James Shehigian, senior vice president at Aion Financial Technologies discusses 2022 business finance trends and strategies business owners can employ to fuel growth. With more than 30 years experience in FinTech, Jim has seen the evolution of financial technology and how it affects the way businesses manage their finances and grow. He closely follows business finance trends, particularly those relating to tech advancements and lending. This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Minor edits applied for readability.
Businesses need to know they have access to the capital required to grow as they win new customers, hire new people, and expand into new markets. They need a banking partner who is flexible and understands their business. They need to know the partner will stand with the business owner as the business evolves and plans inevitably change.
One big challenge business owners face is time-consuming, manual financial operations.
They need technology to support financial decision making and automate finance operations, so they don’t spend their day manually managing finances.
In 2022, businesses are taking advantage of a much wider array of choices when it comes to managing their finances. They are shopping around for banking, for payables and invoicing tools, and for credit more than ever.
A business finance trend I'm seeing is that speed and flexibility are of the essence.
Today, between what's happening with supply chain disruptions and the pandemic, businesses don't have the time to wait for weeks — or months — just to receive invoice payments or the capital they need to thrive. Business owners need a banking partner that is quick, adaptive, and doesn't need to meet with them repeatedly to react to changing conditions. So we see that speed and flexibility are really critical.
The next key trend is an increasing focus on mobile finance.
Business owners want to know that wherever they are, whenever they’re thinking about their business finance, they can easily access online banking and financial insights, from their phone or tablet. This means being able to sleep at night knowing they understand their financial picture and can manage financial transactions any time, anywhere.
It’s really kind of a parabola evolution. A couple of years ago, there were not a lot of different choices for business lending or banking. Business owners would go to a bank that was conveniently located. Perhaps the bank had a website they could look at, but that was the extent to the technology component. What's happening today is that the number of vendors in the financial technology space is exploding. This means there are hundreds of websites a business owner can go to if they want to apply for credit.
Every bank now has an online portal where business owners can do basic online banking. And what we're starting to see is that that's becoming overwhelming, particularly for the small business owner who might not have a staff of six people managing finance, they're doing it themselves.
As a result, a consolidation is starting with all-in-one solutions. It doesn't take away from the flexibility of multiple choices, but it does mean that business owners will have options for a single comprehensive finance solution.
They shouldn’t need to log into twelve different sites and download seven different apps on their phone just to manage the finances of their business. All-in-one means the ability to log into one platform and take care of everything. It gives business owners the advantage of knowing that transactions are happening in real time and overnight, and they are always up to speed on their daily cash needs.
Aion was created to deal with the increased need for speed, simplicity of pricing, flexibility around banking and credit finance for growing businesses.
We provide businesses with a quick, easy, and affordable way to manage all of the financial functions in their business in a single platform. That means spending less time administering finances, chasing the next round of credit to grow their business, and deciphering complex banking statements. Instead, we empower business owners to spend more time with their customers, with their employees, developing their products, and growing their business.