WaFd Bank Gets Money to Small Businesses in Need During COVID-19 with nCino

Holly Rushton
May 5, 2020 · 4 min read

The U.S. economy and the American workforce have been hit hard. In the nearly two months since a national emergency was declared, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Businesses have two options: rethink how to stay open and serve customers safely, or close up shop until things improve.

But for small businesses, the second option is likely off the table. Instead, a number of small and mid-sized businesses across the country are turning to financial institutions to borrow much-needed funds, including from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). That means financial institutions need a fast, efficient, and completely digital way to respond to their customer’s needs and help the American economy.

Financial institutions — like WaFd Bank headquartered in Seattle, Washington — are leveraging AppExchange partner nCino’s online SBA Lending Solution to efficiently and digitally provide financing to small and mid-sized businesses through the PPP. nCino’s Chief Product Officer Trisha Price shares more on how WaFd Bank and others are giving certainty to individuals and businesses in their communities during such a difficult time.

nCino Chief Product Officer Trisha Price

What impact have you seen since nCino launched the SBA Lending Solution to help banks and small businesses through COVID-19?

Trisha Price: Dozens of financial institutions of all sizes are leveraging our online SBA Lending Solution, but one of the first nCino customers to roll it out was WaFd Bank — even with last-minute changes to the PPP legislation.

“The PPP, which provided $349 billion to small businesses affected by the pandemic, was scheduled to go live on Friday, April 3. The night before, the SBA changed some of the fundamentals of the program, sending financial institutions scrambling to update their systems and processes, with varying degrees of success. Thanks to nCino’s flexible and configurable system, WaFd Bank was able to quickly accommodate the new changes and begin helping small businesses the next morning, on time and on schedule. As additional rounds of funding are potentially made available in the coming weeks, the ability to change and adapt quickly will continue to be key,” said Brent Beardall, President and CEO of WaFd Bank, discussing the first round of PPP loans.

Our cloud-based SBA Lending Solution can be implemented rapidly — in days not weeks — and is being utilized at credit unions, community and regional banks, and several top 20 U.S. banks. We are grateful to play a role in helping America’s small businesses and financial institutions through this crisis.

Can you explain the SBA Lending Solution a little more and how it helps financial institutions like WaFd Bank help its customers?

Price: nCino’s Bank Operating System has been supporting financial institutions with an end-to-end SBA module since the beginning of the company in 2012. We can rapidly deploy the online SBA lending solution to support the PPP in days, which effectively streamlines large volumes of applications, manages risk, and incorporates government-defined requirements while still delivering the personalized attention customers expect. nCino‘s SBA Lending Solution optimizes the SBA loan process for a financial institutions’ customers and employees by:

  • digitizing documentation collection,

This really comes down to applications that can be submitted faster and processed more efficiently, so that businesses can continue to operate.

The original $349 billion in funding was depleted in just 12 days. That’s A LOT of applications. How was nCino’s technology able to handle that, plus the applications that will come with the additional funding announced?

Price: We were able to access top-level Salesforce executives when we needed expanded capacity to handle the loan volume caused by the PPP. Salesforce put together a SWAT team to help us and our end users at a critical moment, which provided 24/7 shared support, joint capacity planning, access to R&D, and specialist platform security and platform scalability teams.

Because we incorporated government-defined requirements specific to the PPP into the loan decision workflow, we were able to provide an effective and sustainable approach to processing the surge in online lending applications remotely or in branch, while also giving critical insights to help institutions better understand exposure, manage risk, and ensure compliance.

What other ways can customers leverage nCino’s technology to navigate COVID-19?

Price: An immediate effort went into enabling a solution that includes a business continuity dashboard, which went live as of March 25. Customers are using it to assess risk across their business in this time of disruption. As many small-to-medium-sized businesses scramble to make sense of their financial situations, these reports will help financial institutions better identify the customers experiencing the most impact.

Through the PPP, the government is utilizing bankers to get money into the hands of small businesses so they can keep people employed. As Brent stated, bankers aren’t doing this because it’s profitable or economical. “This is more about doing your small part to help our communities. To give some certainty to individuals during such a difficult time, that’s what it’s all about.”

“Banking, if done correctly, is a noble profession,” Brent said. “We play a very vital part in getting the economy through this. Collaboration and transparency have been core tenets for us and have never been more important than are during the time we’re in right now.”

Learn more about nCino’s Bank Operation System solution on AppExchange and see what other solutions can help during this time on AppExchange COVID-19 Resources for Businesses.

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