UK based BankiFi expands into Australia to help Banks become Essential for their Small Business client base
Following the successful deployment of BankiFi’s technology platform at The Co-operative Bank in the UK, BankiFi has appointed Lloyd Parata to lead their expansion into the Australian Financial Services market.
BankiFi’s technology platform ensures banks remain relevant by offering SMEs an innovative solution to operate their business, whilst avoiding common challenges like late payment.
Mr Parata, Australia and New Zealand Country Manager said, “A combination of both regulation and advances in technology have lowered the point of entry enabling new entrants such as non-bank platforms like like Stripe, Square and Shopify to erode bank revenues,”
“For these new entrants, small businesses are the low hanging fruit, because they contribute massively to the economy, there are lots of them, and they have been underserviced thus far. However making payments is actually just a seat at the table. Small business owners now also expect reduction of the time they spend on manual admininstration and chasing late payments.”
The platform allows users to send secure, real-time payment requests via text, email and Whatsapp, as well as QR codes for simple face-to-face transactions. It ensures that funds are transferred into a chosen account immediately, boosting cash flow. It also generates invoices, streamlines the process of chasing late payments and automates financial admin by integrating with all the major accounting applications.
BankiFi offers banks a set of configurable integrated services – accounting, invoicing, payments and cash forecasting - designed around the workflows of their small business customers, and embeds them in the most appropriate bank channel. The solution is built using a range of business microservices that small businesses can subscribe to.
Mr Parata said small business is the backbone of Australia’s business landscape, accounting for 98% of all Australian businesses, and employing over 4.7 million people, more than 40% of the business workforce, making it Australia’s biggest employer.
BankiFi’s international expansion supports the large number of small businesses, that are are so important to the Australian economy. Mr Parata continued “SMEs typically wait longer to get paid than bigger businesses, with late payments and time spent on burdensome financial admin placing immense pressure on their survival. Being an SME ourselves, we wanted to create a service that helped business owners simplify collecting money from their customers, automate invoicing and bookkeeping, and to receive the money directly into their account - all through a mobile experience that reflects how they operate.”
“Many micro and small businesses suffer tremendously as a result of high transaction fees, delayed or late payments, complex financial admin tasks and cash-flow disruption,” Mr Parata said.
According to Mr Parata, when it comes to managing cash flow, small business owners tend to be stuck between two offerings within a bank: consumer functionality that is too basic, and commercial and/or treasury functionality that is too complex.
“Rising expectations from sole traders and micro-business owners ramp up the pressure for banks to step up and provide services they never did before, such as invoicing, reconciliation, and bookkeeping options. Dropping the ball right now may mean losing touch with a vital customer base — and, of course, there is no guarantee those customers will come back once they leave,” Mr Parata said.
“Small business has been desperate for a solution like BankiFi provides for far too long. By offering BankiFi to their small business customers, banks can help their customers manage their business while they can get on with doing what they do best.”
BankiFi streamlines the process of chasing late payments and automating financial admin by integrating with all the major accounting applications, and offering a range of payment options to customers.
BankiFi is set to change the economy for the better, especially as a recent survey* reported that more than 50% of small business invoices are being paid late or slowly, costing small business approximately $7 billion in working capital each year.
According to a recent report from the Australian Small Business and Family Ombudsman, it is estimated that as many as 90% of small businesses are failing due to cash flow problems and using credit cards to try and offset late payments.
“The report demonstrates exactly how much disruption that late payments can have on cash flow, especially to businesses experiencing strong growth periods.”
About Lloyd Parata:
Lloyd Parata is BankiFi’s Australia & New Zealand Country Manager.
Lloyd has been in the Information Technology industry for more than 25 years. He has spent more than 20 years as a Sales Director selling Enterprise Software solutions to banking institutions across Asia and Australia/NZ. Lloyd returned to Australia in 2018, after 14 years spent in Asia.
Not a stranger to small business, Lloyd has a background in launching successful technology operations from overseas to Australia and South East Asia.
Lloyd has held various executive positions; VP Sales, Sales and Marketing Director, Strategy and Planning Manager and Channel Management roles.
Prior to working in South East Asia, Lloyd held sales and marketing leadership positions within various Enterprise Software companies in Hong Kong, Australia and the USA.