How ecosystems can help financial institutions win with small businesses

Small businesses form the base of many economies around the world; however, profitably serving them has been a challenge for many financial institutions. A new ecosystem approach may be the key to financial institutions untapping this vast market. Here are three strategic roles financial institutions could assume in moving toward an ecosystem approach:

  1. Participant – providing financial services to at-scale competitors from bases in other industries
  2. Orchestrator – becoming the (and ideally the only) provider of financial services within an existing ecosystem
  3. Builder – building new businesses within and across ecosystems

 For financial institutions that choose to compete with a beyond-banking ecosystem, partnership is only the first step. Orchestrating or building a successful ecosystem platform requires financial institutions to rethink their value proposition and develop an operating model that is different from their traditional business. When moving forward as an orchestrator or builder, here are five principles to consider:

  1. Focus on consumer’s biggest challenges
  2. Start with a minimum viable product and scale rapidly
  3. Make key IT-design choices early
  4. Think about monetization early
  5. Build a separate digital organization