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BirdsEye View

beyond debt forgiveness and ppp

 One thing became clear as we embarked on the second phase of PPP:  we can’t handle a fully manual process for Debt Forgiveness.  There are numerous automation solutions out there.  Some can handle only small banks, and some can process a large number of loans.

The real question, as you consider these solutions, is what elements of the new process and new technology will you be able to retain post PPP and COVID?  What will your next Loan Operating System (LOS) look like?

Here are some factors you might consider during your system selection, aside from the long-term ramifications, yet relevant to the longer-term.

Self-service online, allowing for customer data entry

A hybrid solution that allows bankers to get into the system and assist customers if need be

A solution that can be placed on your bank’s website

A data pre-fill function for information we already know (for Forgiveness, this might include forgiveness due date, loan amount, SCB number etc.) so you won’t need to ask your customers repeatedly for information already resident in your files

Interest calculator

Secure document upload, critical to Forgiveness and so very helpful in any LOS

Integrated E-Sign solution (DocuSign is the prevailing answer)

Reporting and dashboard to meet a wide range of needs, from business assessment and financial performance to cross-selling opportunities, product gaps and, of course, compliance

No long-term contract if at all possible, leaving the door open to new, innovating solutions

A vendor you already have a relationship with, including access to the core system, is a plus.  Training and build needs are reduced.  HOWEVER, sub-optimizing, particularly for the long-haul, should not take place just to keep the same vendor throughout the process.  Numerous vendors have the ability to import loans and other data from any core system to your new platform

A tracker.  When you order an Uber, you can track the driver as they make your way to you.  You see them stop at a stoplight, or speed through the highway.  You get pinged when they get closer.  It improves the customer experience in a big way.  The same goes for your borrowers, who are anxious to find out what’s happening with their application.

Other considerations should be added to the list as you think about the long-term.  Examples:

Document collection capability

An online application process, fully customer-enabled

Batch-mode loan bookings vs. one by one

Case management process for customer issues

A strong customer portal, proven and fully functional, for an excellent customer experience

DocuSign enabled

Streamlined process, applying learnings from PPP and remote working environment.  For example, many of you print out a PDF, then scan it to upload it into the imaging system.  Some banks discovered this only recently during the new work environment.  There is no reason for the printing at all, as you know…  Another example:  enable use of Lexus/Nexus for beneficial ownership information instead of requesting customer documentation.  There are many more such examples.

My thanks to all of you who’ve been attending our calls and generating the collective wisdom reflected above.  I’m excited to see how it’s implemented in many banks as we emerge from COVID and move toward a streamlined, more automated loan origination and maintenance solution.