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BNP Paribas Taps OneUp For SMB Banking Digitization

BNP Paribas is teaming up with one of the FinTechs of its incubator program to digitize and modernize small business banking.

Reports in Forbes on Thursday (July 11) said BNP Paribas’ collaboration with accounting software firm OneUp will enable the financial institution to migrate small business banking offerings to the cloud without organically overhauling its existing suite of products and services. OneUp participated in the bank’s 2017 incubator program, reports noted.

In an interview with Forbes, OneUp founder and CEO Francois Nadal said the FinTech’s business model also came with its own set of challenges that makes collaborating with BNP Paribas a win-win.

“Because we already sell our smart accounting application as a software-as-a-service directly to small businesses, the unusual long sales and implementation cycle was challenging for us, requiring a dedicated go-to-market team,” he said. “However, the close collaboration with the BNP Paribas team provided us the opportunity to understand where [they] were in their digital transformation cycle and fully customize our offering to their needs, which were key to the successful launch of the service this year and hopefully will open up more partnerships with other large banks.”

In another comment, Celine Ansquer, BNP Paribas marketing director of BNP Paribas’ retail banking operation in France, said the bank’s research in small businesses’ biggest financial management pain points revealed the need for automative administrative tasks.

“Customers also needed advice and tools to facilitate their business and their relationship with their accountant,” Ansquer said. “Finally, we were looking for innovative solutions to help manage their accounting and financials, particularly a BFM [Business, Finance, Management] software solution.”

OneUp offers an artificial intelligence-powered accounting and financial management solution to support cash flow analysis and forecasting, another factor behind BNP Paribas’ decision to collaborate with the FinTech.

Last year BNP Paribas announced the launch of a small business debt fund in the U.K., the BNP Paribas U.K. Debt Fund 1, to facilitate senior loans to SMBs in the market.

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