B2B Payments

FinTechs Take A Regional Approach To SMB COVID-19 Relief

With Congress having passed renewed funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), another round of small- to medium-sized business (SMB) coronavirus relief loans is on the way, and likely to go just as fast as the first round.

The market will be watching closely whether financial institutions (FIs) are able to address some of the biggest headaches from the first round of PPP loans, namely an influx of applications that can overwhelm lenders' systems. Below, PYMNTS rounds up the latest solutions that FinTechs and lenders are developing to ease the PPP lending process for SMBs and FIs alike, with many initiatives focused on enabling regional and community banks to maintain a competitive edge against the biggest banks.

Paynet

SMB credit analytics firm Paynet announced the launch of PayNet P3 Data Pack, a platform that helps lenders streamline PPP loans to SMBs by automating the borrower verification process. Wielding its database of SMB information, the portal eases identification and underwriting for PPP lenders to accelerating funding.

Citizens Bank Of Edmond

Collaborating with digital banking technology company MX, Citizens Bank of Edmond in Oklahoma said it has debuted its PPP loan portal to streamline PPP loan applications for its SMB clients. The platform accelerates the application process as well as provides SMBs with visibility into the status of their applications, while the bank is able to more quickly approve the loans.

LendingTree

Online SMB loan marketplace LendingTree launched its SBA loan marketplace designed to help SMBs access funding from regional and community banks. In its announcement, LendingTree said the portal is designed to encourage these smaller banks to join its marketplace, while expanding access to federal support for SMB borrowers.

Lendsmart, Griffin Technologies

Bank technology providers Lendsmart and Griffin Technologies are teaming up to connect their banks and credit unions (CUs) with PPP loan management solutions. Their joint initiative uses Lendsmart's artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate PPP application processing, while Griffin will integrate its marketing capabilities to help FIs target SMB applicants. The companies said their initiative is geared toward enabling community FIs a competitive edge.

Fresno First Bank

Fresno-based regional bank Fresno First Bank announced that it has launched its online PPP application portal in collaboration with DocFox to streamline the application and document sharing process for its SMB clients. Highlighting the challenge that many banks face to identify applicants, process applications and provide information to the SBA, Fresno First Bank said that its technology streamlines and accelerates this process to connect more SMBs to funding.

Fenergo

FI digitization company Fenergo launched its Remote Account Opening solution this past week enabling lenders to digitize and streamline the PPP loan application process for SMB clients. With automated know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) processes, the onboarding technology aims to reduce the regulatory and compliance burden of lenders to accelerate financing to SMBs.

Paychex

Payroll technology provider Paychex announced its partnership with digital SMB lending companies Biz2Credit, Fundera and Lendio to automate and accelerate the PPP loan application process for joint SMB customers. At the time of the announcement, Paychex noted that the solution would help SMBs prepare their loan applications while Congress worked on allocating additional funds to the program.

Automation Anywhere

Robotic process automation technology firm Automation Anywhere is deploying AI-powered bots to enable FIs to automate PPP loan application acceptance and processing, the company said. Its new bots automatically extract data from SMB applications and migrate that information to the SBA's own portal to more efficiently move through the SMB lending workflow and connect more SMBs with funding.

Zenoo

U.K.-based Zenoo is rolling out a new technology designed to help FIs in the U.S. digitally and automatically onboard new SMBs applying for PPP loans. Highlighting the frequent regulatory changes of the PPP lending process, Zenoo said FIs need automation to mitigate the friction of funding SMBs through accelerated data collection and remote application analysis.

Funding Xchange, Experian

In the U.K., marketplace lending platform Funding Xchange announced an expanded partnership with credit analysis technology firm Experian to help SMBs more easily understand their qualifications to receive a government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan. The solution automates the eligibility check for their own banks or more than 40 other lenders, the companies noted, adding that the tool can be faster and more affordable than manually checking eligibility across various banks.

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