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BAFS Commercial Platform Aims to Connect Borrowers and Lenders

BAFS (Business Alliance Financial Services) has debuted a platform to connect commercial lenders with borrowers.

The Louisiana company’s Borrower Portal, announced Tuesday (Feb. 6), lets borrowers input loan request information, upload documents, and submit loan applications, and comes as the lending environment grows increasingly tight.

“Borrowers are guided through each step of the loan application as they provide information and upload documents specific to the requested loan type,” the company said in a news release. “The loan application flow is intuitive and efficient, shortening the time needed to complete the loan process.”

From there, all information gets transferred to the lender via BAFS’ proprietary BLAST platform. All data is securely stored and uploaded to BLAST, so that the loan application can be viewed and processed using established processes and procedures. 

“The lender has complete insight into all steps of the process and anything that may be missing can be identified quickly, saving time and increasing efficiency,” the release said.

“This technology provides lenders with streamlined efficiency and borrowers with simplicity. It’s a win-win for both parties,” added Ricky Guillot, BAFS’ CEO.

As PYMNTS wrote earlier this week, traditional commercial lending channels are closing as banks tighten their criteria, a situation that might provide renewed opportunity for alternative providers and the private credit markets.

The Federal Reserve’s January survey of senior loan officers at banks found that lenders “reported tighter standards and weaker demand for commercial and industrial (C&I) loans to firms of all sizes over the fourth quarter.” 

Banks also said they’ve tightened most queried terms on C&I loans to businesses of all sizes during the fourth quarter. Respondents said that there were higher premiums charged on the cost of funds, on credit lines and also reported tighter collateralization requirements.

“The reasons for the tougher loan terms?” wrote PYMNTS. “Macro uncertainty and some concerns about their own liquidity positions.”

Meanwhile, PYMNTS Intelligence data from last year found smaller firms at a crossroads in accessing and tapping credit. Headed into the final months of the year, a little more than a third of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) said they were not using credit but wanted to start doing so. And more than half of SMBs said they anticipated using corporate cards by the middle of 2024, surpassing business loans from online lenders (22%) or working capital loans from banks (21%) in terms of funding sources.

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