BDC customer story: Revolutionizing digital loan applications

One of the greatest challenges for any business organization is finding the right balance between secure technology and an engaging, timely customer experience. For financial institutions, in particular, it’s a struggle to satisfy customers’ demands for digital innovation without compromising compliance and security.

“It’s important to realize that it’s not a trade-off,” says Sam Bakken, Senior Product Marketing Manager Mobile Security for OneSpan, a global leader in software for trusted identities, e-signatures and transactions. “With the right technology partner, you can be innovative and secure.”

Bakken joined moderator Alizabeth Calder, CIO HomeEquity Bank and Jorge Oliveira, Manager of IT Solutions Delivery, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) on Wednesday, Oct 02, 2019 for Revolutionizing Digital Loan Applications, an hour-long webinar produced by ITWC. A lively discussion revolved around a native mobile app built by BDC, a signing solution provided by OneSpan, and today’s cyber threatscape.

“BDC’s account managers work remotely roughly 70 per cent of the time,” said Oliveira. “This was a problem when it came to moving the loan application process from paper to digital.”

After taking a hard look at mobile tools, BDC came up with an app that would improve service for account managers while maintaining a face-to-face connection with customers. From a design point of view, it wasn’t very pretty, and at first it was only tested on 40 of the company’s top managers, but the results were dramatic.

Prior to deploying the app, the closing rate was 9.3 per cent. The average length of time to negotiate a loan was nine days or more, and closing took at least five touch points and two visits. When using the app, the closing rate jumped to 25 per cent, the average length of time to negotiate a loan dropped to two days, and there was only a single visit required for 60 per cent of loan applicants.

Business Development Bank of Canada Digitize Loan Processes with OneSpan from OneSpan on Vimeo.

“As Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, BDC is committed to making it easier and faster for entrepreneurs to find financing,” said Oliveira. “By taking advantage of proven technology designed specifically for regulated industries like banking, we were able to streamline the process for closing both secured and unsecured loans.”

The upshot was that OneSpan’s e-signature platform far exceeded BDC’s expectations and resulted in $466.7 million in authorized loan value. Client feedback was so impressive that BDC plans to implement the OneSpan Sign across other lines of business as well as integrating the solution into the company’s online portal.

Bakken underscored the importance of proven technology by enumerating the conditions required in order for consumers to feel comfortable using a mobile app for their banking. “Data security is the main concern,” he said, “but there are other requirements as well, including ease of use, a simple authentication process, integration with other technologies, access to a banking advisor, and compliance with financial and privacy regulations.”

For Bakken, it all boils down to a better customer experience and one that meets the preference of a growing number of Canadians – especially Millennials – to do their banking by phone. It also heralds what Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2019 describes as a shift from a compliance-centered approach to an active cybersecurity stance.

“OneSpan has decades of experience in fraud management, digital onboarding, and mobile transaction security,” says Bakken. “For us, a great customer experience is also a secure one.”

For more information on innovations in banking, with special attention to mitigating mobile threats, view the webinar Revolutionizing Digital Loan Applications.

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This article, authored by Suzanne Robicheau, first appeared October 4, 2019 on IT World Canada.