Building a Business Financial Manager tailored to SMEs

According to Accenture, 60% of companies would use online banking more if they were offered value-added services, such as BFM. 24% affirm that they would even pay for the service. And it is that offering tools to control expenses, discover new sources of income or receive a complete financial summary, has become essential for the sector.

Table of Contents

All banks dream of retaining corporate customers and continuing to add new SMEs year after year, but to do so it is necessary to meet their expectations and satisfy all their needs. To achieve this, it is important to become a trusted adviser; experts recommend having tools that make their daily life easier and, of course, help them boost their business.

In this article we will show you the steps to create a Business Financial Manager from scratch. This tool combines the latest technology with behavioral finance principles to help companies manage their financial health effectively. We will explain the process of ideation and prototyping of a BFM, from the definition of the user and the problem to be solved until the launch and subsequent analysis.

Define the user in all its complexity

This is the first step to building a successful BFM. Before starting to develop any product or service, it is crucial to understand the end user. This implies identifying the profile, financial habits and main concerns of the average SMEs in relation to their financial management. 

To do this we will use research, like market studies, executive summaries, reports or opinion polls.

Identify the problem to solve

Broadly speaking, one of the main challenges for the average SME is the lack of knowledge regarding investments, the difficulty in saving and debt management. Many self-employed persons express their frustration at the lack of accessible financial tools adapted to their economic reality. 

They also value positively the possibility of receiving personalized advice and recommendations to make informed decisions.

Market prospecting for SMEs

With the problem identified, we delve into the prospecting of the market of the selected sector. We analyze the data obtained, the economic trends and the specific financial needs of this segment. We found that the average SME represents a huge market opportunity, as it makes up a significant part of the population and has considerable purchasing power. 

In addition, we see that there is a latent demand for personalized and accessible financial solutions for this group.

Definition of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

With a clear understanding of the user and the market, we reach the stage of defining the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The MVP  is the initial version of the BFM that meets the minimum requirements to solve the main problem of SMEs and the self-employed. 

To do this, we focus on designing and developing a tool which includes basic functionalities that add great value, such as income and expense tracking, financial reporting, and the recommendation of personalized savings rules.

Iterate and test the MVP

With the results of the proof of concept in hand, we iterated and improved the MVP. We carry out extensive tests to ensure that the BFM works correctly, without errors and that it meets the expectations of the users. It is about creating a prototype that demonstrates how the BFM works and how it integrates into the financial life of the user. 

Furthermore, we implemented new features requested by users, such as integration with banking systems and the ability to set financial goals.


The role of AI in building a Business Financial Manager

Our BFM, due to artificial intelligence, can quickly incorporate local financial regulations and understand the cultural and economic particularities of the market. Incorporating this technology into the process allows, due to the use of advanced algorithms, to also detect spending patterns, identify savings opportunities and provide relevant financial advice. 

Do not forget that quality customer service must be provided and offer recommendations and financial advice adapted to SMEs.

Here is an article on how banks are already applying artificial intelligence.

Launch of a Business Financial Manager for SMEs

Here our prototype, accessible by a select group of people, goes to the next level, being deployed to the rest of the users. Its functionalities will address the most common financial problems of the middle class. In addition, the BFM will be available on multiple platforms, such as mobile apps and websites, to ensure accessibility and convenience for users. 

Performance, security, and scalability testing is essential to ensure that the BFM meets the required standards before it is released to the market.

Subsequent analysis and introduction of improvements

It’s important to get feedback from real customers, which allows you to fine-tune and improve the final product. Once the BFM has been up and running, we actively collect feedback and suggestions for continuous improvements. We listen carefully to the users and make adjustments based on them. 

Additionally, we implemented new requested features and improved the overall experience to create the perfect BFM. Once we get to this point, we start again with the analysis and improvements, in an endless cycle.

Conclusion: SMEs need your Business Financial Manager

Building a Business Financial Manager tailored to the average SME requires a user-focused approach, a deep understanding of their daily operations and constant iteration based on their feedback. 

By using technologies like artificial intelligence, we are able to offer a hyper-personalized and accessible financial solution that helps small businesses and self-employed persons take control of their financial situation and achieve their goals.

As a bank, you can position yourself as a leader in innovation by developing tools that help them manage and plan their business. What are you waiting for?

Sign up for our newsletter and get our top stories delivered straight to your inbox