Digitizing Document Collection Processes Helps Top 10 SBA Lender Handle More Loans
BayFirst (formerly First Home Bank) is one of the top 10 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders and has been in operation for more than two decades.
With locations across all 50 states and an extensive network of over 1,000 active brokers and additional large strategic partners, BayFirst has seen explosive growth over the past five years with SBA 7(a) loans as their core business prior to the pandemic.
BayFirst National Bank (Florida)
In This Case Study
- The team at BayFirst identified inefficiencies in their document collection processes.
Driven by an increase in demand, Matt Nicolosi and the team at BayFirst quickly found and implemented FileInvite and were able to meet demand.
Formerly First Home Bank
Manual Loan Processing Causes Frustration and Lost Time
Their existing loan processing methods were manual, labor-intensive, and not standardized. The collection of supporting documentation for loans was done via email and in person at a bank branch. Staff would supply a list of required documents to the customer, but often customers would arrive at the bank having forgotten key pieces.
If documentation was submitted via email, staff often spent hours searching through email threads to match data and documents against the list of requirements. Customers frequently struggled to manage oversized attachments and the process of scanning, signing, and returning or uploading forms. And information about the status of their loan was not readily available, at times causing confusion and frustration.
An Increase in Demand Sparks the Search for a Solution
With a growing business, First Home Bank had already been feeling the impact of their inefficient methods for loan processing. When the pandemic hit and they began to process SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, their loan volume skyrocketed.
The demand was so high that they made a strategic decision to pull back on 7(a) loans temporarily to keep up with the volume of PPP loans. Moving forward, they needed a way to increase efficiency and improve the customer experience to be able to take advantage of the hot market for both SBA 7(a) loans and PPP loans.
Additionally, management had little insight into their loan pipeline until loans were closed, making it difficult to make informed business decisions.
Twelve Months of Loan Volume Processed in Just Two Months After Implementing FileInvite
“Sometimes there is an opportunity to work smarter rather than harder.”
A Better Solution: A Flexible, Intuitive Document Collection Platform
BayFirst began exploring technology to help them improve operational efficiency and the customer experience. The solution needed to streamline their existing documentation collection process, integrate with existing systems and provide a clear and quick return on investment in a volatile business environment.
BayFirst chose to implement FileInvite and bank executives were immediately impressed. The ease of implementation and the flexibility of the solution to work with their existing processes allowed them to minimize disruption and the risk of unexpected productivity losses. FileInvite’s open APIs and SaaS-based model minimized the burden on the IT team and enabled seamless integration with their existing software. Completed applications are piped directly into the lender’s other systems, extending the capabilities of existing CRMs and other sales acceleration technologies, and providing a more complete picture of the business. And the intuitive interface and onboarding process allowed FileInvite to be rolled out without the need for extensive training.
Seeing Results: Higher Volume, Superior Experience & Data Governance
BayFirst processed more than 9,000 loan inquiries in the first four months using FileInvite to streamline document collection, management, and communication with customers. In fact, they processed as many loans in a two-month period as they might have processed in an entire year using their old, manual methods with similar staffing. This efficiency gain enabled FHB to capitalize on the increased demand for PPP loans that many competing lenders were turning away because they couldn’t take on the extra loan processing volume.
With FileInvite, bank customers are praising the simple and intuitive customer portal. Both loan officers and customers can easily see the status of a loan application from a centralized dashboard, and messaging with customers from the platform’s chat feature simplifies communication. FileInvite’s follow-up algorithm automates the process of reminding customers when documents are outstanding.
Built-in guided workflows and stages have streamlined the process for loan officers and simplified workloads by prompting them to approve or reject items or requests, or provide feedback until requirements are met to finalize the loan application.
FileInvite provides the bank's leadership team the data and visibility they need for improved target-setting and business decision-making.
"a real-time view and reporting of current loan volume by branch and individual loan officer."
And a record of all communications data and documents is logged, enabling the bank to stay compliant with financial regulations and streamline the audit process.
With FileInvite, bank customers are praising the simple and intuitive customer portal. Both loan officers and customers can easily see the status of a loan application from a centralized dashboard, and messaging with customers from the platform’s chat feature simplifies communication.
"FileInvite has delivered massive efficiency gains for us. It’s [given us] huge time savings, that we never would have been able to achieve without it."