With Finance Minister Trevor Manuel having increased the VAT registration threshold for SME's from R300 000.00 to R1-million, the playing field is cleared for more entrants into the entrepreneurial business space.
Bearing this and other entrepreneurial innovations by government and private sector in recent years in mind, it has become vital that banks assist clients by simplifying their service offerings for SMEs.
FNB Commercial has overhauled its entire account and credit application process making it possible for SME's to apply for transactional products, business loans and credit cards online.
New business owners who are often restrained by cash and time can now save both by getting their accounts managed online. This is one of the ways in which FNB aims to empower entrepreneurs by saving them money and making banking convenient and inexpensive.
"This unique service will increase the speed at which new start up businesses can open accounts and therefore decrease the amount of time spent in queues at the branch. The aim is to make applying for a business account as easy as connecting to your computer at home," says Shaun Edmeston, head of virtual strategy at FNB Commercial Banking.
The new FNB Commercial online site has been launched, at the same time, a first-of-its-kind, virtual relationship manager who will assist businesses on-line to make the correct product choices.
With the development of the digital space growing at the rate it is currently doing, clients are becoming much more focused on saving time. FNB Commercial can add value by assisting them to use the facility in a clever way to continue adding value to their businesses. More people are doing business online instead of going into branches to save time and from a security point of view travelling is no longer required.
"On the completely new FNB Commercial banking website, aspiring entrepreneurs can now access information about the different options available to them via a virtual Relationship Manager" says Edmeston.
The virtual assistant will guide new and current clients through the different products explaining them in detail, and assisting clients to choose which solutions will be most appropriate for their needs.
Clients will still need to comply with FICA, but within 24 hours of submitting an application the business owner will have an account number without leaving the office, saving the business valuable time and money.