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Small Business Catches The Eye Of Bankers
by Wouter Carrie

Banks are finding small business more attractive these days.
As it turns out, small businesses are attracted as well to
what banks have to offer. As the small business market
takes out more loans and encompasses a larger part of bank's
business, bankers are starting to offer more special small
business packages with very unique services.

As the economy picks up, so too are banking practices for
small businesses. Where once small businesses were forced
to pay high fees, bankers are cutting these fees and setting
up special departments to handle small business services.
Generally in the past, customer satisfaction among small
businesses at banks has been low; banks are working to
target this segment and win them over to their side.

By focusing on ways to free small businesses from
time-draining duties and to help these small businesses
succeed, banks are offering outsourcing services that are
second nature for these financial institutions. Some of
these BPOs (business practice outsourcing) services are
outside traditional checking and credit cards. For
instance, some banks offer travel arrangements, financial
advice, payroll services, and 24-hour Internet banking.
Bankrate.com~s Small Biz, for example, offers the below
special services just for small businesses:

- Current loan and credit card rates
- E-newsletter just for small businesses
- Advise regarding e-commerce, taxes, finance, cash flow
and so on.
- Accounting services online such as paying bills and
payroll outsourcing

Bank of America is another banking institution that is
customizing services for small businesses. Some of these
services include package that help a small business manage
its affairs more efficiently. Some packages also include
financial advice and resource specialists. For instance,
the Value package includes payroll outsourcing with Bank of
America's PayChex, overdraft protection, free small business
money market savings account, merchant services and more.

Small businesses make up almost 21% of the banking market.
This segment also accounts for nearly 41% of private
payrolls in America. This economic influence is starting to
draw the attention of large banks, partly due to recent
consolidations with many smaller banks and an increase of as
much as 91% for small business loans in the past several
years. These loans are mostly sought by non-technical small
businesses. As result, the time for getting credit for a
small business has never looked better.

For many small businesses and the banking world, this is a
win-win scenario whereby small businesses are paying less
for time-consuming activities and succeeding at a greater
rate. The competition among banks is picking up in a race
to get the small business's attention. American small
businesses and American banks aren't the only operations
partaking in this trend; places such as United Kingdom,
Australia and other developed countries are also noticing
expansions in small business banking. More banks are
expected to incorporate special small business banking as
more small businesses pick up on the benefits of BPO.

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