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Santander SME platform harnesses Salesforce

Bank platform that helps UK small and medium-sized enterprises expand export opportunities is built on cloud technology from Salesforce

Santander UK is using technology from Salesforce to offer its UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers advice on growing their export businesses, through a cloud-based service.

The UK arm of Spain’s Santander launched its Santander Navigator digital platform last year to help fill a gap in the market where, according to the bank’s research, few UK SMEs export.

According to Santander UK, the online system “brings together an international ecosystem of expertise and knowledge to help businesses overcome trade-related obstacles and to understand the various attributes of doing business in a new market”.

The platform, which SME customers can subscribe to, offers them personalised services through Salesforce technologies including Experience Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

Santander’s Autumn 2022 Trade Barometer found that despite the current economic conditions, 70% of UK businesses are confident about growth over the next three years, citing growth in new and existing markets as drivers of recovery. But it also found that less than 10% of UK businesses export their services.

Santander Navigator has been designed to help small and mid-sized UK businesses navigate international expansion opportunities,” said Santander.

John Carroll, head of international and transactional banking at Santander UK, said businesses that export are growing faster than companies focused on the UK market. “We want to enable more businesses to benefit from opportunities to expand overseas and encourage new ones to start their international journey by removing barriers and making the process easier,” he said.

“We have developed a platform that is genuinely different and helps companies to grow while they save time and money.”

The Santander platform uses automation, intelligence and real-time data to offer tailored customer support.

This is another example of the bank using its tech expertise and relationships with IT suppliers to support its business customers. Last year, the bank announced that it was working with Google Cloud to develop a service to help businesses across industry sectors migrate legacy systems to the cloud.

Dual Run, as it is known, is a service from Google built on top of Santander technology, known as Gravity. The Spanish bank is itself currently using the service as it migrates systems to the cloud as part of its digital transformation. In May 2022, it revealed it was aiming to have 100% of its infrastructure cloud-based. At the time, it said it had been moving 200 servers to the cloud every working day.

According to Santander, the move to cloud will “allow easier and faster access to data, more simplicity and faster time to market, making it possible to deliver new capabilities in hours, instead of days, and more frequent app updates”.

It said the bank would also be able to use real-time analytics to provide better products and services, while the high cost of running the core banking platform system would be reduced, including a 70% cut in energy costs.

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