Embrace Digital Lending Technology and Own the Small Business Market

Digital Lending Technology | Digital Lending | Baker Hill Blog

They say numbers never lie. I am going to challenge that, at least when it comes to digital lending technology.

Beginning in 2017, we saw a significant shift: Smaller community banks (those under $10 billion) were outperformed by their larger competitors when it came to small business loan origination.

Looking back, I think the biggest difference was the adoption of Fintech capabilities by those larger banks and with the openness of their channels to attract and grow their digital lending technology.

So how, are the smaller banks responding? And most importantly how can we change that trend?

I had the privilege of presenting with Elizabeth Crawford, of Emprise Bank, at Baker Hill’s Prosper 2018 and I was amazed at how Emprise is adjusting their strategy and approach. Based on their example, I would say that we are about to see the shift go back in favor of the small business bank.

Read on for my three major takeaways from my session with Elizabeth that you need to consider about digital lending technology.

1. Always Have the Customer In Mind and Know What They Value Most

Emprise has a strong legacy of local decisioning and being a hometown lender. That is an amazing value proposition to some borrowers; however, to others that means nothing.

Emprise has invested thousands of hours to be able to understand the voice of the client and to understand exactly what clients are wanting in a digital lending technology experience.

One of the biggest challenges Emprise took on was not acting like a bank. Crawford’s advice was simple, “Stop thinking, speaking and acting like a bank; meet customer needs in a way that makes sense to them.”

2. Challenge and Change the Culture of Your FI with New Thoughts and New Talent if Needed

Emprise did this in a big way—with a new key strategist who has a focus on digital lending technology and has the responsibility to make sure the digital landscape results in client engagement, especially when it comes to pushing out loan applications to the small business borrower.

So who is that person in your institution who is driving the view of the digital landscape? If you cannot answer that, you need to decide who can do that!

You need to be asking yourself in every client interaction why they come to the branches versus using your digital lending platform, and what could you do differently.

3. Be Willing to Learn Throughout the Digital Lending Technology Strategy Process

Not everything is going to work the first time out of the gate. That is fine.

Crawford shared a story about how Emprise launched a very successful customer-facing solution but later found that the back-end side of the equation was not working as they wanted.

So, things pivoted, and changes were made that helped all the parties involved.

Want to take a bold digital footstep and own the small business market? Let us help you with your digital lending technology strategy.

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