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Here’s a Story: Three Reasons Why Small to Mid-sized Businesses are the Jan Brady of the Market

A certain MineralTree employee who shall remain nameless (…Nathan) spent his weekend binging on a Brady Bunch marathon.  Besides admitting his love for old school TV, he also noted that our customers, small to mid-sized businesses, are essentially Jan Brady when it comes to payment solutions. Caught in the middle between consumer bill pay and complex treasury management products, small to mid-sized businesses are left to the inefficient and unsafe solution of paper checks.

Greg and Marcia (big corporations) are big enough that they have products built for them, and Bobby and Cindy get hand-me-downs (consumer bill pay solutions for micro-businesses) that work just fine. So, why do the solutions for SMBs seem as non-existent as George Glass? What are banks missing when it comes to the SMB segment?

  1. Ambiguous ownership: Typically, banks are subdivided into distinct business units that target specific customers. While logical for the banks, SMBs often suffer from this ambiguity since they are neither retail nor corporate, and therefore ownership is not as clear cut as the dividing line between Marcia and Jan’s sides of the bedroom.

  2. Mismatched products: Much like the interesting style choices of the Brady crew, products offered to SMBs by banks are often mismatched and ill-suited to their needs. Usually, banks offer products designed for the retail segment (Bill Pay) or for the commercial segment (corporate cash management solutions), which tend to be unwieldy.

  3. Why bother?: When the banks realize that the products they do provide to SMBs fail to take off, they become ever more wary of investing in the space, leading them to allocate more resources to retail and commercial solutions. Sigh…Marcia Marcia Marcia, I suppose.

With bank technology absolutely thriving in the consumer and commercial space, the likelihood of SMBs meeting their George Glass looks promising.

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