The release says the team will focus on both urban and rural centers, and will work with new innovative technology like BMO Business Xpress, an onboarding platform for small businesses. The group also intends to work with partners in retail, wealth and Canadian commercial banking, the release says, to support businesses in various segments.
BMO will also be working to help those acutely affected by the pandemic’s economic trouble, including in sectors like hospitality and professional services, and with demographics like women-owned businesses that were more affected than others, the release says. One measure to help is BMO Celebrating Women’s $100,000 in grants for Canadian entrepreneurs, which will award 10 women-owned businesses $10,000 each to help their businesses.
In addition, there is help coming for minority-owned businesses too, with partnerships with the government to form a new Black Entrepreneurship Program, alongside help for Indigenous communities as well, the release states.
BMO Bank of Montreal Head of Canadian Business Banking Mike Bonner said it has “never been more important to stand behind Canadian businesses” with the ongoing pandemic.
“[W]e need to ensure their economic success to ensure Canada’s success,” he said, according to the press release. “The challenge that we noticed is that this segment has been underserved. We’re looking to change that. We now have a team focused solely on this segment to help them make real financial progress. This is the beginning of a true partnership with Canada’s main street businesses across the country.”
BMO has been moving into the digital age of payments, PYMNTS reports. Some of its past changes include a way to scan checks and process deposits in real time and new PIN authentications where debit cards are used to verify one’s identity. The changes have boosted efficiency and reduced the need for in-person transactions.