Scotiabank has become the first of the major Canadian banks to launch a fully online account opening process for SME’s.

According to Scotiabank, all small business owners across Canada can now open current and savings accounts in less than 20 minutes.

In July, Scotia became the first of the Canadian major lenders to offer mass market consumers the ability to open current and savings account openings digitally, in less than five minutes.

Laurent Mareschal, Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking at Scotiabank said:

“Our new online account opening experience for small business owners is easy to use, intuitive and fast. We engaged existing and potential customers throughout the design and build of this market-leading capability and are delighted with the outcome.

“We know that for small business owners, wherever they bank today, business is personal, and time is incredibly important. Rapid online account opening is another way that Scotiabank is committed to helping these important and primary drivers of the Canadian economy to bank whenever, and wherever they need to."

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Other recent Scotia digital banking initiatives include its partnership with Kabbage, announced in June. This enables existing customers to apply for and obtain small business loans in around seven minutes.

Last year, Scotia created a digital factory to serve as a place to develop different innovations and solutions aimed at improving the customer experience.

The bank also made a significant hire: Ignacio Deschamps, former chairman and CEO of BBVA Bancomer, to serve as a strategic advisor for global digital banking to Scotiabank CEO Brian Porter.

In March this year, Porter said: “In this day and age, it's impossible to separate our digital strategy from the bank's overall strategy. Digitising our customer interfaces, our distribution channels and our internal processes are all critical to delivering on our overall vision to provide a consistently excellent customer experience.”