Financial technology companies and other banking service providers have acted quickly to provide support to institutions supplying loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PP), as well as small businesses applying for aid.
The PPP was brought in last month as part of a $2 trillion economic aid package to support businesses through the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The program is worth an estimated $350 billion and consists of federally guaranteed, forgivable loans to cover payroll and other operating expenses. Banks began accepting applications on April 3, and have until the end of June to distribute loans.
Global payments firm FIS is providing support to “a growing number of financial institutions” through its Real-Time Lending Platform, which digitizes and automates the loan application process.
The platform has been approved for the loan program, and FIS said it “can be scaled” to meet demand.
FIS has also announced fee waivers on its monthly minimum services charges for US and UK clients.
“As a critical infrastructure provider, FIS is committed to bringing the full force of our scale and resources to keep the global economy running and to assist small businesses, merchants and our other clients during this enormously challenging period,” said FIS chairman, CEO and president Gary Norcross.
“I am extremely proud of the work our employees are doing to help our clients, and the industry, manage through this global crisis and come out stronger on the other side.”
GDS Link – a software provider for credit management – has launched an online loan application program for the PPP. It is designed to allow banks to “immediately support” small business customers online, removing the need to apply in person.
“The current crisis has heightened the need for banks to fast track their move from brick to click, and our solution is an important step in that journey,” said GDS Link CEO Paul Greenwood.
Data and software provider Wolters Kluwer has also rolled out a dedicated PPP platform for banks and credit unions to help process applications.
“The ability to approve and fund loans quickly is critical to supporting small businesses during these unprecedented times,” the company stated. It plans to provide free training sessions to users to help familiarize providers with the PPP.
Data and analytics provider Moody’s Analytics has “enhanced” its credit decision-making solutions to “help streamline borrowing by small businesses” under the PPP.
According to a press release, the company has updated its offerings that “streamline and automate” online loan applications and credit decisions, in an effort to help banks provide more timely access to funding.
Funding Circle, a leading US loan platform for small businesses, has launched a pre-application system for PPP loans ahead of receiving approval to provide loans itself.
“Funding Circle is doing all we can to help small business owners get quick access to vital capital during this historic crisis,” said Bernardo Martinez, managing director. “Our pre-application system will enable many small business owners to get the funding they need as soon as fintech lenders are admitted into the program.”
Small businesses eligible for the PPP can apply for a loan of up to $10 million, determined by eight weeks of prior average payroll. Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months.
The loans are forgivable in part if employers maintain their workforce. The Small Businesses Administration will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll, along with certain other expenses following loan origination.