AI-Powered Bots Process Thousands of SBA Loans Applications Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Automation Anywhere, a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), announced new AI-powered bots to help lending institutions automate thousands of loan applications for small businesses under the $2.2 trillion U.S. coronavirus stimulus package.
The new Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Bots streamline loan processing by automatically extracting application data and entering the information into the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan origination portal – quickly, efficiently and accurately.
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In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the U.S. Government initiated the emergency PPP loan program managed by the SBA under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program was created to allocate funding to help businesses keep their workforce employed, as the pandemic disrupts the global economy. However, limited guidance to banks racing to handle a deluge of applications has created a backlog and many of the largest banks as well as smaller regional lenders have become overwhelmed with thousands of applications for the federal stimulus money.
Like many lending institutions, Vista Bank, and its community network of 15 branches across Texas is helping small businesses apply for funding across the state within a mandated filing timeline of only 10 days. With so many businesses rushing to get loans, the bank was looking for a scalable solution that could meet audit requirements and process an estimated 1,000 applications for customers more than the total numbers of loans it processed last year. Under the law, the loans will be forgiven if employers maintain or quickly rehire their employees.
New AI-powered banking bot helps put employees back to work
Vista Bank turned to the consulting firm, Metre22 and Automation Anywhere, to streamline a loan application intake process from the usual three weeks to just three days.
“RPA has been a game changer in its ability to automatically manage and move data between our community banks and the SBA application portal to generate loans quickly,” said John Steinmetz, CEO of Vista Bank. “Leveraging software bots will accelerate this process to allow lending institutions like Vista Bank to distribute critical funds into the hands of thousands of small businesses – who are the engines that drive our economy – in real time.”
Here’s how the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Bots work:
- Streamlines the loan application intake process by automatically extracting data from the borrowers’ application.
- Accelerates the payroll validation and calculation process by automatically mining data from IRS forms.
- Automates the loan submission process by using lender data to populate fields into E-Tran, the SBA loan origination portal, a process bank employees typically perform manually, taking up to 30 minutes per application.
“In working with community banks throughout the U.S., we have begun automating multiple banking and loan application processes for operating efficiencies,” said Leslie Andersen, the current advisory board member of BancAlliance, a network of 250+ community banks, and the CEO of Bank of Bennington in Nebraska. “This solution can relieve the backlog of loan applications for community banks and delivers value to banking customers hoping for a quick recovery so they can open their businesses and can get their employees back to work quickly.”
“In an industry where an estimated 35 percent of processes are still manual, the case for process automation in banking is compelling,” said Ken Mertzel, Global Industry Leader for Financial Services at Automation Anywhere. “With RPA, banks can achieve productivity gains compounded across thousands of transactions to increase efficiencies, eliminate errors, free up bankers for more valuable and rewarding work, improve customer services – and in the age of COVID-19 – kickstart the economy.”
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