs further, the bank sought innovative solutions to better serve this traditionally ‘underserved’ market. 

If you’re a small business, you’ll know the struggle that late payments can cause by crippling your cash flow and stunting your growth. Back in 2022, The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), issued a warning that 444,000 small businesses would be forced to close as a result of late payments, with each business being owed on average an estimated £22,000 in late payments, according to the UK Government.

The Co-operative Bank decided enough was enough. The time had come to create solutions that would actively support SMEs, helping them to run their business smoothly; with a helping hand from BankiFi. 

BankiFi’s partnership with The Co-operative Bank was forged to solve these problems for small businesses. Collaboratively, we set out to create a suite of bank-branded solutions that were specifically designed with SMEs in mind, tailoring the functionalities of each offering to meeting the needs of these small businesses and helping them to solve their daily challenges, like late payments. 

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The first of these innovations was the SME mobile banking app which was designed to bring crucial features such as account balance tracking, transaction monitoring and seamless payment capabilities right into the SME’s hands and all from within The Co-operative Bank’s digital space.

This paved the way for our second solution. Developed with the goal of solving late payments for SMEs, the Go Get Paid app enhances payment processes for small businesses in a way that had never been approached by The Co-operative Bank before. The app itself does what it says on the tin: it helps small businesses to go and get paid by their customers in an easy and efficient way. 

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What’s the opportunity here for The Co-operative Bank? It’s simple. Thanks to the power of open banking technology that BankiFi provides, any small business can gain full access to the Go Get Paid app, regardless of who they bank with. 

This opens up a window of opportunity for The Co-operative Bank to expand their business customer base and increase deposits as a result. The provision of a service like Go Get Paid has mutually beneficial effects on both the bank and the SME – which ultimately helps to improve the transactional relationship between these two parties and make it more humanistic.

The results speak for themselves as the bank itself reported an outstanding 62% YOY growth in the number of new business current accounts – indicating that with digital solutions in place to directly meet the needs of SMEs, help them solve day-to-day challenges and run their business more smoothly, businesses will invest time and money in a provider that can provide these offerings. This surge is also largely attributed to the digital advancements made to the solution throughout BankiFi and The Co-operative Bank’s partnership.

What are the benefits of Go Get Paid?

    • Small businesses get paid faster by sending digital payment requests directly to their customers. 79% of these payment requests are paid within just 2 days
    • Multiple delivery channels are available, including email, SMS, WhatsApp and QR code for face-to-face interactions
    • SMEs are able to link their accounting package so they can fully reconcile their payments automatically, saving them time and effort that comes with manual intervention
    • Businesses can see a real-time view of their payment statuses, allowing them to keep track of payments all in one place
    • The Payment reminder function enables small businesses to reduce the number of late payments they receive. In fact, of the 11% of payment requests that are re-sent as a reminder, 67% are paid

What results have we seen?

    • Significant growth in user base, with thousands of users acquired within 18 months
    • User numbers have increased more than x6 from 2022 to 2024
    • Millions of pounds in payments have been processed, which proves the app’s effectiveness in helping small businesses get paid faster
    • Enhanced customer engagement element to the offering means that user feedback can be used to make beneficial changes to the app
    • 43% of Go Get Paid users originate from other UK banks, which proves the app’s high market demand and its appeal across multiple banks

This is only the beginning

The Co-operative Bank's partnership with BankiFi proves how a holistic approach to addressing SME needs can be a success for all involved. In leveraging BankiFi’s technology, marketing and customer engagement capabilities, The Co-operative Bank has paved the way for successes in terms of their customer acquisition and retention goals, as well as their deposit growth rate.

This partnership doesn’t end with the Go Get Paid app. In 2024, these partners went on to extend the Go Get Paid proposition to include an easy-to-use Cash Management solution that will help UK SMEs even further along their path to growth.


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