Phoenix Synergistics: Refining Small Business Checking Programs

Dec 2018 | Acquisition and Retention | Essential Features; Packages | Online and Mobile Solutions

Survey Topics

  • Checking Usage
  • Acquisition and Retention
  • Packages
  • Rewards
  • Business Debit Cards
  • Online and Mobile Account Management


National Internet Survey – The survey will include 600 online interviews with owners and executives of small businesses with annual sales of $50K to $5M. Industry categories include manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services.


  • Profile checking account activity and behavior among small businesses. Measure multiple checking account usage. Determine if there is a segment of small businesses not using checking that can be converted.
  • Evaluate the features or benefits – in terms of both products and providers – that have been important to small businesses in selecting a checking account. Examine the factors or criteria that have driven recent account openings and closings.
  • Examine the experience of small businesses with strategies and tactics for expanding relationships. Measure experience with relationship pricing and checking packages. Assess the effectiveness of onboarding and other cross-selling efforts.
  • Profile online checking account activity among small businesses in terms of types of activities, frequency, and devices used. Assess the impact of innovations such as remote deposit, various mobile banking apps, and ‘e accounts’.
  • Evaluate the usage of different channels by small businesses when applying for checking accounts. Examine the usage of multiple channels and reasons for doing so. Measure the extent of abandoned online applications and the factors impacting this behavior.
  • Assess loyalty to the main small business checking account provider with satisfaction and NPS measures. Measure the potential for obtaining other accounts and services from the main checking provider.
  • Segment the small business market to match customers with the most appropriate checking product or features.  Determine which variables and identifiers – sales volume, type of industry, number of employees, or other measures  –  might be most effective for segmentation.

Key Dates

  • September 21, 2018 – Final acceptance of client comments on the questionnaire.
  • September 21, 2018 – Charter fee date.
  • November 2018– Initial results available.
  • December 2018 – Project Report available.

Contact Mark Sutin at or 609-261-6332 to learn more about individual pricing and our discounted subscription offerings.

Small business checking accounts are the foundation of small business relationships and represent a key source of deposits.  They also provide a launching point for multiple service usage through onboarding and cross-selling.  Many strategies and tactics can be used to attract and retain small business checking relationships such as packages, relationship pricing, rewards, and incentives.  Do reward programs enhance and add value to the small business checking account product?

Business debit cards, although increasing in usage, have yet to achieve the level of success debit cards have had among consumers. Would the addition of reward programs lead to increased usage of business debit cards? Another service increasing in usage among small businesses is remote deposit. This service not only adds value to the business checking account but is a potential source of revenue.

Online account access and management via PC has become a core service, and mobile applications are growing in importance in this market. Are there new features, apps or incentives that can enhance and broaden usage of online and mobile checking account access among small businesses while reducing branch traffic? How important to online and mobile programs are fraud monitoring, digital payments, and options for managing cash flow for small businesses? What is the potential among small businesses for obtaining a checking account from a non-bank organization? Phoenix Synergistics survey will examine the market for small business checking and assist providers in developing and optimizing their small business checking programs.

Key Finding from a Recent Report:

Findings in a 2016 Phoenix Synergistics survey revealed that small businesses consider a PC to be the most important method of accessing a checking account online.  Only small numbers mention mobile phones or tablets as most important.

Has usage of mobile phones and tablets for accessing small business checking accounts increased in the past two years?


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