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Supporting Stimulus Lending Programs with Intelligent Document Processing

Staff, Appian
June 11, 2020

As governments and central banks enact extensive stimulus measures, accelerating the demand for business loans and financing, financial institutions are now on the frontlines of the economic disruption brought about by COVID-19. Faced with a massive influx of loan applications, lenders must respond with fast, efficient processes implemented and administered by a newly remote workforce. This is particularly challenging for financial institutions plagued by outdated loan processing systems that rely on paper documents and forms that require manual data entry. Data entered by scanning and simple optical character recognition (OCR) software can require time-consuming manual customization. Because rules and workflows for each form are often hard-coded, updates require manual input, and if a form deviates from the rules, the output is often scrambled and unusable. These processes are slow, expensive, and prone to human error, further blocking a lender's ability to support borrowers and the economy during these adverse times.

AI and Human-in-Control Reconciliation Supercharges Document Processing

Stimulus program rules and processes are rapidly changing, and lenders need a way to keep up. They also need end-to-end loan tracking to prepare for audit and regulatory compliance requests, ideally in one application for easy reporting.

Appian Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) overcomes these challenges. It uses machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to "read" documents, accurately extracting data without the need for manual effort or custom code. With IDP, lenders can quickly automate document workflows, enabling high-volume processing of many different document types. Once the information is captured, users can take action on it within their Appian processes and applications. IDP also converts unstructured data from PDFs into structured data, helping financial institutions detect patterns of fraud and address other operational challenges.

IDP delivers the best of people, processes, and AI. Lenders can easily apply AI to workflows via drag-and-drop interfaces and seamlessly bring people into processes through automation to reconcile issues and discrepancies as they appear. These human interactions are then fed back to the machine learning models to improve future accuracy.

Low-code Automation Simplifies Lending

To accommodate the rising demand for small business loans swiftly, scalably, and reliably, a large regional financial services company built an application for Paycheck Protection Program loan processing on Appian. In just 24 hours, the bank was able to accept the loan applications it was receiving roughly one per second under the new government program. In just 48 hours, the company was able to review loan applications and integrate the application with its existing KYC offering.

Also in the United States, a US-based high-tech, commercial bank and SBA-certified lender is using Appian to manage an influx of small business loan applications from the recent CARES Act. In 72-hours, the bank built an application for customers to submit information and launched it via a self-service portal on its website. This enabled the lender to rapidly grant much-needed funds to struggling small businesses.

In another project related to COVID-19, a large Australian bank is using Appian to direct calls from borrowers concerned about their ability to pay to a new Lending Support Team. With the new application, contact center representatives open a "single pane of glass" with the customer's record for mortgage or commercial loan and payment history. Representatives are then able to use smart call scripting' to record the call, add information to the customer's case, and create a repayment plan.

"Our vision is to make our customers' journey completely seamless, regardless of which part of our bank they interact with. The speed at which Appian helped us develop and deliver these mission-critical applications made them the ideal partner to bring our vision to life."

- Andrew Watts, Executive for Customer Service Improvement, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Only Appian unifies all systems, channels, and customer information with the combined power of business process management, next-generation artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation in a trusted cloud platform. With Appian's low-code automation platform, financial institutions can rapidly develop powerful and unique applications to drive digital transformation and enable competitive differentiation. Visit the Appian Financial Services resource center to learn more.