There may be no second acts in politics. But with the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) rolling out the next phase in its loan forgiveness initiative for SMEs, it’s good to see that the economic rescue plan has another shot at getting it right.
We chronicled some of the challenges that PPP 1.0 faced. Fortunately, this time around, many of the cooperating financial institutions, financial services companies, and fintechs are in a better, more informed position to help make sure the businesses that need the help actually get the help.
One example of this is the new portal powered by the FIS Real-time Lending Platform. This portal, available to FIs and merchants participating in the SBA’s PPP, automates and streamlines the process of applying for loan forgiveness under the provisions of the new program.
“As a critical infrastructure provider, FIS is focused on making it as easy as possible for small businesses and merchants to complete the loan forgiveness process and help them get back to business as soon as possible,” FIS Head of Global Core Banking and Channels Rob Lee said. “Our new portal uses advanced automation technology to handle the entire process, reducing the time and complexity for businesses in getting forgiveness of the essential loans that are critical to their business.”
Using pre-filled applications and documentation uploads for efficiency, the portal figures loan forgiveness amounts, and allows FIs to review and e-sign the requests. The document packages are sent to the borrower and bank for e-signing and then, via the portal, the materials are submitted to the SBA for validation. The portal is 100% digital and can be easily deployed by banks who can get started by uploading a file of eligible loans from their current PPP customers. FIS notes that via its Real-Time Lending Platform, it has facilitated “billions” in PPP loan funds through lenders to SMEs whose businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
A Finovate alum since 2013, FIS made fintech headlines last month when the company unveiled a new venture arm and a plan to invest $150 million in fintech startups. Last year, FIS was part of fintech’s biggest transactions of 2019 with its $34 billion acquisition of fellow Finovate alum Worldpay.