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Celent Small Business Banking Report Quotes Phase 5 Research

In May 2023, Celent published its report, "Become a Challenger in Small Business Banking: Embedding Fintech". In this report, author Alenka Grealish shares a formula for financial institutions to "move from being challenged to being challengers" in the world of small business banking. A key element of this formula is to harness the power of data in a way that empowers employees to be better advisors, and enables customers to take meaningful action. Grealish goes on to say,

"Becoming a challenger in small business banking requires financial institutions (FIs) to move away from delivering “nouns,” that is, products to enabling “verbs,” that is, action on the part of customers."

Her comprehensive report is based on findings from various research, including Phase 5's 2023 Small Business Banking Study. In one example, she quotes insights from our study to illustrate the threat and opportunity for FIs that serve small businesses.

"Motivation to become a challenger comes from threat and opportunity. Both are clear and present:  an estimated revenue pool of $120 billion that is growing and restless customer base. According to survey findings by Phase 5, 8% of U.S. small business stated that is very likely they will move away from using their current primary FI in the next year or two. 8% translates into a large number up for grabs: around 2.8 million."

In another example, Phase 5 insights support her point that SMBs are "in dire need of data analytics and workflow efficiency tools", and "FIs can deliver on the powerful equation of data plus insights by harnessing internal and external data" to better support their small business customers. More specifically, Grealish leverages Phase 5 data to demonstrate the following: 

"Small business recognize the importance of cash flow monitoring:  71% of small business replied very important to critically important to the question 'how important is forecasting cash balances in the short term, one month or less'.

The good news for banks is that small businesses would look to their FI for cash flow forecasting tools. 26% ranked their FI as their number one choice 'to get better at forecasting cash balances' compared to fintechs and accounting software providers which were ranked number one by 12% and 21%, respectively."

Phase 5 is proud to have been a contributor to this important paper. Contact us to further discuss findings from our 2023 Small Business Banking Study, or to request a custom report for your organization.


Author Alenka Grealish is Principal Analyst, Financial Services at Celent, and has published several data-driven reports about small business banking, including "Fintech vs. Banks: Who Will Win in Small Business Banking? Both, Together." Celent is a leading research and advisory firm focused on technology for financial institutions. 

Written by Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen, MBA, is the President of Phase 5 US and the leader of the firm's Data Analytics practice. With almost 2 decades of experience in client-side marketing strategy, market research, and product management, Steve brings a client’s mindset and drive for actionable results to each project. He has extensive experience in capturing the view “from the outside” with a special focus on product and service innovation. Steve is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.