How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories

How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories

In Commercial Lending, Featured, Small Business Loan Underwriting, Underwriting Automation by Yulia GnatyukLeave a Comment

Read time: 11 minutes


Community banks are rapidly becoming more competitive with the help of advanced commercial lending technology. Working with expert commercial lending software vendors, many small banks have significantly increased the number of loans processed for small businesses. The software can perform automated underwriting while utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to produce accurate loan scoring.


Adjust Your Commercial Lending Process for Greater Success

Community banks outnumber large conglomerates and are grabbing a larger share of the lending market. However, large banks can afford to spend much more on technology. Bank of America and JP Morgan reportedly have tech budgets around $10 billion, but their massive size also increases the time it takes to get things done.

Your institution can adjust and adapt to new technology while still maintaining the community-centered approach that puts people, farmers and small businesses first. You can use automation to reduce the amount of time it takes to process smaller loans, potentially increasing revenue and servicing more customers to compete with the larger banks.

Earlier this year, CNBC published an article on the ways smaller financial institutions are leading the push to fundamentally change how banking is done. Community banks have less complicated infrastructure and can adjust their commercial lending process flows quickly by adopting commercial lending technology.


5 Community Banks Adapting for Success

These five banks are all making great strides toward keeping community banks competitive by adopting advanced technology. They range from relative newcomers, in business for a decade, to community banks that have survived the Great Depression, wars and rollercoaster economies.


How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories
1 – Cross River

Cross River Bank was named the most innovative fintech bank by the annual Lendit Fintech Industry Awards. It has successfully provided leading-edge technology and services while maintaining safety and regulation compliance. Cross River was also honored as one of the 2019 Forbes 50 Most Innovative Fintech Companies.

Much of this New Jersey community bank’s innovation revolved around improving its commercial lending process flow and using sophisticated commercial loan servicing software. The bank also worked with strategic national partners to underwrite loans and receive deposits via cloud-based banking services.

Cross River recently added a new location and brought about 250 new jobs to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The expansion will bring the bank’s total employees to over 450. This is a phenomenal growth rate for a small community bank founded during the 2008 recession.

However, the bank has not lost its ties to the community and the people it serves. Throughout financial literacy month, April 2019, Cross River hosted events to educate the community on how to make sound financial decisions and provided seminars, tools and question-and-answer sessions.

Cross River’s growth is a result of embracing commercial loan servicing software and other tech solutions to provide Banking as a Service (BaaS) to customers. As a sign of its continued commitment to innovation, Cross River recently acquired the online small banking platform Seed.


Takeaways for Your Financial Institution

Your institution doesn’t have to grow to this scale to take advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology and automated underwriting software. Banks of any size can work with commercial lending software vendors such as MonJa to implement end-to-end loan processing solutions.

How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories
2 – Evolve Bank & Trust

Evolve Bank & Trust has grown into a community bank powerhouse. The financial institution originated in June 1925 in Cross County, Arkansas. Now serving Arkansas and Tennessee, Evolve has survived due to its staff’s ability to embrace changes in the industry and meet ever-changing customer expectations.

The bank offers several innovative small business loans, including equipment finance and physician lending, to foster community growth.

Its Small Business Association (SBA) loan office in Denver has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Preferred Lender. It maintains this status by continuing to adopt cost-effective new technologies while maintaining excellent customer service.

Strategic partnerships with fintech organizations relieve some of the pressure on community banks. Evolve’s fintech-related business is experiencing a whopping 200% increase month over month while requiring almost no advertising, according to CNBC. These fintech operations include outsourcing ATM funding and introducing Empower, which provides private online banking. This removes financial burden from the bank and allows it to concentrate on servicing customers.


Takeaways for Your Financial Institution

Utilizing commercial loan servicing software can allow your organization to offer advanced services to your existing and potential customers. Monja Underwriting Automation software can reduce loan processing time by over 40% and manual data collection time by 70%.

How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories

3 – Sutton Bank

Located in Ohio, Sutton Bank operates by its tagline of “Old-Fashioned Innovation.” The institution was founded in 1878 and survived the Great Depression, wars and many economic ups and downs. The adoption of new technology in banking services has allowed Sutton to survive and thrive in changing environments.

In addition to all of its traditional banking services, Sutton offers an array of digital financial services for customers. The bank provides small business loans to the agricultural community and partners with Kasasa to deliver innovative, cost-effective retail deposit accounts.

This outside-the-box thinking has allowed Sutton to develop new markets within its region. The bank recently announced a partnership with Cuentas, Inc. out of Miami, Florida. Cuentas offers mobile payment solutions and banking marketed toward Latino consumers.


Takeaways for Your Financial Institution

You can work with fintech and specialty banking platform companies to expand your loan generation and deposit account opportunities. The increased volume can be accommodated with commercial lending technology that reduces manual processing and improves automation.

How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories
4 – Celtic Bank

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Celtic Bank touts itself as providing “big ideas for small business.” It is an industrial bank and an SBA-approved lender. Celtic outpaces the competition by closing loans quickly and mitigating risk with common sense solutions.

The bank provides ongoing education through blogs and printed material for entrepreneurs to help them create, acquire or expand businesses. Celtic Bank also makes consumer loans for new housing and expansion projects. It offers an efficient and streamlined online application process for small business and equipment loans.

Celtic has partnered with Square Capital, a division of Square mobile credit card processing, offering an additional digital avenue for small businesses to receive funding. Square Capital funds loans and Celtic is the customer face that manages the loans. Celtic offers the same service but is able to scale with the power of Square Capital.


Takeaways for Your Financial Institution

Encouraging consumers and business owners to use online services enhances the efficiency of your operation. You may not have the ability to implement a large IT expansion, but you can start small. Partnering with experts that provide demos and advice on how to implement changes in your commercial lending process flow can help you obtain better automation results with a smaller investment in a shorter period of time.

How Community Banks Implemented Commercial Lending Technology: 5 Success Stories
5- Flagship Bank

Located in Minnesota, Flagship Bank has recently gone through a period of innovation under CEO Andy Schornack. Community involvement is front and center, with the bank frequently participating in charity efforts such as the Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund.

The bank’s in-depth and frequently updated blog offers information on everything from social media marketing to how to screen a potential tenant. Flagship has invested in technology systems and hired experts to keep up with the evolving digital landscape.

Flagship has embraced technology at all levels within the company and developed an innovative approach to helping highly targeted niches, such as nonprofit organizations, real estate investors and closely held businesses. The online banking dashboard allows users to give permission levels to other users. Strong treasury management makes running a small business easier.


Takeaways for Your Financial Institution

Your institution can target more businesses and obtain better lending results using technology that combines AI risk assessment with loan scoring and automated loan processing. This frees up your people to spend more time helping members of your community. Your staff is not bogged down by smaller loans because the commercial loan servicing software does the back-end work for them.


Implement Commercial Lending Technology for Your Organization

If you’re still not sure about how the latest technology would affect your day-to-day operations, you can request a demo from MonJa. You can see how MonJa’s Smart Scan Workflow reduces time spent on manual statement spreading via easy uploading of tax returns and automated scanning. The program also produces financial ratios so you can see the health of your loans in an easy-to-read graph in MonJa’s portal.

Contact MonJa today to learn how we can help your financial institution improve your commercial lending process flow through the implementation of commercial loan servicing software.

Request MonJa's Statement Spreading Software Demo

MonJa Smart Scan Technology speeds up commercial loan underwriting by up to 70%.

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