VIENNA, Austria - January 21, 2020 – Austria's entrepeneurs are increasingly relying on digital services – also when it comes to their day-to-day banking, as a recent BAWAG P.S.K. survey of 900 Austrian companies with annual revenues of up to € 50 million shows: 62% of entrepreneurs state that they want to conduct banking transactions digitally as often as possible, and only about one in ten does banking transactions exclusively analogously. BAWAG P.S.K. is therefore continuing to expand its digital business customer experience and has recently started to offer Austrian one-person companies the opportunity to open a business account in a purely digital way – without having to visit a bank branch. Following the successful completion of the new online application route for the "KontoBox XLarge Business", the new BAWAG P.S.K. business account can be accessed on the same day. David O'Leary, Member of the Managing Board of the BAWAG Group and Head of BAWAG P.S.K. Retail, explains: "Small ands medium-sized enterprises are among the most important players of the local economy. Our goal is to develop innovative yet simple and painless products for Austria's entrepreneurs which allow them to focus on growing their businesses. We are happy to launch another product innovation focusing on the needs of our SME customers with the fully digital application process for business accounts."
Survey: Digital banking affinity among domestic companies high
A look at the detailed results of the BAWAG P.S.K. survey also shows that the affinity for digital banking among Austrian SMEs is high: 62% of respondents stated that they prefer to conduct their banking business digitally, 24% decide this differently from case to case. Only 14% prefer only the bank branch. 7 out of 10 business customers visit a branch only once a month or less frequently. Respondents also stated that they use online banking for business purposes ten times a month on average. 63% of company owners even stated that they access online banking daily, 21% once a week. Only 7% of respondents said they never use online banking. When dealing with banks, a smooth and fast payment transactions (97%), a competitive range of accounts and transactions (92%) and modern online banking (also 92%) are most important to Austrian company owners. When it comes to individual advice, almost one in two business owners (45%) would like personal advice in the branch, 27% by telephone and 13% by e-mail. Only 7% want the consultant to come to the company.
Werner Rodax, Head of Private and Business Customer Sales at BAWAG P.S.K., explains: "Local entrepreneurs think innovatively and keep their fingers on the pulse of digitisation. As a bank, we want to be a strong partner for them and expand and improve our product range according to their needs." The online application process for business accounts is the second fully digital product BAWAG P.S.K. has launched for business customers in the past 7 months: In June, a fully digital SME product, the "BAWAG P.S.K. ExpressFinanzierung", was launched for financing growth and liquidity management.
Austria: One-person companies as an important economic player
The online application route for the "BAWAG P.S.K. KontoBox XLarge Business" currently applies to one-person companies that are not registered in the companies register. This applies to the majority of the 315,900 individual entrepreneurs in Austria. According to the membership figures of the Austrian Economic Chamber, 89.7% of one-person companies were not registered in the commercial register in 2019 (registered in the commercial register: 4.3%; organised as a limited liability company: 6%). The percentage of one-person companies is highest in the following specialist groups: "Personal counselling and personal care" (98.3%), "Direct sales" (93.2%), "Personal service providers" (85.5%) and "Professional photographers" (83.8%).
Account management for "BAWAG P.S.K. KontoBox XLarge Business" is free of charge for the first 3 months. The monthly fee of € 12.90 includes two account cards, two PayLife credit cards and all electronic transactions. This business account offers the advantages of modern, cashless payment transactions and includes all transactions up to 5,000 € per month in the account management.
The survey was conducted in Q3 2019 among 900 companies with a turnover of up to € 50 million.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)