New Hampshire FinTech Bottomline Technologies has launched a free initiative to help the nation’s banks provide relief to small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday (April 2), Bottomline Technologies announced it will offer lenders a simplified Small Business Administration (SBA) loan application platform to originate credit online under the “Paycheck Protection Program.”
For banks that offer SBA loans under the program, Bottomline is offering a technology tool tailored to the agency’s application requirements at no cost.
“We saw an opportunity to help in this crisis,” said Bottomline CEO Robert Eberle in a statement. “We are not set up to sew masks or to manufacture ventilators. We do have technology that can help provide funding to the 30 million impacted small businesses that are so vital to the country’s economy and its employment ... This is our small part in standing up to this unprecedented global challenge. We hope others will find a way to do the same.”
While loans and emergency funding are essential for the survival of many small businesses, providing access to those programs and funds can be a challenge for banks particularly at a time when visiting branches is limited, Bottomline said.
To help with this challenge, the company will provide its digital business account opening, fraud management, and onboarding platform, to banks serving small business customers, it said. It will help them deliver digital access to the critically needed SBA guaranteed funding programs, Bottomline said.
In February, Bottomline released its 2020 Treasury Fraud and Controls Survey in partnership with Strategic Treasurer, a Georgia-based financial processing company.
The report concluded 60 percent of firms said they have experienced a 50 percent increase in fraud over the past three years.
In the same study conducted in 2017, only 40 percent of companies reported cases of malfeasance.
Researchers said the findings underscore the acknowledgment that fraudsters are stratifying their methods to optimize returns by automating and scaling attacks. Automated attacks such as ransomware, business email compromise, and system-level takeover fraud, outpaced high-touch attack methods such as check fraud, the survey said.