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NewTech Friday: BankiFi – helping banks deliver more for their SME customers 16 July 2021

Mark Hartley, CEO and Founder of BankiFi, talks with Efma about how his company is enabling banks to bring a more holistic offering to their business customers.  
What led to the creation of BankiFi?
 
The idea actually originates as far back as the mid 90’s.  I could never understand why there was one system for doing your banking and another system to do your accounting. As internet banking was just becoming a thing and mobile banking didn’t exist and lots of companies were still using checks and cash, I suppose it was no surprise that it was the way it was.  
 
Fast forward to 2016, when we started really thinking about launching BankiFi, mobile and internet banking were mainstream, regulations had removed barriers to entry, APIs had made data sharing much easier, and electronic payments had really catalyzed the demise of cash and checks as methods of payments.  
 
The likes of Quickbooks and Xero and what they have been doing has also seen banks realize that their own channels are coming under serious threat and in turn their customer relationships and revenue streams. It is a much easier pitch now to talk about “embedding banking” into everyday SME business processes like order to cash and procure to pay than it was 20 years ago as banking competitors already offer such a holistic process. Banks realize that they need to transform their channels from being purely transactional into a place from which SMEs can run their business.
 
Could you present BankiFi's offer?
 
We solve problems for both the SME and the bank. SMEs spend up to 75% of their time on non-core activities according to McKinsey. Non-core means anything not related to sales and product/service provision and so that includes any admin and chasing up customers to pay them. That’s where we come in, we help banks help their customers reduce time spent on admin and help them get paid on time and in doing so optimize working capital. For the bank that means providing value added services for which SME customers will pay, and, pro-actively identifying lending opportunities should those customers have working capital challenges. For the bank that hopefully means happy customers as well as increasing their revenues and their lending book!
 
We embed banks at the heart of a business customer’s life by transforming the mobile and internet banking channels from something that is purely transactional to somewhere businesses can turn to for all of their needs. 
 
We add invoicing, accounting, cash forecasting and working capital optimization into those channels to sit alongside payments and transaction histories.
 
What's coming next for BankiFI?
 
We have just opened offices in Singapore and Australia as well as being selected onto the FIS Venture Accelerator program which will help us expand into North America too. So, as well as delivering more features and functions to our products, we will also be helping banks all over the world to better service their SME customers.

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