Speed matters: Why cloud lending is the future of financial services | Blend

Speed matters: Why cloud lending is the future of financial services

Cloud-based solutions are enabling lenders to benefit from scalability, automation, and faster speed-to-market.

How can pioneering financial providers be better prepared to react quickly when the market inevitably shifts? For some, the answer is in cloud lending solutions.

M&T Bank is one such pioneer. At the very beginning of the pandemic, before the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) had even released its guidelines, M&T turned to Blend to help it roll out a cloud lending solution that was regulatory-compliant, efficient, and could process a huge volume of loans with automation.

In three days, Blend rose to the challenge and configured its cloud lending platform for M&T Bank’s needs, providing a solution that could handle self-serve loan applications including digital signing and data integration. 

“Partnering with Blend meant we could move quickly enough to be there for our customers when they needed it,” said Chris Kay, who leads M&T’s consumer and business banking divisions. “The team’s dedication to making this work on a short timeline is a testament to the type of partner Blend is, and the way [the] platform could adapt to this new situation and scale rapidly was especially impressive.”

The unique benefits of cloud lending

M&T’s ability to adapt quickly in a market that seemingly changed overnight was powered by the unique benefits that come from cloud lending solutions like Blend.

These benefits include:

  • Scalability: With the cloud, financial institutions have the opportunity to scale capacity up or down as needed — and at a moment’s notice. And because the same cloud platform can serve multiple product lines, financial providers can scale horizontally across their portfolio too.
  • Automation: Cloud lending solutions can help financial services providers automate key processes. This helps streamline many parts of the lending process such as data input, document management, decisioning, and pre-approval — delivering improvements in efficiency and speed.
  • Quality of life: Cloud lending solutions can generally be accessed from a range of devices, from any location, and at any time — making them convenient to use. Some cloud lending platforms also offer features such as data-prefill and guided application flows, which can make the onboarding process even faster and simpler.
  • Maintainability: Unlike many in-house solutions, cloud lending platforms often don’t require a lender to employ a whole team of IT experts to help update and maintain the technology. With a cloud lending solution, many of the service needs are handled by the software provider. This can mean fewer IT issues and rapid access to the most up-to-date solutions.
  • Speed to market: As we have seen with M&T Bank, cloud lending solutions can help financial services organizations take a new product to market quickly and effectively. That’s because they can include low-code, drag-and-drop design tools, as well as built-in integrations with a wide range of technology, data, and service providers.
  • More efficient closing: With cloud lending platforms that enable digital closing, lenders can achieve faster funding times. That’s not only because they can enable borrowers to complete closing documentation remotely, but also because they can limit post-closing errors and maintain accuracy by using automation to flag issues. The ability to easily communicate with settlement agents within one workspace can make closing even more streamlined. 

Introducing Blend’s approach to cloud lending

Blend’s cloud banking platform has been built to optimize every step of the lending process.

Guided application flows and an intuitive user interface make the customer experience simple and fast from the very beginning. Meanwhile, data pre-fill, along with built-in automation and data connectivity, reduce the chances of bottlenecks and speed up the time to decision.