Six months after our CEO, Rod Drury, shared his vision of the financial web onstage at Xerocon South, it continues to be true and lies at the very core of how we are supporting the small business economy here in the UK.
He foresaw, “Better decisions, better access to capital, better and more secure data - these are the promises of the financial web.”
We’re moving closer to this vision every day — more businesses are connecting to accountants, banks are driving adoption of direct bank feeds, driving adoption; them and, most recently, Xero has selected and integrated a number of business finance providers into the Xero Marketplace.
We believe Xero can help small businesses solve a number of issues, particularly cash flow, by giving them access to capital. The addition of DueCourse, MarketInvoice and iwoca integrations to the marketplace gives our customers access to a variety of financial services built for small business – from invoice financing to instant, flexible credit.
These finance integrations are a crucial step in our finweb vision, but there are a number of key elements that need to line up for the small business economy to truly reach its potential:
1. Make full use of financial data
In-product services like direct bank feeds create a vital connection between the business and the bank. This data sharing is the first critical step on the financial web journey, fostering an almost infinite number of ways the data can be used.
2. Use a trusted business adviser
What’s the use of all this information unless you know how to use it? Over 90% of Xero customers (and rising!) are now connected to an accounting professional. With data enabling better forecasting, reporting and analysis accountants are becoming the small business economy’s most trusted advisor, advising on key areas like when and how a capital injection may be appropriate and beneficial, and when it is not.
3. Meet the needs of small businesses
Small businesses move incredibly fast, and these days entrepreneurs expect that information is readily available, services are online and decisions are made fast, making sure capital is available how and when the business needs it. Xero and its finance partners services are built specifically with these things in mind.
4. Make the process beautiful
Only beautiful integrations make it into our Marketplace. The three new business finance providers all have integrations that are great-looking, fast, online and fully-automated. No more printing off documents or waiting days for manual review and approval, with Xero, the necessary data is already at the finance providers’ fingertips – decisions are instant.
As we draw closer to the completion of the financial web, small business owners will have greater access to the tools and services they need to not only grow, but thrive.