After running a small(ish) business for nearly 30 years, we have plenty of first-hand experience on the pros and cons of SMB financial management software (see Note 1 for the products we've used). As much as we would love a single, consolidated dashboard (and would pay for it), there just haven't been good, easy-to-use options. But in the past 5 years, SMB financial tools have exploded. And while that's ultimately good for small business owners, it creates its own headaches as they try to navigate the pros and cons of various new solutions.
And I know as well as anyone that business owners really don't care what financial tools they use, or even how much they cost. They just want banking and financial headaches to go away.
So the goal of our SMB center is to help small business owners discover and purchase digital financial services. We divided the products into five areas:
- Banking: We are tracking 12 challenger/neo-banks focused on U.S. small businesses. In addition, there are 3 new entrants currently building a waitlist.
- Lending: Our largest category tracks 33 digital alt-lenders predominantly lending to small-and-medium U.S. businesses.
- Cards: Currently, 16 startups offer charge cards (or credit cards) and business expense management services in the United States.
- Payment Processing: We are following payment specialists divided into 3 categories:
– 21 billpay/invoicing specialists
– 7 card payment processors
– 7 subscription payment & management providers
- Accounting/Bookkeeping: Our newest category tracks 21 digital accounting/bookkeeping service providers
Each category lists the digital challengers along with metrics that signal their success. Since size is an obvious leading indicator, we've assigned the companies a score, Fintech Attention Barometer (FAB), that is a proxy of their size using publically available info (funding, website traffic, number of employees, and so on).
Geographically, we are initially focused only on companies serving U.S. small businesses. But we'll move into other markets as resources become available.
About Fintech Labs: Launched as a financial services UX consultancy in 2001, Fintech Labs serves small business owners with its guide to digital financial services and fintech. The company continues to serve the broader fintech community with consulting services along with a comprehensive calendar of fintech events, along with a list of fintech unicorns updated daily. For more information contact the founders Chris Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Bruene (email@example.com).
1. Products used since our 1995 launch: Microsoft Money (the defunct PFM software from the early 1990s); Mint (after Money was scuttled); QuickBooks (after we incorporated); WaMu/Chase online banking; US Bank online banking and credit line; Citibank/Bank of America/Capital One/American Express business credit cards; Authorize.net; Coinbase (when a client insisted on paying us in bitcoin); American Express merchant processing; Eventbrite ticketing; and a PEO which managed our payroll, benefits and 401(k).
2. How Fintech Labs makes money: While we strive to maintain unbiased writing, we do make a living through referrals to the fintech companies showcased on our website. So please realize that the placement of a companies information on our site can be influenced by referrals provided (just like Google shows paid advertisers at the top of its search results).