Article written by Herman de Kock (Nedbank Business Banking Executive Head, Business Banking Sales and Service)
The Coronavirus has forced businesses into rethinking its role to continue supporting clients during Covid-19 with greater emphasis on empathy and understanding of current financing challenges and staying connected to clients through innovative solutions.
This pandemic of enormous proportions calls on us as money experts, determined to do good, to cast an eye beyond the plethora of relief measures provided to help businesses survive through a variety of approaches. Acknowledging the huge uncertainty, nobody knows for sure how it would eventually pan out. However, what we do know from what we have experienced is that we have to provide solutions geared towards ensuring we help clients maintain a view on the bigger picture.
Undoubtedly, support to clients during the Covid 19 pandemic is a priority, as this ensures their survival through the biggest crisis to face the world since the 2008 subprime housing disaster. At Nedbank Business Banking we have more than anecdotal evidence to shows that several businesses are faced with the risk of not being able to meet monthly repayments of contractual loans, short-term cashflow pressure and delayed debtor payments. Client testimonials talk about the support they get from their bank without which their ability to survive would have been impossible.
We know that success in business is often about strong partnerships. Through our bigger-picture approach, we immerse ourselves in your business and your industry so that we can become an extension of your management team, with a full understanding of your business requirements. Thus, our primary focus is to ensure undisrupted service to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and help every aspect of your business. Therefore, it is a given that your business manager will helpreview the impact on your cashflow and come up with a recommended set of financing alternatives.
This review will consider a range of short-term working capital solutions and flexible repayment options that can alleviate cashflow pressure. In addition, we would also consider financial structures to help meet contractual obligations, as well as the option of deferring loan payments (eg through payment holidays) and restructuring loan agreements. We have also secured an agreement with the South African Reserve Bank and National Treasury covering the Covid19 SME Loan Scheme, which offers financial assistance through a government-backed guarantee mechanism
The lockdown has also highlighted the significance of providing digital solutions for clients, so included in our transactional banking package is a range of remote, digital and mobile payment solutions ensuring that your business can continue to operate effectively. This includes e-commerce solutions to assist business with online payment capabilities, as well as a dynamic offering that allows clients to obtain a deep understanding of their respective customers’ buying patterns and other valuable local market information. Nedbank Business Banking makes customer convenience, ease of transacting and peace of mind a reality through solutions such as Nedbank Enterprise– a payment solution for the digital era that is fully integrated into your business’s website without having to redirect your customer to another site to make payment.
Nedbank’s latest innovation, Avo, is keenly positioned as a super app, enabling consumers and businesses to do life and business differently. The vision for the platform is to address the daily needs of a wide target market – facilitating and enabling financial inclusion. What we have learnt during the lockdown, is that Avo serves as a key platform to assist businesses to resuscitate their cashflow in these trying times.
Offering something for everyone, Avo’s bold statement is to serve the African continent, with the first release being enabling the home ecosystem within a South African context, by delivering relevant and effective customer experiences to help South Africans find solutions to home needs. The highly curated unique selling points of Avo allow consumers and businesses alike to transact securely within a single platform for their daily needs. Whether requiring home services, shopping online for groceries, take-aways, great tech deals, the next family holiday, or searching for entertainment options or security solutions, Avo offers this and much more.
The platform is available to customers through an app either on iOS, Android or PWA (Progressive Web Application). This enables customers to place orders from the catalogue seamlessly. As a merchant banking with Nedbank, you can get access to this ‘new normal’. The Avo platform can be downloaded via the Nedbank Money App.
For the foreseeable future social distancing will be a dominant theme. But this does not have to be at the expense of customer connectivity and trade. Nedbank Business Banking has a suite of e-commerce, QR code acceptance for instore and online purchase solutions and specialist expertise in agriculture, franchising, BBBEE, leverage finance, public sector and domestic and global transactional solutions available that can help your business to trade effectively in the ‘new normal’.