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5 Big reasons to go digital with SMB & commercial lending

Michael Bryan
January 17, 2023
Read Time: 0 min

Automating SMB and commercial lending elevates your customer's experience

From making it easier to apply to speeding up loan closings, automation can helps make business lending customers and staff happier.

You might also like this on-demand webinar, "Strategies to grow your commercial loan portfolio."



PPP volumes

Back to pre-PPP manual processes?

You may have read Wells Fargo replaced its two-decade-old lending portal in December with a new portal named "Vantage." This new portal has an artificial intelligence AI integration and is to be the best-of-breed customer experience in all of banking.

A lot of us used a customer portal for PPP Lending due to the mere volumes of customer loan requests and documents flowing to/from the bank and the customer. Then once PPP was over, some of us went back to our old manual processes and never looked back. Customers were used to this bank interface after two rounds of PPP, and then we dropped it like a lead balloon. In my experience, community banks only do what they have to do.

However, there are five big reasons to automate SMB/Commercial Lending now. They are:


Digital lending

Why automate SMB/commercial lending?


The customer portal for requesting financials and tax returns.

This has several bonuses. First, a secure portal between the bank and the customer. No more Dropbox-type solutions involving IT. Your Information Security department will love you for this alone. Second, as documents arrive from the customer, the system has the capability to file these documents within the system in the proper place, automatically. No more file/share renaming the documents to the appropriate customer, etc. Again, your data folks will enjoy this security feature as well. Documents on a digital loan origination platform are in one place, with one copy. Loan Review and regulators love this as well. All lending documents are in one place with the correct document name and customer.

Automated workflows.

Once the documents are in the right place, a lending assistant may send a workflow request to the Appraisal Department, Underwriting, Loan Committee, or Doc Prep, etc. With an automated loan management system, there’s no more emailing with document attachments. The huge benefit here is that workflow can clock in and clock out of each process and send alerts once the loan request meets the approved threshold. This alone speeds up loan origination. You also know when a function is habitually late and whether you might need to hire or shift more resources. You can weigh the efforts.


What do other financial institutions think?
Read "Lenders’ Perspectives: Commercial Loan Origination Automation" by Aite-Novarica Group

Keep me informed Download report

SMB/commercial lending

Additional benefits of taking lending digital



Most generally utilized SaaS platforms have API (application programming interface) access allowing your lending system to integrate where the bank users stay and work within the app itself. This feature allows for data entered once to be used many times rather than rekeying the data for each vendor and making the request. It saves time and is much more accurate.

Doc prep, whether in-house or attorney supplied.

Now that all the loan data is stored in the lending system, this data can be used to send to doc prep systems to be imported. This decreases errors and speeds up closing.

Closing and booking the loan to core.

I know of one vendor who is able to read the signed closing documents, perform quality control, send the loan to funding, fund the loan, and update core. This enables an immediate QC, and if the loan passes, fund and book. Too good to be true.

These are the benefits of automating SMB/commercial lending. They move your customer experience to the top tier and are available now.

Learn how going digital after PPP helped one financial institution.
Read about the lender's success

Download case study
About the Author

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan has been a community bank technologist for more than 40 years. He is the retired Senior Executive Vice President/Chief Information Officer of Veritex Community Bank, where he was responsible for fintech strategies, IT, and all bank operations. He is currently Newchip Mentor at Newchip, an Austin-based startup accelerator

Full Bio

About Abrigo

Abrigo enables U.S. financial institutions to support their communities through technology that fights financial crime, grows loans and deposits, and optimizes risk. Abrigo's platform centralizes the institution's data, creates a digital user experience, ensures compliance, and delivers efficiency for scale and profitable growth.

Make Big Things Happen.