Digitization has altered the business lending landscape and created competitive pressure that will continue to push solutions modernization — and consumers and businesses are ready.
Digital efficiency here is key and underpins lending success. Most importantly, it improves consumer retention, upsell, and cross-sell opportunities for lenders. As the future of business lending caters to the needs of younger entrepreneurs, financial institutions will want to add solutions that offer seamless experiences. This includes a fully contactless digital lending process: seamless digital applications all the way to fast, automated loan decisions. Financial institutions can jump-start and grow digital business lending by implementing advanced technology solutions to digitally engage borrowers and optimize lending processes.
Digital-First Mindset Drives Growth
Millennials are the largest drivers of new loans. This makes sense considering there were more than 166 million individuals under the age of 40 in the U.S. in 2020 — more than half of the U.S. population.
Financial institutions are feeling the pressure all around. Digital banking reigns supreme as consumers increasingly prefer to manage their finances digitally and loyalty is waning. Institutions need to offer innovate lending solutions and reconsider how they engage consumers. Already, digital-savvy financial institutions are scooping up this business. According to the Bain Retail Banking NPS Survey, 54% of loans and 50% of credit cards in the U.S are opened at providers that consumers do not consider their primary financial institution. And more than three-quarters of those surveyed who received a direct offer from a competitive institution said they would have purchased from their primary institution had they received a similar offer.
As more and more lenders provide digital-first experiences, consumer expectations have evolved. Processes that used to take days can now happen in minutes. Technology has decreased the operational effort required of financial institutions and enables demand creation, so institutions can reach new consumers and foster deeper relationships with existing ones.
Pressure to Modernize Business Lending Solutions
Institutions that have not modernized business lending processes are feeling the pressure. Those that still rely on manual and paper-based loan approval procedures find they are out of step with a digitized world, affected by:
- Slower decision times.
- Burdensome data management.
- Time-intensive manual processes that span disparate systems.
- Inefficient application processes and communications with the borrower.
- Expensive wet signatures.
- Difficult document collection, management and storage.
The cumulative effects of these inefficiencies are compounded by the evolving landscape in lending. Nearly nine in 10 financial institutions believe they will lose some business to stand-alone fintech companies over the next five years. That fear is not unfounded.
Managing Credit Risk in a New Era
The business credit framework has not changed. Lenders still consider credit profile and history, firmographics and cash flow analytics when evaluating debt capacity. This requires the ability to collect and analyze data like macroeconomic factors, industry trends, digital presence, credit performance, financials, bank accounts, POS transactions and business credit reports.
Solutions to manage risk, however, have modernized. Advancements in machine learning techniques have transformed risk analysis to consume thousands of data points and leverage insight and learning from decades of loan performance data. For business lenders, this means better, faster, more accurate and consistent decisions in compliance with the set credit policy. Digital-first lenders can:
- Use superior workflow tools to aid in better decision-making and operational resiliency.
- Leverage risk assessment techniques that cannot be performed by humans.
- Improve accuracy and consistency of credit decisions.
- Specialize and customize by industry based on business goals.
- Leverage new data sources and decades of credit performance data.
- Process large volumes of data in seconds alongside the ability to identify and focus on what matters most.
Financial institutions transitioning to digital channels enjoy more opportunities to better serve consumers, expand market share and drive more revenue.