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Category: ENTREPRENEURSHIP, Marketing and Advertising


How much value are you getting from your business banking?
Written by Tendai Tambudze
13 November 2012

The radio and television airwaves are a battlefield of marketing tactics, as the big five commercial banks vie with each other for market share. A close look at some of the latest adverts show how banks are trying everything they can to add value to their offering. Five years ago it would have been unheard of to go to a free business seminar, sponsored by your bank, with a complimentary lunch. Today seminars, workshops and networking events form a part of the standard offering from all of the major banks.

Traditionally known for being closed fisted when it comes to extending their financial support, the banking sector is lending support to the SME sector in a variety of other ways and is fast becoming more than just a place to source loans and make transactions. In a country that is well known for having some of the world’s highest banking fees, this is at least givingbusiness owners a whole lot more bang for their buck.


Standard bank

Standard bank's Bizconnect offers a resource centre equipped with tools to start, manage and grow a business. Standard Bank has partnered with software giant pastel to offer free access to accounting solutions for start-ups. The bank also offers a Bizlaunch account at an administrative fee of R90 per month with access to a business banker. The banking fee quoted is simply the administration fees for the account and Standard Bank also charges transactional fees for other services. In addition there are discounts offered on business insurance, training courses and a point of sale machine.

Getting a business loan from Standard Bank may be easier for those who fall into the right psychometric profile. The Bank has started using a SME Quick Loan which is used to assess a person’s willingness to repay the loan and is aimed at enabling entrepreneurs to speedily access much-needed finance.

Standard bank is also the main sponsor behind The Business Coach, aired on SABC 3. Greg Mason, the business coach, visits a small business every week to offer advice and strategy.  


Nedbank

Nedbank offers Simplybiz, an online portal for small businesses looking to network, improve business administration skills, and keep up with the latest trends and thinking. Nedbank also introduced the nation to small business Friday.

Nedbank business banking offers a host of solutions for various types of businesses and the usual range of seminars and workshops to equip the business owner.

Also on the media bandwagon, Nedbank sponsors the Big Break Legacy. A hugely popular reality show that aims to identify and empower entrepreneurs while building their competence as they venture into creating businesses in a sustainable manner.


Absa

Absa has a new unit, called Enterprise Development, which advances funds to SMEs based on their ability to generate cash flow, rather than on the basis of equity, security or strong, sustained balance sheets.

Absa has The Business Essentials (R185 per month) and The Business Advantage (R290 per month) banking packages which come with free courses and training in cash flow management, book keeping and marketing. Extras included in the Business Advantage package are a monthly subscription to Succeed Magazine and a dedication small banker.

For a cheaper offering without the frills, Absa offers the BizStart account for a monthly fee of R15 and the BizTransact with a monthly fee of R55. Transactional fees apply for SMS notifications, individual cash deposits and others available on their website.


FNB

FNB's business banking offering keeps it simple with a single package at a monthly fee of R169 with bundled unlimited transactions including cash deposits of up to R20 000. Their account comes with free SMS notifications, the banks loyalty programme – Ebucks as well as Fuel rewards and the eWallet solution.  FNB’s account also comes with an instant account and payroll administration. FNB's Biznetwork is the largest online banking community.

When it comes to banking, sentiment and user experience can count much more than fees. According to a reputation survey held earlier this year, FNB was rated as the best bank, followed by Capitec, Nedbank, Standard bank and Absa.


Capitec Bank

Capitec bank does not provide a specific business banking service to close corporations, companies, partnerships or trusts and sticks to its Global One account. Capitec does however have a point of sale service available to retailers.

 

Picture credit www.bustech.co.za

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