Interview With Adi Engel, CMO at Small Business Management Platform vcita

A small business management platform, vcita helps small teams and microbusiness entrepreneurs go digital and punch above their weight.

The platform makes it easy for small businesses in the service sector to undergo digital transformation, even if they are just managing a tiny staff. It delivers advanced automation and analytics, including features like online payment processing, appointment scheduling and reminders, tools for marketing and relationship management, automated processing for estimates, involves, receipts, and payment reminders.

In addition to the SME-facing platform, vcita regularly partners with financial institutions to offer custom digital solutions to partners’ small business customers. Founded in 2010, vcita is headquartered in Seattle, USA, with another office in Tel Aviv, Israel and additional employees working remotely around the world.

What Problems Does Vcita Solve, And For Whom?

vcita is a small business-focused technology, designed to empower small business owners with digital transformation. Our platform is accessed through a mobile app, so we do aim to be user-friendly and want to deliver the great user experiences.


Do You See Small Businesses And Microbusinesses As A Largely Tech Savvy Set, When Compared To Enterprises?

At the core of the tech savvy-ness question is, in my mind, what is the standard of user experience we are holding ourselves to as tech vendors, as the world has gone completely digital and has been for a long while now.

We don’t generally consider someone who is using a mobile app as particularly tech savvy, and we’re designing a mobile app for small businesses, so we need to hold ourselves to that usability standard. If anything, enterprise users have been great user experiences for way too long.

How Can The Tech And Finance Ecosystems Facilitate The Next Stage Of Digital Transformation For Small Businesses?

I think many are focusing on payment facilitation for a very good reason; it’s at the very bottom of any business’s “pyramid” of needs, if you are not paid for your services then you are in fact not a business. But I would argue there is another need that is just as prevalent, which is managing your clients and your clients’ engagement, as similarly, having clients is what defines a business.

We believe the next generation of fintech solutions will need to put the payment in the business context: what was this payment just made for, by whom, what does is entitle them to get, how does this record of a payment allow me to predict my business needs for staffing, inventory, cash flow and, in case I need to, apply for financing.

When it comes to financing in particular, I feel like there is great mistrust, on both sides, that results in banks missing out on opportunities to develop a better relationship with entrepreneurs as well as entrepreneurs missing out on a chance to realise their vision much faster.

We saw that during the pandemic, where banks weren’t keen to approve financing to businesses, as the segment represented a greater risk. That is a prudent view, but possibly a short-sighted one, as this segment is also the most agile, creative and resilient of business segments and most of all, these entrepreneurs are needed in their communities.

Individual businesses may close, but the people who started them, whether they are restourantures, personal trainers or the neighbourhood dog walker, the need for their skillset is constant. I believe those who stuck by them as people and professionals and supported them through temporary setbacks to their career will be rewarded in the long term.

Much Has Been Written About The Complex Relationship Between Traditional Financial Institutions And Fintechs. Where Do You See This Relationship Going In 2022?

It seems to me that what’s stopping the ecosystem from moving forward is not so much the appetite for greater collaboration (I believe that there is great appetite), but business models that both sides feel comfortable with.

We are trying to marry up an industry that is largely based on interest rates and transaction fees to an industry that is largely based on subscriptions and monthly fees, and I believe the hybrid models that are coming through these days are going to greatly boost rollouts of partnerships very quickly.