Navigating the Challenges of Fintech Adoption in SMBs

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Navigating the Challenges of Fintech Adoption in SMBs

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Financial technology (fintech) products can help people associated with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) streamline many daily processes. However, adopting new technologies can cause uncertainties, even in highly motivated individuals. 

Change Resistance

Most humans naturally hesitate to make significant changes despite recognizing the associated benefits. That’s primarily because they prefer the familiarity of current processes since doing things differently almost always requires an adjustment period. 

Although changes within a business can be nerve-wracking, people should look past these obstacles and focus on the perceived benefits. One 2023 study of SMBs found those in the United States were more optimistic about the future of their companies than their global peers. 

Tech adoption rates contributed to their upbeat attitudes. About 39% of U.S. respondents said technology was a primary driver of their optimism, compared to 32% of global participants. Additionally, 63% of those from the U.S. planned further tech investments, compared to 53% elsewhere. 

Fintech products could increase competitiveness for SMBs, especially if leaders thoughtfully choose solutions to address their most time-consuming tasks. Those managing company changes should help others focus on the most likely benefits. Even though doing things differently might mean addressing minor difficulties, the advantages are often more than worthwhile. 

Wariness of Emerging Options

Many people balk at the prospect of changes, and some also feel suspicious of emerging technologies. Such uneasiness is wideapread in situations involving money. Many people love the convenience of mobile banking with their smartphones. However, as more fintech alternatives to traditional banks emerge, some users wonder if it’s safe to keep their funds there. 

However, as a 2023 study showed, three in four global banks intend to partner with several fintech companies in the next 12-18 months. The biggest anticipated benefit of such pairings was lower operational costs, cited by 46% of bank respondents. Plus, 43% of those polled felt fintech companies could facilitate technological deployments for banks. 

If banking representatives are among those embracing fintech companies, it strongly suggests people from SMBs should, too. That said, whether a business owner wants to use financial technology to manage budgets, bank from anywhere or minimize repetitive tasks, they should thoroughly vet any shortlisted vendors. 

Finding out how the fintech company keeps data secure and protects funds should provide much-needed peace of mind to those not fully on board with newer options. Verifying what happens if things go wrong and business fails is also valuable. 

Education and Knowledge Transfer 

As more SMBs broaden their tech usage, some get into tricky situations where only a few people know how to work with the chosen tools. It’s easy to envision how that could become complicated. Leaders who retire from an SMB must carefully plan their departures to leave the organization in capable hands. The process usually requires choosing new executives but could also involve training more people to use fintech tools. 

However, the need to teach workers and help them pass their knowledge on to others is not unique to financial technology products. It could apply to almost any aspect of a business, ranging from how receptionists answer the phones to what managers do to soothe irate customers. 

Once business leaders purchase fintech products, they must plan on the number of people who will use them within the organization. Although the specifics vary by vendor, many set pricing structures with a per-person rate. Similarly, others set prices in ranges, creating a different price for one to 10 users than for 11-20 people. 

One popular strategy is to choose at least one individual who takes ownership of the tech tool and becomes a point person for others also learning to use it. That approach prevents knowledge-transfer difficulties caused by only one individual being able to use a fintech product critical to a company’s operations. 

A successful adoption also requires giving users plenty of time to get acquainted with a fintech product’s menus, features and other specifics. People who feel too rushed may get overwhelmed and feel less confident in the tool’s capabilities. 

Process Optimization

According to a 2022 SMB survey, 82% of respondents said fintech gave employees more time to put toward value-driving activities. However, getting the best results requires determining how to redistribute team members’ workloads. Many financial technology platforms have automation features that save users time and steps. They’re also frequently cloud-based and digitally driven. Someone could use a mobile app to log into a tool to pay or create an invoice, even when far from their desks. 

Leaders may initially feel compelled to purchase fintech tools because it seems all their competitors already have. It’s a justifiable concern, but the situation can become problematic if decision-makers have not pinpointed how the product will address a need. It’s insufficient for them to merely buy things to catch up to others. 

Instead, they must determine which processes the purchased tools will improve or what problems they’ll solve. Taking that step gives people a goal-oriented mindset to increase their chances of meaningful outcomes. They should also set relevant metrics to track during a fintech tool’s rollout and adoption period. Getting feedback from staff members is wise because their input may illuminate inefficient processes leaders hadn’t considered. 

Moving Past Fintech Barriers 

Adopting financial technologies can be daunting for company leaders of all sizes, especially if they have fewer overall resources, as is the case for many SMBs. However, they can conquer many of them and feel excited about what technology can do.