Tyro will provide up to 10 grants of $25,000 each to Australian businesses with the best ideas on how they plan to be more efficient and competitive in order to grow.

Tyro CEO Jost Stollmann said inefficiency and access to capital were the biggest impediments to SME growth.

“Our research tells us that inefficient business banking processes cost SMEs on average $7,800 per year or almost $7 billion nationally,” he said.

“With the Smart Growth Grant Program, Tyro intends to do two things: crowd source ideas we can share with the business community to help close the efficiency gap, and provide funding for up to 10 businesses to help them kick-start their next phase of growth.”

The grants program was announced at the inaugural Tyro nextGen Business Banking Summit, which brought business software and service providers together with fintech start-ups to discuss the efficiency benefits of frictionless mobile banking technology.

At the summit, Stollmann revealed his vision for nextGen banking: cloud-based, totally integrated and mobile banking that encompasses EFTPOS, payments and cashflow-based unsecured growth funding which was “something SMEs have been crying out for”.

“Along with efficiency, swift access to working capital is the most important driver of competitive growth for Australian SMEs,” he said.

“Ensuring these businesses have access to cashflow-based lending and efficient solutions that allow them to invest, innovate and grow, is absolutely critical to sustain the engine room of the Australian economy.”

Last month, Tyro published the Tyro SME Banking Report which revealed the extent to which banking inefficiency is hurting SMEs, with 44 percent of businesses being robbed of 19.5 days per year (the equivalent of a year’s worth of annual leave for the average working employee) on online business banking processes.

“This is important because while SMEs provide about half of private sector employment and contribute 46 percent of GDP, their contribution is slowing,” he said.

For more information go to our Smart Growth Grant Program page. Grant applications will be accepted between September 15 and November 15, 2016.