Highly regarded as the foundation of the global economy, small and medium enterprises’ importance is also unfortunately undermined by their continued lack of access to much needed financial services. This has resulted in a finance gap that also proves to be a challenge for SMEs looking to become resilient businesses and tap their potential growth.
With the continued rapid advancements in financial technology, it now begs the question of what role digital financial services can play in bridging the aforementioned finance gap?
According to Fintech and SME Finance: Expanding Responsible Access, a recent report by the World Bank, digital financial services immediately helps close the gap through digitization and automation. These have made the financing process more efficient, thereby lowering costs.
This is evident through fintech like Black Banx who presently ease global banking for both individuals and businesses through transaction services that are not only designed to be quick and convenient, but also significantly reduce the cost of completing international transactions. Among the things Black Banx business clients can do:
- Start banking without borders
- Get Black Banx Debit Cards in different currencies for you or your people
- Hold funds, send and receive payments in 28 Fiat and 2 crypto currencies
- Track the status of incoming and outgoing transfers in seconds
- Assign multiple users to manage and access your accounts
- Configure your own account and card limits
- Connect via API or batch upload to process large number of payments
- Freely convert currencies between your accounts for Bank Interchange rates
- Send and receive payments with our instant fund crediting tools, worldwide
- Transfer money to other Black Banx accounts in a split of seconds
- Manage and monitor your cards and accounts in real time
- Pay with your Black Banx Debit card worldwide
By using Black Banx, SMEs are able to extend their markets to other countries, and successfully transact with customers overseas at reduced costs. In the same extent, having global digital banking services that are available in 28 FIAT currencies and 2 crypto currencies across as many as 180 countries has also enabled SMEs to extend their supply chains to markets where resources, production, and manpower are a little more affordable, furthering the power of their finances.
Established in 2014 by German billionaire Michael Gastauer and subsequently launched to the public in 2015, Black Banx has been offering its business accounts in less than a decade, but has proven to be significantly helpful to SMEs in both making the most of their funding and growing their markets.
In the first half of this year, the number of Black Banx’s SME clients had increased by 16% overall and, notably, by as much as 28% in the Middle East and Africa region. The increase in business clients has been a positive growth indicator for Black Banx, and validates how its business offerings are proving to be extremely valuable, particularly with how it helps entrepreneurs avoid banking issues.
The unprecedented growth earned in only six months has demonstrated Black Banx’s ability to continue an already rapid expansion into new territories.
“Especially with the recent launch of our West African branch in Liberia, we are seeing increased business growth in that region,” shares Regional Chief Executive Officer MEA, Jabari Walker.
Leveraging Recent Success to Offer SMEs More
Black Banx’s financial performance in the first nine months is well in line with its ambitious growth plans for 2023. For the first nine months, profit before tax was US$ 158 million, the highest nine months figure since 2015, despite absorbing non-operating costs of US$ 14 million. Excluding these non-operating costs, profit before tax would have been US$ 172 million in the first three quarters of 2023, up from US$ 89 million in the prior year period.
According to Group Chief Executive Officer Michael Gastauer, “In the first nine months of 2023 we have demonstrated good growth momentum across a diversified business portfolio, underlying earnings power and balance sheet resilience. This puts us on a good track towards our 2023 financial targets. We are determined to continue on this path while accelerating the execution of our global customer acquisition strategy.”
With record profit all but guaranteed, Gastauer has begun preparing Black Banx for the possibility of expanding into offering business and personal loans along with continuing its expansion efforts into more markets.
According to a recent report from the Boston Consulting Group, SMEs worldwide have an estimated $5 trillion in annual unmet credit needs.
Another study released by Manx Financial Group this year, on the other hand, has also found two in five SMEs have had to pause or stop aspects of their business due to a lack of financial resources. This 40% amount is a substantial increase from the previous year’s figure of 27%.
This is what Michael Gastauer sets out to change.
“Our aim has always been to achieve greater overall financial inclusion, both for individuals and for the businesses they want to build. When Black Banx was established, it first sought to increase the simplicity of online banking and dramatically reduce transaction times to achieve that. But as our success in doing so has grown, we feel compelled, if not responsible, to now do more.”
While Black Banx’s personal loan and credit products continue to be in development, what can be expected is how extensive their availability will be. These will most likely be available in the 180 markets that the group already services and feature flexible limits that make them ideal for SMEs that cannot meet the minimum amounts required by traditional banks.