St.George shows its support for small businesses by launching "Business Hub", a one of a kind program dedicated to growing Australia’s innovation.
The St.George Business Hub is a free, fully serviced office space provided to small businesses, launched in conjunction with their initiative to better support Australian entrepreneurs.
“I’m extremely excited to announce the launch of St.George Business Hub, which is a fantastic office space we’ve created for any small business to use while they get their business up and running,” says St.George CEO, George Franzis.
“The St.George-funded work space in Chatswood will be the first in a series of Business Hubs we’ll be opening around the country, to help our business customers get a head start.”
What is the Business Hub?
- A St.George funded office space available for its business customers to use at no cost, which is expected to be heavily used by start-ups. The first centre was opened in Chatswood, Sydney, where St.George intends to leverage its business relationships by receiving feedback for the hub. This set-up is expected to hold up 30 businesses at one time.
- There are lockers are available for individual businesses to store their files and belongings whenever they’re not in the office. Flexible usage means you can use the Business Hub from one day, up to a few weeks.
- A Business Connect room is set up with video conferences to a St.George business banking expert. They can advise on business finance, cash flow strategies and payments.
- An open office layout with the ability to bring your own laptop, the hub is also set up with computers, internet, printing and photocopying facilities, as well as telephones, a meeting room and a communal kitchen.
- The employment of 50 new bankers to help support St.George’s commitment to small businesses. These new bankers are also to be involved with St.George new ‘Business Connect’, an initiative that is to be launched soon.
- An additional $2 billion allocated to lending for small businesses.
- Further Business Hubs are expected to be open within 2014, across Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
As part of the Business Hub rollout, St.George is also launching a new servicing model called Business Connect. This makes it easier for small business customers to do their banking. St.George knows that funding is an important issue for small businesses, and St.George would like to show their commitment by showing entrepreneurs that they are dedicated to support their investment and growth objectives.
How does Business Connect work?
You can book an appointment with your St.George business consultant at a time and place that suits you. You can even choose your appointment type, so you get the right specialist.
Each appointment goes for 45 minutes, and includes the following:
- Equipment finance and leasing - finance options for equipment, plant or vehicle purchases.
- Overdrafts and business lending - an opportunity to talk about cash flows and finance options.
- Merchant, EFTPOS and payment solutions - discuss online banking solutions as well as making your payables and receivables more efficient.
- Insurance and superannuation - a service for wealth creation, insurance and superannuation.
- General enquiries - discuss St.George products and any other topics that are not above.
A full time reception and support person is also available to help facilitate external guests to connect through Business Connect.
You don’t necessarily need to be a St.George customer to benefit from the services of a Business Hub. To use these services, please get in touch with your local St.George branch.
Smartwatch banking with Samsung Gear2
Along with the Business Hub and Business Connect, St.George has also launched its application for the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, where customers can view their balance on the go and get directions to the closest ATM.
Available in the Google Play store, the app allows customers to receive SMS alerts, emails and view their transactions, at the palm of their hand.
“Within our own customer base, we’re seeing the popularity of Android devices continue to increase so it makes absolute sense for us to deliver more capability for customers using this platform,” says Travis Tyler, Head of Mobile at St.George.
“In fact, St.George customers are now just as likely to own an Android device as they are an iPhone,” he said.
But there is something for iPhone users too, with St.George introducing ‘Touch ID’, a fingerprint sensor that will add an extra layer of security for customers who regularly use their iPhone to bank to on the go with the St.George app.
“We have seen a 350 percent increase in the number of customers doing their banking on mobile devices since we launched our app in 2009, that’s why the launch of Touch ID for mobile banking is such an important advancement for mobile banking and for the industry more broadly,” says St.George CIO, Dhiren Kulkarni.The feature will only be available for devices that support fingerprint screening, and will be readily available when Apple’s IOS8 is launched.
A version for the Samsung Galaxy S5 is to be created within the coming months. If you would like to have more than one person’s fingerprint registered, St.George recommends that this feature is not used for security reasons.
Business banking technology
The most financially-savvy businesses take advantage of the technology their bank provides. Find out how your business can stay competitive by utilising business banking technology.
Banks have taken the initiative of providing businesses, whether big or small, with the resources to stay informed. With expert insights on the market, financial reports and guides on how to start or maintain your business, this could be the handbook for the typical entrepreneur.
You can also take advantage of the services of a business banking specialist. They can help you with every aspect of your business finances: from managing your cash flow, consolidating your banking, and help you apply for the products you need.
What are some of the other resources out there?
- Business reports - Keep updated with the latest market information through business reports. You will find that most banks provide daily market reports, audio and video reports from a range of experts, as well as analyst research and company profiles.
- Banking apps - Now, more than ever, business owners need to bank on the go. This is when a banking app is most convenient, as you can check your account balance, transfer funds, pay bills and schedule any payments for bills.
- Selectors - Selectors can help you choose the right product for your business, from transaction accounts, credit cards or types of finance.
- Calculators - These can include foreign exchange calculators, which are particularly useful if you conduct business overseas. Another example is an equipment finance calculator to help you find out what your repayments would be to buy that new machinery.
- Business toolkits - No matter what stage your business is at, you can find resources to help you for every step. From business plans, financial plans and a start-up checklist, you can check if you’re on the right track with these plans.
As the banking landscape changes, it’s important for banks to keep up and understand the added value that technology brings to individuals and businesses. From high-value invoices all the way down to every single expense, all assets and liabilities need to be accounted for. By having an advanced system integrated, businesses can now easily manage their cash and process invoices efficiency.