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Opinion > Opinion

Cash costs time for SMEs — how can banks help?

David Thomasson, director of digital and payments at Metro Bank | 16:20 Thursday 6th February 2020

Cash is still king for businesses up and down the country; businesses that must essentially be flexible to consumer preferences.

Whether it’s for everyday purchases, like buying a morning newspaper or going to the cinema, most people still like to pay for the small things with cash, or at least like to have the option. But today, simply accessing and managing cash is a hurdle for consumers and businesses alike.

With bank branches closing, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for SMEs to manage their cash. Recent research from Metro Bank revealed that SMEs spend on average three working days every year withdrawing or depositing cash at the bank. Additionally, one in three SMEs travel to their local bank at least once a week. This is precious time that could be spent running and growing their business. 

There is also an important safety element involved in handling cash.

Clearly, there are steps to be taken to better support the UK SMEs that rely on notes and coins and reduce the hassle that comes with managing it. Banks have an important part to play in making it safe and convenient for businesses to hold cash, ensuring cash transactions remain a viable option for consumers.

Our new MCash service, launched in December and now available in more than 60 of our stores, employs the latest technology to support SMEs that need to deposit and withdraw cash. When SME owners can’t get to a store to handle a transaction, MCash enables SMEs to order cash pick-up and drop-off services to their premises, saving them time and effort.

MCash promises to give SMEs back vital time to spend running and growing their businesses. Managed through Metro Bank’s mobile app, business customers can log on and select a day for a cash pick-up and/or drop-off from as close as 24 hours away, and up to a week in advance.

This is a prime example of harnessing game-changing digital services to help solve physical problems, enhancing the overall customer experience and helping to give our SME customers a competitive edge.

To support the UK’s SMEs, it’s crucial we find innovative solutions that bring what big businesses have to small businesses, so that size is no longer a barrier to ambition. Finding a solution to cash management is a core component in our mission to inject much-needed competition into the small business banking market.

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