Step is a fast-growing marketplace for financial products for small and medium-sized businesses. The company’s mission is to provide a people-centric customer service to small and medium businesses and corporations as a one-stop shop that is based on the latest developments in digitalization to deliver excellence in every product/service and drive customer loyalty.
When people met Mr. Montagnani at our booth, they probably had a clear understanding of the Fintech landscape and the way it is changing and they were probably able to verify that SME banking is undergoing a deep change:
- 79 % of SMEs would change their payment provider if they found a cheaper solution
- 63 % of SMEs consider speed of settlement to be the most important issue (apart from cost)
- 74 % of SMEs in EMEA plan to expand into another country over the next five years
- Traditional credit scoring models are not sustainable to face SMEs needs during a risk adverse environment (e.g. Covid-19).
There’s a need for new answers and easy solutions to these issues, and that’s where STEP 4 Business outshines the competition by creating a very simple journey for SME customers and by also supporting Open Finance:
- First European platform to offer account aggregation for free to SMEs
- Invoice Aggregation – retrieve invoices from third-party providers, such as Quickbooks, etc.
- Financial Management – to facilitate cash flow management and forecasting; to provide SMEs with a holistic picture of their finances; and to provide business insights for a more personalized experience.
- Through third-party products integrated into the platform with a best-in-class user experience, SMEs can apply for instant loans, discount their invoices, manage international payments and FX transactions, collect payments from customers, request an ESG rating, and apply for subsidized loans, among other features.
Since the market launch in October 2021, more than 1,900 SMEs have chosen the STEP platform in two different markets: Italy (Azimut Marketplace by STEP) and Spain.
97% of SMEs have aggregated their accounts using CRIF Account Aggregation capabilities (AISP), in order to always keep their financial position under control. Moreover, they are using Strands’ Business Financial Manager (BFM) to generate predictive analytics, business insights, transactions categorization, potential liquidity issues, payables and receivables monitoring, along with others
This customer loyalty has led to a 23,4% cross-selling ratio of customers engaged with Amazon-like next-best-offer CRM engine, and a pipeline of more than 40 million euros loan and working capital operations already requested.
As a result of these outstanding KPI’s, STEP 4 business is consolidating its market share in their core market (Italy and Spain) and within the next year they will scale internationally in new countries such as Brazil.
“Strands and CRIF services were crucial for the success of the service; with several key success factors such as fast time to market, data enrichment, multinational coverage and a fast digital onboarding process”
Marco Montagnani, CEO and Co-Founder of STEP 4 Business, discusses key success factors for the integration of our solutions.