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Data Snack: SMB owners are turning to emerging technologies – can banks keep up?

  • Times are changing, and SMB owners seem more than privy to that.
  • When it comes to emerging technologies they deem most important, the metaverse, augmented reality, and crypto all made the cut.

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Data Snack: SMB owners are turning to emerging technologies – can banks keep up?

Bank of America's Small Business Owner Report for 2022 surveyed SMB owners' perspectives for the years to come, including challenges, opportunities, and the ever-changing landscape of technology that affects them as entrepreneurs. 

When it comes to emerging technologies, small business owners may be taking quite the futuristic view of things.

57% deemed cybersecurity among the most important technologies, and almost 40% saw automation as most important. Moreover, there seems to be a fair share of business owners unafraid of entering sci-fi territory in their predictions, with around 20% rating either virtual/augmented reality or the metaverse among the most important emerging technologies.

Small business owners aren’t shying away from crypto either, it seems, with over a quarter of respondents including cryptocurrency in their lists.

Zooming out a bit, SMBs have been digitizing their services for over a year now, and their look towards the future may be testimony to the fact that, as a whole, they’re not terrified of change where needed. For example, while today only 17% of small business owners say they prioritize digital sales, 44% expect to do so in the next decade.

For incumbents, the main takeaway may be that they need to keep up with small business owners' views towards the future. That could mean offering more digital-first solutions that fit entrepreneurs’ financial needs – whether it’s accepting P2P payments like Citi did, or opening a digital resource center for small businesses like Bank of America did.

"Our report found that business owners are exploring emerging technologies like cybersecurity solutions, 5G, automation and virtual reality, and as a result, financial institutions are doing the same. Through conversations with our clients, we’re listening to their needs and shifting priorities based on how we can best support their businesses," said Rob Pascal, chief experience officer, business at Bank of America.

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