Traditional banks use one-size-fits-all platforms that employ processes/technology usually built for retail banking, overlooking customer experience in the business banking segment. The business customer experience goes for a toss, making simple tasks complex. Meanwhile, demand/expectation from tech startups and new-age businesses when seeking to automate and integrate banking into their business is growing. Users are always looking at those products that save their time and meet their specific needs. I believe that this is why it is time to look at business banking innovation carefully. Here are two companies that are focusing on this segment as examples and acting as disruptors for the traditional banking industry.
SEED, which is part of the Winter 2015 Y Combinator class, wants to bring banking into the API arena and eradicate many typical irrelevant fees. SEED has launched a banking API to allow its beta customers to integrate SEED’s financial service into their apps and tools. These financial services are currently available only in the US. SEED is offering modern, efficient and secure mobile & Web applications for online banking.
SEED will provide all of the core business banking services for businesses, all available online without the need for paperwork or cumbersome processes. For security purposes, SEED is offering up to $50 million of FDIC insurance, instead of the $250,000 offered by traditional banks. To help businesses save money, SEED is offering free domestic wire transfers, free ACH transactions, free check sending and low-cost international payments.
SEED’s platform enables seamless integration with other business services and will act as a marketplace for offering competitive lending, credit and insurance products from a community of providers.
The company has recently raised $5 million from an incredible group of investors. Here are the investors: Y Combinator, SV Angel, Pejman Mar Ventures, CrunchFund, Cyan and Scott Banister, Hamid Barkhordar, and Bobby Yazdani, General Catalyst Partners, Tomer London and Josh Reeves from Gusto, Fred Ehrsam from Coinbase, Max Mullen from Instacart, Aaron Levie from Box, Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp, and Joe Lonsdale from Palantir, Addepar, Formation 8 and many others.
Holvi, founded in Helsinki in 2011, is conquering the European banking landscape and reshaping financial technology services with a strong focus on Germany and Austria next. The core of Holvi’s service is the current account which is built for managing a business. The accounts are easy to open and use. They have basic SME tools built-in, including an online shop, an invoicing tool and financial reporting features.
Users can associate multiple different accounts to their profile, allowing you to see the status of your finances at a glance. It allows users to manage invoices and run an online shop in a single, integrated platform.