Beyond Banking - how HSBC aims to help SMEs scale and grow in a modern world

At YourStory’s flagship event, TechSparks 2021, Dan Roberts, Global Head of Business Banking and Prakash Jaiswal, VP-Corporate Banking at HSBC spoke about the bank’s new initiative - ‘Beyond Banking’ and how it will enable Indian SMEs to grow and scale their businesses.

The definition of banking has changed over the years. Today, banks are moving “beyond banking’ to help businesses grow by fuelling them with the resources they need. 

Speaking on Day 1 of YourStory’s flagship event, TechSparks 2021, Dan Roberts, Global Head of Business Banking, HSBC and Prakash Jaiswal, VP-Corporate Banking, HSBC and Gautam Bhatia, Portfolio Relationship Manager – with HSBC -Business Banking, North India, HSBC provided an insight on the role of banks’ in today’s business ecosystem beyond banking. 

What is beyond banking?

For generations, banks have been fulfilling customers' financial needs - protecting their business with cash flow, providing credit for inventory and allied services. 

But with the advent of digital technologies, boundaries around banking have blurred to some extent. 

Dan said,

“Fundamental needs are now what we are trying to solve. From integrating banking to accounting software, HR & payroll management, logistics, etc., we are trying to bring real holistic solutions for our customers and not just narrowing to solve only financial matters.” 

HSBC’s multiple initiatives have helped businesses in the UK, Hongkong, China, and other countries by providing value-added tools for integrating banking solutions like cash flow forecasting capabilities and other packaged tools.

A wholesome India-level strategy 

“HSBC wants to become a wholesome lifecycle bank for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and early-stage companies - it's about building a bouquet. We solve banking problems and also focus on different customer personas,” said Prakash.

He added that HSBC wants to meet the objective of the customer to grow faster and use digital tools and data to scale up in a frictionless manner.

He elaborated that the whole India-level strategy has been developed with structured design thinking and the help of subject matter experts. 

“We have launched digital solutions in collaboration with AWS, Google, Zoho etc, - which is under the connected banking bucket for accounting service providers, shipping and logistics, payroll, and hiring etc. - the major problem-solving areas in the business,” Prakash said. 

HSBC has also identified a need to enable ecommerce because every SME in the country wants to adopt ecommerce apart from an offline presence. Beyond Banking is also available for Indian businesses planning to enter and for those already present in international markets. 

Handholding traditional SMEs 

There are several SMEs that have not scaled, but they are crucial for the economy. “The larger use case remains in traditional old SMEs,” Prakash said and added that out of 65 million MSMEs in India, 95 percent are in the micro category, which means they couldn’t scale as they aspired to.

“Data, digital tools, and technology will hopefully help this sector to scale faster. I am excited that with HSBC’s integrated tools, these MSMEs will be able to scale, which they couldn’t in decades,” Prakash points out.

SMEs will now be able to make informed decisions and strive in the modern business system. 

This era is one of rapid development and change. Dan and Prakash concluded that the future lies in collaboration and partnership – with Beyond Banking leading the way. 

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan