Overview
Small business owners are turning rapidly toward digital banking channels, allowing banks to profitably serve a large, new subset of businesses. But that will depend on the development of appropriate digital features, and bill pay will constitute a crucial part of that strategy. Many small businesses today are stuck between bill payment services designed for consumers and those designed for larger corporations responsible for paying dozens or hundreds of suppliers. This report examines the bill pay habits and attitudes of small business owners, and explores how bankers can design a bill payment offering within their online and mobile banking platform that will increase customer engagement and help banks serve as a vital partner in the success of their small business customers.

Key questions discussed in this report:
  • How many and what type of bills are small business owners responsible for?
  • Through which channels to businesses typically pay their bills?
  • How do business owners view the strengths and weaknesses of bank vs. biller direct vs. offline channels?
  • How can banks encourage businesses with legacy check-heavy practices to pay online?
  • What features can banks build around bill payment to encourage engagement and start conversations through online and mobile channels?
Companies Mentioned: Bank of America, Capital One, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, PNC, US Bank, Wells Fargo

Methodology

The small business data in this report are based on information collected in a random-sample panel of 1,000 small and micro businesses in a February 2017 online survey. Javelin defines microbusinesses as those with annual revenue between $100,000 and $1 million and small businesses as those with revenue between $1 million and $10 million.