The most rewarding 7 words a banker can hear
Cash flow still remains the main concern of Canadian SMEs.
When entrepreneurs need money to grow their business, they need it right away. Access to capital can make the difference between seizing the opportunity and entering a period of accelerated growth or stagnating and being outrun by the competition.
During more than a decade spent working with entrepreneurs―almost half as an account manager―working with them directly every day, I can say without a doubt that there is no greater satisfaction than hearing a business owner say: “I got the funding that I needed.”
But in today’s world, where you expect to be informed in real time, entrepreneurs increasingly want fast, secure banking that’s adapted to their needs. And it needs to work in person, on a computer or on a mobile phone.
I am fortunate enough to be part of a team whose daily job is to figure out how we can use data and technology to have as many entrepreneurs as possible say the magic words: “I got the funding that I needed.”
Our objective is to speed up loan processing and, ultimately, support more business owners with access to financing.
Providing entrepreneurs with fast and convenient access to financing
For the past few years, we’ve been more intentional and determined in providing entrepreneurs with a fast and convenient access to financing, anytime and from anywhere. Here are some of the things we have done.
- We come to you – All our account managers across the country are equipped with iPads and can authorize loans of up to $750,000 in one visit (for existing clients).
- An app for entrepreneurs – BDC Mobile, our first client-facing app, allows clients to stay on top of their loan activities and repayment schedule, and view content of interest for their business and if they qualify for a preauthorized loan directly on their mobile device so they can make more informed financial decisions.
- We are always there for entrepreneurs – A few years ago, we started offering 100%-online loans of up to $100,000 on BDC.ca. Instead of going to a business centre or meeting with one of our account managers, entrepreneurs can go online on BDC.ca and get the funds faster.
We are now taking it one step further.
Instead of having our clients come to us and ask for another loan, we will send preauthorized offers to qualified clients. The only thing entrepreneurs have to do is make sure their information is up to date, accept the offer and put the funds to use in their business. This translates into a faster turnaround time, streamlined documentation requirements, and, ultimately, simplified access to capital.
According to the feedback we’ve received, just knowing that they can take out a loan, if needed, is important and reassuring for entrepreneurs.
Becoming a better bank
The world is changing fast and we need to change with it if we hope to continue being relevant for Canadian entrepreneurs. Despite significant progress, more work needs to be done and we take that very seriously. We need to continue pushing our digital transformation further to help us become a better bank.
In the future, our aim is to use advanced data analytics to offer entrepreneurs a client experience that is even better tailored to their needs.
We want to leave our clients in a better place, regardless of the outcome of the interaction with us, and be seamless and consistent across channels. We also know that entrepreneurs’ needs vary greatly depending on the size of their business and where they are in the company’s life. This is why we will use automation to adapt our offerings to the diverse financial background, sophistication and business experience of our clients.
We remain committed to always doing better, and more so that more clients―like Denis Leclerc, Owner, Director and Certified Trainer of VMG Solution―say this: “With BDC’s online financing, I appreciate the simplicity, and above all, the speed of approval. The funds were essential to my company going digital and ensuring my company’s sustainability.”
At BDC, we want to build a best-in-class, client-centric experience in everything we do. We know that the simpler and easier we make it for entrepreneurs to have access to the financing they need, the more time they have to focus on their companies, on creating jobs and value for the economy. And that means―essentially―not only becoming a better bank, but also better fulfilling our role as Canada’s development bank.