Community Banks Are Missing Out on Small Business Revenue Opportunities: Report

New research from Apiture and Aite-Novarica Group details how community financial institutions must innovate to win small business customers

WILMINGTON, N.C. // November 29, 2022 – Apiture, a leading provider of digital banking solutions, today announced the findings of the company’s joint report with Aite-Novarica Group, How Community Financial Institutions Can Make Money From Business Clients, revealing that community banks and credit unions are missing out on significant small business revenue opportunities. The survey of more than 1,000 small businesses in the U.S. found that while less than 15% of small firms bank primarily with a small institution, 60% would be likely to bank with a local community or small institution if it offered capabilities and online banking experiences comparable to those of large banks.

The survey found most small businesses do not pay for banking products and services because their financial institutions don’t charge them: 20% of businesses considering a small bank (with less than $10 billion in assets) to be their primary financial institution pay nothing at all for non-interest-bearing banking services, compared to only 7% of those banking with the “big four banks” (Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo). However, the report finds that small businesses will pay for the right capabilities and experiences—especially those that save them time, increase convenience, and improve overall efficiency.

“Community financial institutions must change their mindsets and evolve their strategies and offerings to better align with the needs of the small business market,” said report author Christine Barry, Head of Banking & Payments, Insights & Advisory, Aite-Novarica Group. “Selecting the right digital banking technology provider with an open and modern platform is central to success in this field.”

“Community and regional financial institutions have much to gain from the small business market,” said Apiture CEO Chris Babcock. “By offering a more modern digital experience with a full range of business banking capabilities, smaller banks and credit unions can attract more small businesses and benefit from the revenue opportunities this segment offers.”

Apiture’s report details four key recommendations for how community financial institutions can position themselves for success with small business customers:

  • Deliver a more modern and connected banking experience: 66% of small businesses are either challenged or somewhat challenged by non-seamless banking platforms.
  • Invest in analytics and higher levels of personalization: 48% of small businesses state a personalized experience is very important or required to keep their business.
  • Offer more robust functionalities/capabilities: 64% of small businesses are challenged or somewhat challenged by their primary financial institution not offering the digital capabilities their business needs.
  • Partner with fintech companies: Less than half (41%) of small bank customers view their banks as innovative.

The report is free to download here.

Apiture will also host a webinar on December 7 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET to discuss findings from the report and key strategies for community financial institutions to better deliver the value small businesses customers desire and are willing to pay for.


This paper is based primarily on the results of a Q3 2021 Aite-Novarica Group online survey of 1,004 U.S.-based small businesses. For the purposes of this paper, “small businesses” are defined as those businesses generating between US$100,000 and US$20 million in annual revenue. While this revenue range extends beyond how some banks may define the segment, the group as a whole represents a large opportunity for banks. Businesses generating less than US$100,000 in annual revenue have intentionally been left out, as their actions most likely mirror those of consumers. A survey of this size offers a 3-point margin of error at a 95% confidence level; statistical tests of significance among differences were conducted at either the 95% or 90% level of confidence, depending on sample size.

About Apiture

Apiture delivers award-winning digital banking solutions to banks and credit unions throughout the United States. Our flexible, highly configurable solutions meet a wide range of financial institutions’ needs, from leveling the playing field with larger banks to enabling unique, digital-only brands. Through our API-first strategy, our clients can maximize the capabilities of their platform while preserving a seamless user experience. Our exclusive focus on digital banking means we’re dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that meet the unique needs of our clients while providing a level of support that’s unmatched in the industry. Apiture is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, with offices in Austin, Texas. To learn more, visit

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Heather Valle
Caliber Corporate Advisers


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