Say hello to Canopy — an API first, modern loan management system

Matt Bivons
Canopy Servicing
Published in
4 min readAug 9, 2021

Loans and other financial products are the fuel that turns an idea into a reality. They give families a home, businesses capital, and students an education. My co-founder Will and I know this well. We spent the last decade at Fintechs large and small. And with that experience, we also know the pain of backend systems in lending — the basics of which were built over 60 years ago!

That’s why today we are excited to introduce Canopy to the world and announce our $15M Series A led by Canaan, with participation by Homebrew, Foundation, BoxGroup and Commerce, our Seed Investors.

Modern loan management from Canopy

Canopy allows brands to launch and service financial products.

Developer friendly APIs, real-time data for customers and white-label solutions are all highly complex engineering challenges — but that’s our specialty and we take care of those details. This enables Canopy partners to focus on building products that meet their customers’ needs — credit builders, “buy now, pay later,” installment loans, and more. All with ease.

Helping the next generation of Fintechs launch innovative products

The reason my co-founder Will and I built Canopy is simple. We lived through rough homegrown systems and the inflexibility of incumbent loan management technology. Small changes like updating a credit limit or adding a new loan product would take months. We had to source data files nightly and work with large data science teams to create a “unifying layer”.

We set out to reimagine what servicing infrastructure could be and how that could help the next generation of Fintechs. Why is the status quo of banking cores and loan management systems so difficult to work with? Well that takes some history ….

Standing on the shoulders of giants

The vast majority of financial institutions run on Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL). Originally designed by Admiral Grace Hopper in 1959, the coding language was reliable, flexible, and portable — eventually making it one of the most popular coding languages in the world. In that sense, the Fintech developer foundation is solid. The issue is what’s been built on top of it.

Banking cores, as they’re often called, power the accounts, statements and processing for millions of consumers. This is where the trouble begins. Startups (or banks) hoping to launch a credit product are often quoted $1M and given a 12–18 month timeline to launch. Wow.

Price and logistics aside, some Fintechs attempt to manage this themselves. Many default to…..Google Sheets. Yes, Google Sheets. If you have one customer, making simple payments, Google Sheets may work. (although it never stays that simple). Missed payments, second loans, over payments and disputes happen every day to companies offering loans. Now add millions of customers like that. The only way a scaling company should deal with the complexity of managing accounts making payments, is to have an API they can hit.

A better core for Developers

This is what Canopy fixes — with a single API our partners get a system of record of all their customers and all their loans, an easy way to launch brand new products and track their customer service.

Where Canopy sits in your technology stack

There are three major components to the Canopy product:
Canopy API
exposes an immutable system of record and servicing engine to support our partner’s lending programs. The system is configurable, rules based, and event driven, built with an eye towards revolving credit, lines of credit, installment, and promotional products. Said another way, the system flexes based on product needs. It’s quick and easy to start adding customers — just configure policies and rules.

Canopy OS is our web-based platform for managing products and servicing accounts. It offers credit and bank reporting, statements, escalations, disputes and team management. It also acts as a customer support interface — reps can navigate, search for accounts, and make changes all in real-time.

Canopy UI provides the borrower user interface as a white-label product to our partners. Borrowers can view data in real-time rather than waiting until the end of a cycle or when a statement is delivered.

That’s where we are today but we believe financial products of the future will all be personalized. A revolving card that can go back in time to place charges on installments? Evolving a debit card into a credit builder with promotions? These are exactly the products our customers are building on top of us today.

If this sounds exciting, come join us. We have big plans and ambitions in the years to come. Let’s build the next generation of Fintechs together.