Financial muscle strengthens small business bodies

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Harry Ferreira – 

I am often amused when I hear large businesses talking about how they know small business and what it is like to run a small business.

There might be some parallels; however, there are some really big differences as well.

We are a bank, a big business and our role is not to try to be like a small business or say, ‘We understand you.’

Our role is to nurture and support small businesses and lend our resources to providing them with what they need to grow – advice, great service and innovative products that enhance the way they do business.

Starring role

Small businesses have the starring role, they are the life blood of this economy and bigger businesses should be using their size, scale and resources to understand what they need, and not pay lip service to ‘understanding them.’

I am proud to say that is something my team and I truly do look to achieve.

This year we have been awarded Canstar’s ‘New Zealand’s Best Small Business’ bank for the Sixth year in a row. As part of the awards process, I have been able to reflect on what we have been doing to continue to improve how we serve small business owners in New Zealand.

The award suggests that our efforts are continuing to pay off.

Our ambition for small businesses in New Zealand is to help nurture and support and only deliver solutions that will enhance the way we do business with our customers and they do business with their customers.

This in turn will create a different banking experience for our small business customers.

Beneficial initiatives

Over the last few years, we have introduced a number of pretty cool initiatives focused on helping New Zealand businesses be good with money.

We run ‘BNZ Connect’ events that help small businesses connect with one another.

Our Canstar award-winning suite of products such as ‘PayClip’ and our ‘Business First Credit Cards’ give our customers access to ground-breaking product development.

In the last year, we have expanded our business to better meet our customers’ needs, opening new centralised business hubs for small businesses in Hamilton and Christchurch.

Canstar highlighted our innovative products and services as one of the main reasons they see us at the forefront of small business banking in New Zealand.

This gives us the drive and motivation to keep making things better and to keep innovating.

Investment in Innovation

We invest heavily in innovation.

We have a team with the scope to think holistically about the customer experience both personally and commercially with a brief to think beyond banking.

Technology is playing an ever increasing part in providing customers with better access to business mangers when they need them and a better ability to transact when it suits them.

We also spend a lot of time away from our desks visiting our small business customers and listening to their ideas and plans for the future. This helps drive us to work with them to achieve their goals.

Through this approach, our offering has become about more than just banking.

We believe that this is our key difference, as this philosophy allows us to remove the perceptions around what a bank is and lets us think creatively about what a bank could be.

Harry Ferreira is Head of Small Business at BNZ.

BNZ is the Title Sponsor of the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards and ‘Supreme Business of the Year’ and ‘Best Large Business’ category. BNZ was also the Title Sponsor of the Sixth Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture held on July 25, 2016 at Pullman Hotel Auckland.

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Photo:

Harry Ferreira (left) Jose George General Manager, Canstar New Zealand

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