While the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector has been pegged as a key driver within the restoration of the COVID-19-ravaged South African financial system, the panorama for enterprise house owners can nonetheless be troublesome to navigate – particularly in relation to entry to funding and assist.
The SME sector was hit arduous all through the assorted waves of the pandemic.
This resulted in lots of small enterprises having to scale back enterprise exercise, lay off employees and a few having to shut their doorways utterly.
With this in thoughts, Absa is ramping up its providing to its SME shoppers by innovation and value-added product choices – making this a key strategic pillar for the enterprise within the subsequent three years.
Collaboration with consultants within the digital area will likely be an necessary a part of this dedication.
The financial institution has already introduced one such collaboration in March 2022 – a market-first cellular cost acceptance answer developed together with know-how agency WIZZIT Digital.
The system allows Absa retailers to make use of their Android smartphones as a point-of-sale system by merely downloading the Absa Mobile Pay App.
This is an economical solution to facilitate contactless funds for SMEs.
But Absa’s digital focus extends additional than funds.
“Applying for business funding should be easy for the applicant and processed in the shortest time possible,” says Mkhize.
“By speeding up and simplifying the digital application and approval processes, we hope to take frustration, red tape and unnecessary delays out of the equation when small- and medium-sized business owners apply for loans,” he continues.
While digital innovation will assist to take away lots of the hurdles, Mkhize additionally believes that the significance of the human contact shouldn’t be forgotten.
This is why Absa gives 24/7 assist, a department community and small enterprise bankers throughout the nation.
In its quest to really deepen its relationships with SMEs, Mkhize believes that Absa should get nearer to the motion.
Absa’s small enterprise advisers will likely be spending much more outing within the subject, visiting small companies and speaking to entrepreneurs to realize a greater understanding of the challenges that they face.
Mkhize says this initiative will develop the financial institution’s capacity to assist co-solve issues and assist companies to rebuild and develop.
To additional bolster its dedication in the direction of SME shoppers, Absa introduced its Small Business Friday marketing campaign – throughout which Absa Rewards shoppers who store at taking part Absa SME service provider shops on Fridays, will earn double money again when paying with an Absa card – thus encouraging South Africans to assist SMEs.
Absa’s SME shoppers will likely be profiled on a devoted small enterprise portal and obtain Cash Rewards after they attain sure milestones throughout their Absa card point-of-sale units for the month.
“Beyond the loan, our tools and services available digitally are designed to make day-to-day banking operations easy – and we want to connect SMEs to an ecosystem which provides support, advice and opportunity.”
“If our SME clients succeed, so do we,” Mkhize concludes.