Following in the footsteps of such successful fintech companies as Germany-based N26, HSBC Kinetic, a banking app for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is creating waves in the UK. The app enables SMEs to create accounts and make a host of online transactions including direct debits and future payments. Customers can also order physical debit and credit cards online.
Available for iOS and Android, HSBC Kinetic has been developed on the back of information provided by more than 3000 business owners. According to HSBC’s research, only 31 percent of UK’s SMEs are confident about being able to stay on top of their finances, with 40 percent claiming that they have trouble managing them.
HSBC Kinetic has been designed to help SMEs stay on top of their finances through features such as automated spending overviews, monthly breakdowns of cash flow and in-app customer service. The app also offers a range of in-app banking products, such as access to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. According to HSBC’s head of small business banking, Peter McIntyre, this feature “has proven invaluable during the economic downturn – giving SMEs quick and easy access to the short-term liquidity needed to help tide them over.”
Already used by some 5,000 businesses, including retailers and technology companies, HSBC Kinetic is built on the back of Google Cloud, which has enabled HSBC to use its infrastructure to continually scale-up and update the app’s services. Through the use of application programming interface, HSBC Kinetic can also be integrated with other banking platforms and software providers, such as QuickBooks and Xero.
The new app forms a part of HSBC’s strategy to digitalise its services for a better user experience. “Since the launch of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme in May 2020, HSBC’s UK commercial bank has approved over £7 billion in loans – all through our existing digital banking platforms. This scale of lending would not have been possible were it not for HSBC’s ongoing and concerted investment into developing cutting-edge digital banking platforms, such as Kinetic,” says Nadya Hijazi, HSBC’s global head of digital business banking channels.
According to experts from fitformoney.de, finance apps such as N26 and HSBC Kinetic have only grown in popularity since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of last year. “More small and medium sized businesses are choosing digital banking platforms to manage their finances and virtual assistance to seek support. Whether it’s due to social distancing measures or the need for convenience, the days of going into branches, or even making phone calls to customer service centers, are well and truly over.”
Hijazi says that HSBC Kinetic has been inspired by both UK and international players. “We want the same can-do attitude as start-ups. We don’t want to get bogged down in the traditional bank way. That way, we can move at pace – which is where the challengers come from,” she says, adding that the app was also inspired by activities in the Asia-Pacific.
“They’re pushing boundaries there too.”