How Wright-Patt Credit Union Grew their Commercial Loan Portfolio 156%
Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU), one of the 50 largest credit unions in the US and the largest in the Dayton, Ohio region, has been experiencing rapid growth in the last 10 years. Today, the credit union has 356,000 members, 31 branches and $4B in assets. WPCU also serves the business community through their Member Business Services department.
By year-end 2017, the credit union’s business loan portfolio totaled nearly $190M. Just a year prior, the department’s 15-person Commercial Lending team had closed $74M in loans, at the time considered their highest production on record. The ability to grow 156% in today’s competitive commercial lending sector is a testament to the credit union’s role as trusted partner to the business community – backed by investments in digitization and technology.
At WPCU, Commercial Portfolio Analyst Benjamin Miller credits the nCino Bank Operating System with transforming their commercial lending processes. But it wasn’t until the credit union leveraged the e-signature integration between OneSpan Sign and nCino that the Commercial Lending team was truly able to harness the efficiencies of an end-to-end digital process. In less than one year using the combined cloud solution, WPCU has tripled commercial loan volume from 30 to 100 loans per month with the same core team, while also streamlining the lending experience for their business members.
Wright-Patt Credit Union Faced a Common Business Challenge
While the Commercial Lending department had traditionally focused on serving small businesses, leadership also saw growth opportunities in a new segment: mid-market business customers. The challenge was bandwidth. The commercial team was limited in resources and any growth would have to happen with the existing team of 15 people. To maximize efficiency and free up time to serve the mid-market, the team needed to eliminate time-consuming paper processing. That meant finding the right technology to digitize their commercial lending processes end-to-end.
WPCU took the first step to going digital by selecting the nCino Bank Operating System in December 2015. The system was implemented and operational within six months.
“It is one of the most significant cloud-based systems we’re using. nCino was the best fit for our Commercial Lending Department in terms of our production levels and growth opportunities,” Miller says. “Compared to other vendors we evaluated, we found that nCino offered the best data analytics and reporting. Being a cloud system, it was easily deployed. We didn’t have to set up storage on our end, which obviously was a plus. At Wright-Patt, we have a lot of opportunity to set up servers and store our data on-prem. Sometimes it’s more cost beneficial to have everything in-house, but with nCino, it just made more sense from a price standpoint to leverage the cloud.”
WPCU saw an immediate impact on the business. The efficiency gains freed up enough capacity so the commercial lending team could take on volume in the mid-market sector.
“Still Not Paperless”
Despite the initial efficiency gains, however, the Commercial Lending team was still falling back to paper to capture signatures on the final loan contracts. That injected unnecessary manual work back into the process.
“We thought we could take on the additional capacity, and continue to manually produce our own documents and have people come into the office to do wet signatures. When we went from 30 to 100 loans per month, it was not possible – especially with the same core team. It just did not make sense anymore,” Miller says. “Up to that point, we had not recognized the need for e-signature. But within six to nine months of deploying nCino, we did."
"It became obvious that the final piece of the transaction is having the ability to electronically sign the documents."
"As an example, if one of our commercial lenders needs to go to Cincinnati to meet a member, that’s a one-hour drive. It doesn’t make sense to do that, to get a signature for a $5,000 credit card. We needed the electronic signature capability, especially for smaller transactions.”
The Switch to nCino’s Integrated E-Sign Partner
When Wright-Patt Credit Union realized there was an integration available with OneSpan Sign, they knew the integration would offload all of the unnecessary tasks weighing down the team. The new functionality was seamless. The coordinators, who prepare the digital loan packages, were able to send out the loan contracts without having to add signature boxes.
“With OneSpan Sign, we didn’t have to set up all the documents manually. OneSpan Sign was a big improvement because it’s just much more efficient if we can do everything right in nCino. We also want to make sure that when we send documents electronically, we can leverage what is already populated in nCino. We already have the contact information, phone numbers, email and physical address of all members who are a party to the loan. Since all this information is already in nCino, we need be able to leverage that when capturing signatures.”
Improved member experience:
- According to Miller, “Our customers are really excited to electronically sign anything, especially as part of smaller transactions.”
- Miller also sees business members wanting to transact more on mobile devices over time. “The mobile support is exciting because members are always asking, ‘Hey, can I just sign this on my phone?’ For the moment, the mobile requests we receive are primarily for small credit card transactions. But I could see that changing over time.”
Increased loan capacity:
- “In the last two years, we have increased our capacity of lending per borrower from $5M to $15M."
- "We were processing 30 - 40 loans a month. For several months now, we’ve had 100 loans in production in a month."
- "Our volume and production is through the roof, with the same core team.”
Time savings for staff:
- Coordinators spend 50% less time preparing paperwork for signing.
- Closing a loan went from 54 minutes to “no time at all.”
Security and compliance:
- “The audit trail capability is great. There is a tamper-seal on each document."
- "We like how each screen is recorded in the audit trail with the time stamp."
- "Our compliance department was very satisfied.”
The Bottom Line
In 2017, WPCU’s Commercial Lending team processed over 650 business loans – an increase of 65% over the previous year. For every additional loan that the team can process because they are no longer spending their time printing, scanning, faxing, distributing and archiving paper, the credit union becomes a stronger supporter of their local economy.
“As WPCU expands its business services portfolio, our ability to positively impact the community will increase along with the financial returns to credit union members. We are still a little engine within this $4 billion credit union, but the business program has an outsized impact on our bottom line performance,” says Scott Everett, VP Member Business Services.
The partnership between nCino and OneSpan provides credit unions of all sizes with the foundation for digital transformation, growth, and most important, a modern member experience. In addition to best-of-breed cloud solutions and expert guidance, we also work closely with industry associations such as the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Strategic Services. For advice on how to digitize commercial lending at your credit union, email [email protected].