Small Business Week is here! Did you know that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) play a significant role in Canada’s economy, contributing 52% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)? Additionally, 9 out of every 10 Canadians working in the private sector are employed by SMEs, along with 726,000 entrepreneurs1.
Over the past few years, largely driven by impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, new opportunities for entrepreneurs have come forward, particularly in the development of online platforms. Even with greater opportunities, small businesses continue to experience financial, operational and payment-related challenges. For instance, for 30% of businesses in Canada, it takes at least one week to process a payment (i.e., gig worker receives payment in their account)2.
How is Central 1 helping credit unions deliver value to small business customers?
Modernized payments opportunities
Credit unions have a proven track record in providing exceptional service to small business customers. The development of modernized payment solutions introduces new ways for credit unions to elevate their services while addressing payments challenges. Many exciting new payments capabilities are specially designed for small businesses, including data-rich payments solutions, streamlined cross-border payments and increased payments transparency.
Central 1 has developed a comprehensive roadmap for payments modernization that is tailored to address the specific needs of small businesses. As part of our continuous efforts to prepare financial institutions to take advantage of modernized payments, we’ve recently introduced Central 1’s Small Business Payments Playbook. This strategic guide is designed to help credit union frontline staff and understand how payments is a strategic tool in their small business toolkit, meet their needs effectively and deliver value through payment solutions. The takeaways from this Playbook also have relevance for all financial institutions interested in enhancing their services for small business customers.
Customized banking solutions
We know that enhanced e-Transfers offer real choices to displace cheques and cash payments. In addition to accessible small business payments enhancements, Central 1’s Small Business Banking product is designed to offer a scalable and evolving solution tailored to meet the daily needs of small businesses. We prioritize security, with our latest authentication features and activity alerts, ensuring seamless business transaction management. All essential money movement functions are consolidated into a single, user-friendly platform, enhancing convenience for our small business customers.
With Central 1’s commitment to advancing payment solutions and improving small business banking, we aim to empower credit unions to provide top-notch service to their small business members. Together, we’re shaping a bright future for seamless, secure and efficient financial experiences for Canadian small businesses.
1 Business Development Bank of Canada
2 Payments Canada