By Guglielmo de Stefano on Friday 30 October 2015
AltFi caught up with Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora to learn more about the new partnership and about several other hot topics in the industry.
The online resource for small business lending, Biz2Credit, has announced a partnership with Customers Bank, a US community-based, full-service bank. The agreement will provide existing bank’s customers with a productive digital experience and will increase the bank's small business loan applications by an expected 33%, due to workflow automation and underwriting efficiencies.
The bank counts assets of approximately $7.6 billion and serves small and medium sized businesses, professionals, individuals and families. It is a pioneer in online and mobile solutions, and it adopts a “high-tech” approach, with the aim of being a bank with less focus on the somewhat dated traditional branch model.
Using Biz2Credit’s technology, the bank will now design a new platform that will offer small businesses plenty of cutting edge services, including loan application document uploads and real-time updates about their loan applications. Additionally, Biz2Credit's Virtual CFO platform will allow customers to constantly monitor their creditworthiness. The project will launch in early 2016.
Jay Sidhu, chief executive officer, Customers Bank, commented:
"We believe our partnership with Biz2Credit is the logical next step for us as we continue to focus on customer convenience. We are committed to providing our customers the technology they need to ensure an effortless banking experience."
Biz2Credit supports Customers Bank’s mission and its “high-tech” approach in providing banking services to small businesses. We caught up with Rohit Arora, Biz2Credit chief executive officer, who provided us with more colour around this strategic partnership. He said:
"We are excited to launch the first white label solution for a bank's small business customers. We also look forward to helping other financial institutions expand their technology to improve their internal and external small business lending capabilities."
When asked if banks such as Customers Bank – with less focus on the dated branch model – might represent a threat to the P2P lending industry, Rohit answered that it may well be a potential issue, and will be one to monitor in the future. If banks are able to shift away from their current business models towards a structure more focused on online services, competition will likely increase for P2P lenders. For now, however, we’re seeing more and more banks choosing to leverage platform technologies in order to improve their customers experience. For platforms, such deals represent a valuable method of swelling their customer base. However, Rohit does see a future where banks and platforms will “walk together”, providing small businesses with affordable and straightforward access to credit.
Additionally, Rohit commented on the general importance of partnerships for P2P online lending platforms, not only with banks, but also with other kinds of businesses. Biz2Credit is willing to find other partners, and indeed has recently tied up with the likes of Fortis Payment Systems and CPA.com. Rohit considers such unions to be critical to platforms from an origination standpoint.
Rohit concluded our talk by hinting that Biz2Credit has further partnerships in the pipeline, perhaps with larger banks, but he declined to share specifics. Watch this space.