Adaptability isn’t something we take for granted anymore, especially after the pandemic. Companies were made or broken based on their ability to quickly scale and conduct business digitally. Lending was one of the most impacted industries — not only because of the millions of business loans it struggled to process, but its resistance to change until that point.
The next worldwide health scare may not be for a long time, but that doesn’t mean banks shouldn’t be prepared for the next major shift. The thing is, being prepared doesn’t just mean adopting the biggest, most expensive software as assurance that bad things won’t happen. Instead, surviving (and thriving) in the midst of change depends on who you choose to partner with:
- Can they respond quickly in a crisis?
- Do they listen and respond to your needs as they change?
- Are they going to be there with you in the trenches?
Customers of large banking and lending systems can never answer “yes” because of their vendor’s sheer size and inability to pivot. But that’s not the only reason a smaller, more agile lending partner is the best choice.
3 Reasons Why Small is Mighty
When the economy, industry, or customer preferences change, rigid workflows and legacy providers cannot pivot fast enough to respond. Worse, they leave teams like yours scrambling to develop workarounds, “shadow IT,” or spreadsheet-driven processes that expose the company to risk. Working with a more focused lending partner like SPARK gives you the ability to:
Get Up Close and Personal
You might liken selecting a loan origination provider to choosing a college. State schools boast big names and vast programs, but don’t stand a chance compared to the intimacy a smaller school can provide. Like students getting one-on-one help from teachers, SPARK customers benefit from direct interaction with the people who actually build the product. Unlike other loan origination systems, SPARK focuses solely on business lending, meaning we’re never distracted by other concerns. Every new feature and improvement is purpose-built to improve your small business lending.
Our team isn’t just trained on small business lending either — we’ve actually lived it. Like you, we’ve been on the front lines of lending as underwriters, loan officers, and technologists, so we understand the industry, as well as your unique challenges.
“I would say if you are looking for software, SPARK is a great solution. Beyond that, I would say that you won’t find another organization as good as SPARK when it comes to the customer service side.”
Director of Business Finance, Entrepreneur Fund
Influence Product Roadmap
You’re a lender, not a software developer. So why is influencing the product roadmap important? As a regular user, you understand the nuances of a system and whether it meets your everyday lending needs. After implementation and regular use, loan origination software becomes ingrained in your business — and you won’t want to switch providers just to add a new feature.
But sadly, not every lending system listens and incorporates their customers’ feedback. Some don’t even update regularly. In our opinion, good software improves over time and evolves as industry needs change.
At SPARK, we deeply value customer feedback. We collect it early and often so it’s the users that drive new product development and continuous optimization. In theory, it’s impossible to put out a bad release because we only work on features and products we know will help our customers.
Pay Only for What You Use
Price is one of the biggest considerations for choosing a loan platform — and one size definitely doesn’t fit all. Most SaaS providers charge customers based on licenses or “seats.” Sometimes they bill based on asset size or even what they think you can handle.
SPARK takes a different approach that caters to each organization’s needs. Usage-based pricing is tied to your results, not your agreement. Put simply, SPARK charges based on how often you use the software to close loans.
We believe this model is fairer and more beneficial to both the customer and the provider. Customers are never charged for what they don’t use, so abnormal production months don’t end up costing even more. Conversely, the more an organization uses the product, the more SPARK is able to grow and innovate additional functionality, ultimately benefiting the customer.
This was especially beneficial during COVID when banks executed more PPP loans than ever. Customers that originated higher volumes earned significant amounts of origination fee income. SPARK also benefited from increased use and collaboration with customers. Everyone pulled their weight, and we all won because of it.
We’re happy to tie our success to yours — because we believe in our products and our customers’ ability to thrive with them.
SPARK is Better for People-First Lending
As you make the leap into digital lending, will you partner with an industry innovator or get lost in a sea of other vendors? While big-name providers can tout flashy tech and global scale, smaller shops like SPARK can provide the guidance and accessibility you’ll want when push comes to shove.
If you’re looking for a way to provide applicants with more human-centric experiences or you’re concerned about getting your teams the training and direction they need, SPARK is the digital lending partner you need for long-term success.
Get a price quote that’s unique to your business. Contact us for a demo of the SPARK platform and an evaluation of your loan origination needs.