A new Barclays online banking tool could give small business owners faster insight to critical company data, as the lender announces a collaboration with a number of third-party business app providers.
The “SmartBusiness Dashboard” will allow founders to import their everyday business data from external tools onto a single customisable dashboard on their banking app or web browser, rather than opening each tool individually.
To arm its half a million small business customers with the new capabilities, Barclays has collaborated with a range of app providers, such as Intuit Quickbooks and Office 365.
Using APIs (application programme interfaces) from each provider, the tools which allow access between applications and programs, business owners will be able to see all finances and business information, such as bookkeeping, sales analytics and staff data, side by side in a single web tab.
The collaboration between a high street lender with third-party providers is a first for the finance sector, and represents a greater use of technology to simplify business banking.
It also follows news of a further 54 Barclays branch closures, after the bank claimed it was responding to a shift in how customers wanted to bank.
Upon the launch of the new Barclays online banking tool, Ian Rand, CEO of Barclays Business Banking, said it would enable small business owners to streamline daily company operations.
“Busy business owners shouldn’t have to spend time sorting through different spreadsheets, reports or switching between apps. We’ve created a tool to give businesses time back – and this is an efficient way to run and grow their business,” Rand said in a statement.
The tool had already been piloted by Barclays, with one founder giving a positive testimonial.
“I’m able to see all my business data in one place, including accounting and website traffic alongside my bank information. It gives me a better picture of my business performance and help me to manage my cash flow more efficiently,” said James Gage, managing director of luxury tile supplier Natural Tile.
Rand added: “In giving businesses the choice to import their data and working closely with partners through the platform, we believe this is a game-changer and will boost competition.
“No other bank is offering this to businesses. Crucially, if you are a business owner this is a safe and easy way to access a range of data about your business, putting control firmly in the hands of businesses.”
Business Advice took an inside look at Barclays’ High Growth and Entrepreneurs proposition
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