The key for SMEs to recover and grow, is to remove the barriers that restrict high growth, low resource businesses from thriving. In this environment, where company owners are focused on responding to the daily challenges of rebuilding their business, any distractions are the enemy of growth.

Owners want to spend less time in the back office trying to understand their business and ensure as much of each day is spent with customers, especially as a growing proportion of consumers expect brands to demonstrate they know them on a personal level; personalisation matters more than ever, according to global consultancy McKinsey, which says 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions.

To do this, the engine of an SME’s business just needs to work. Payments need to be simple, banking needs to be quick, data and insight readily available. Businesses also have to respond to the accelerating shift from cash to digital payments, which makes trust an increasingly important factor for SMEs. Suppliers need to be trusted to process payments quickly without errors, while their systems need to be secure to maintain service levels; if your email goes down for a day, that is annoying, but if your banking or payments system is inoperable, the impact can be catastrophic.

Failure is simply not an option in a year that will secure the future of many SMEs; they will value reliability and service more than ever in the same way their customers do. Together, SMEs represent a global force for good that will underpin future economic growth and deliver post-pandemic prosperity to billions of people worldwide.

They just need the tools to deliver.