iknowa always welcomes feedback from our users to find new ways to support you and improve your experience on our platform. Recently, feedback received from users and research conducted externally has shown a rising demand to expand our capabilities beyond our building & construction platform and support trades businesses by creating banking infrastructure within iknowa. In this article, iknowa will discuss the current banking landscape provided to tradespeople/building & construction SMEs (Small-Medium Sized Enterprises), our current offering and plans for the future.
Current Banking Landscape for Building & Construction SMEs
Currently, the UK Banking Market fails to provide a substantial offering for Building & Construction SMEs (Small-Medium Sized Enterprises), who account for a fifth of the UK SME market. A recent survey resulted in an alarming 91% of small businesses stating that the current financial offerings provided by banks miss the mark and don’t meet all of their current needs (The Guardian, 2019). iknowa conducted its own survey to test these findings and further explore the features that SMEs require. From our results, iknowa discovered that 95%+ agree that key features are missing from the market by banks. Current banks fail to meet Building & Construction SMEs’ needs and fail to provide a customised service, even though they account for a fifth of the market. Resulting in a staggering “69% of SMEs stating that they would be willing to leave their current bank if they could find one that provided all the banking features and services that they want.” (The Guardian, 2019). It’s clear that banks aren’t addressing tradespeople’s issues, with the main issues being discussed below:
1. Invoicing Issues & Delays — Trade businesses are currently owed over £30 billion in unpaid invoices within the UK, with the industry accounting for over 30% of all late payments. Yet, there is no financially regulated solution within the building & construction sector that attempts to tackle this problem.
2. Administration time — Tradespeople want to be on-site, not spending their time on repetitive admin tasks such as banking. Nevertheless, Tradespeople spend on average 600+ hours on repetitive administrative tasks per year, that’s over 25 days!
3. Outdated Systems & Methods — Construction is the least digested industry, with outdated lead procedures and isolated planning processes causing a lack of understanding and transparency, increasing the frequency and range of disputes. The same outdated systems & methods are present in banking for construction SMEs, with banks failing to deliver systems and solutions that improve tradespeople’s lives and businesses.
iknowa’s current capability and offering
iknowa is proud to announce that it is an FCA Regulated Organisation, which enables us to distribute funds and provide certain payment services to our users. iknowa is the first and only platform in the building & construction industry in the UK to offer this service, with other businesses being unable to meet the requirements. So, what does this mean for you? The most important point is that it means you can trust iknowa with your funds, and you can have confidence that iknowa are in compliance with strict criteria laid out by the FCA to ensure that your funds are protected. This FCA Approval has enabled us to deliver the following benefits to date:
Overall, this approval enables us to continue offering additional payment services that support you and your business and tackle the current issues faced by building & construction SMEs across the UK.
iknowa’s banking roadmap
iknowa wants to give you a sneak peek its the future in banking, which iknowa see as an expansion of its building & construction platform, to provide you with a support system and layer of protection. The aim continues to provide a first of a kind business & banking solution in one, setting a new standard across direct and indirect financial & banking organisations. It’s clear that there’s currently no bank tailored towards Building, Construction & Property SMEs, whilst providing a robust business and banking solution for all SMEs within the UK.
Below is iknowa’s first public banking roadmap and initial steps to achieving this goal:
Of course, iknowa has many more exciting features being developed behind the scenes, which will be announced in the future!
If you have any feedback on this article or features you would love to see in the roadmap, please reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
iknowa would love to hear from you.News