According to Aite Group, 53 percent of banks it surveyed for commercial online banking support are noticing greater retention rates after migrating the small-business clients to a business-banking platform from a retail consumer-oriented solution. This underscores the growing trend toward specializing services for the small business market; 65 percent of that segment plans to actively use such services by the end of the year.

In the survey of 16 of the nation’s top 50 banks this summer, Aite reports that 81 percent of large bankers feel their small-business customers are placing a high amount of trust in online banking, compared to just 33 percent two years ago. Banks are also seeing a greater number of both products (50 percent) and advanced online capabilities (47 percent) used as a result of migration.

"Banks are waking up to the need to provide enhanced online services to small businesses,” says Christine Barry, research director with Aite Group and author of the report. She adds that over the next two years, 38 percent of large banks plan to add expedited bill payment capabilities, while 31 percent will turn to electronic invoice presentment and payments to online small-business banking offerings. “Personal financial management and cash flow tools for more efficient management of cash are also receiving a great deal of attention and consideration,” says Barry.

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