Due to the pandemic, retailers have seen an almost two-fold increase in the amount of incoming payments and data to be analysed, meaning that the resources needed for administrative processes and business management have also increased. To help business owners cope with this new challenge, Citadele has created a next-generation business portal within its existing services which is particularly useful for small and medium businesses, allowing Citadele’s customers to see all their incoming payments, analyse their e-commerce or traditional retail data, and even issue automatically-generated online invoices, all in one place.
After analysing Citadele’s portfolio of business customers and comparing how incoming customer transactions have changed since 2020 and the start of this year, we recognized that the number of transactions received by business owners made with different payment types has increased significantly. Online card payments have increased by 51%, online bank payments have increased by 66%, transfers to businesses have grown by 18%, and activity is also returning to in-person POS terminals.
“The business portal is a tool available to Citadele customers—retailers—as part of the bank’s existing services without any additional cost. With the current main challenges for small and medium retailers in mind—the large amount of data and its analysis, issuing and tracing invoices—we developed a solution to make our customers’ lives easier. The business portal is a universal tool helping our customers to process and analyse transactions and make fast, data-based business decisions at any time, place and from any device,” explains Citadele Board Member Vladislavs Mironovs.
The number of invoices issued has increased
The portal is suitable for both in-person and online retailers, as it can be used to quickly obtain data on customer transactions both in report form and as separate transactions, as well as to compare results from different locations and periods. Based on the customer segment, users can generate a more in-depth analysis on their best business day or hour by analysing customer flow in retail locations.
“As online purchases increase, the number of returned products also increases, as well as, depending on the business model, the number of invoices to be issued. When developing the new functions of the portal, we had our eye on these thorns in our customers’ businesses. From customer surveys, we concluded that returns are a headache for e-commerce retailers, so we introduced a one-click solution. There are no similar products on the market. We also knew that issuing invoices placed a large burden on everyone, from accountants to management, so the Citadele Business Portal can automatically generate invoices and email them to customers. This then improves the customer experience, as the link in the invoice takes them straight to a payment form where they can avoid copying in their information,” adds Mironovs.
To improve the banking experience for small and medium businesses, those registered in Latvia can now also open a Citadele account remotely as of June. This takes an average of 20 minutes, and can be done at any time of the day or night without video calls or visiting a branch. To qualify for remote account opening, the business must be registered in Latvia, and a representative with sole signatory rights must use a qualified electronic signature for identification (SmartID QES, eParaksts eID and eParaksts mobile) to sign the application.