Monit Blog

Changing Minds: How Banks Can Be Seen as Trusted Advisors, not just Vendors

August 24, 2022

Banks advertise “value added” services to attract and retain SMB customers, but how valuable are those services?

The Monit team is comprised of several former bankers (from the likes of City National, First Republic and Webster). So, it goes without saying that we ❤️ banks! Unfortunately, not all business customers see their bank in the same light. We are on a mission to change that, and recently had another great proof point to share on the value of providing new tools and features to SMB customers.

During the initial program rollout with a large regional bank, we decided to conduct research on the early reaction of customers to the Monit platform. We surveyed customers before they were introduced to Monit’s award-winning suite of “digital CFO” tools, then again after two months on the platform. We gathered a ton of fascinating data and feedback, and one item really popped out.

As mentioned above, not all SMBs love their bank, so we directly asked the question of SMBs prior to using Monit of whether they see their bank as a trust advisor or a more transactional, commoditized vendor: “Do you tend to think of your bank as a vendor selling specific products or a trusted partner?” As former bankers, we were struck by the results and related verbatims:

While these findings are certainly inline with similar research (here and here), it’s shocking to see more than 8 in 10 businesses see their bank simply as a vendor.

Fast forward two months, and things got interesting! After the initial group of business owners had used Monit for about 8 weeks, we surveyed them again. This time we included the question: “With your bank offering Monit, how does it change your perspective of the bank as a partner?” The results marked an overwhelming change in tune: 71% of SMB customers said they Definitely or Most Likely view their bank as a partner after using Monit:

It might be overstating the case to call us Cupid!…but, it’s clear there is a significant opportunity for banks to provide truly value added services to their SMB customers. The big banks are offering similar, proprietary tools (Bank of America, PNC), so providing critical financial tools to business owners isn’t just a way to build goodwill with current and future customers, it is quickly becoming table stakes.

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