When a financial institution is preparing to offer borrowers a new product, such as a specialty vehicle loan or bespoke credit card, the path forward is not always clear cut. New products typically require months of coding and development, which contradicts most institutions’ goal of being nimble and able to spin up products quickly. Adding to the challenge is the imperative to ensure that the new product integrates seamlessly with other product offerings. Lenders are finding a solution to this challenge with a consumer lending platform.
While some point solutions allow organizations to get to market quickly, the user experience will often not match up with existing products. Customers expect consistency — it’s essential for building and maintaining trust with their financial institution.
Fortunately, Blend incorporates a range of product types into a unified, configurable platform with a consistent experience across each product. In this piece, we’ll explore how Blend’s approach helps lenders get the most out of their consumer lending platform.
Expanded Consumer Banking Suite options
Blend’s comprehensive Consumer Banking Suite supports all major banking products. In addition to our Home Equity, Auto Loans, and Deposit Account offerings, we’ve recently expanded our offerings to include:
Unlike the peculiarities of one-off point solutions, Blend’s consumer lending platform lets lenders offer customers a consistent, high-quality experience across each product. Our intuitive, modular interface allows financial institutions to rapidly spin up instances of specialty vehicle loan, personal loan product, or whatever best serves the needs of their customer bases. And rather than weeks or months of development time, this process takes only a few days.
In fact, we recently helped M&T Bank launch a loan application process based on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as outlined in the CARES act. An important consideration was that the process needed to be scalable to account for an expected surge of applicants. M&T also needed it to launch quickly. All in all, we had a fully operational self-serve application up and running in less than 72 hours. The easy-to-use interface worked across a variety of devices and used M&T logos and colors. So far, the bank has approved nearly $7 billion that’s helped 718,000 employees around the country.
The resulting configurable customer journey can use similar features to your other product offerings. Blend’s digital lending platform makes the design of that experience intuitive, user-friendly, and accessible.
The countless configuration possibilities of a consumer lending platform
Blend lets financial institutions design user journeys built on an extensive component library. This means that lenders can begin with a fleshed-out product template and then swap out workflow components as needed. Each organization has control over design elements, while data services and data services remain fully integrated.
To minimize friction in this process even more, we’ve designed our consumer lending platform to require little to no coding. Maintaining complete control over the customer experience may seem like it should require an IT staff and months of software development time. But Blend makes this process easy and accessible.
This ability to offer world-class financial products and create compelling customer experiences puts the power back into the hands of lenders. It lets lenders, as Blend co-founder and CEO Nima Ghamsari notes, “deliver the right product at the right time and with no friction. With our unified platform, our partners are able to accelerate digital innovation across every line of business.” So how can your organization partner with or integrate Blend?
Partnerships and integrations
We know that every bank is unique with a different set of needs and pain points. Blend offers secure integrations with a variety of use cases in mind. There are three ways banks can integrate Blend’s consumer lending platform:
1) Blend-enabled integrations
Blend-enabled integrations are packaged and pre-built to use as part of the core Blend platform. These include top providers across core banking systems, CRMs, data verification providers, LOSs, pricing engines, and document generation providers. These integrations become even more powerful with the ability to create bespoke connections based on your unique needs.
2) Custom integrations
Custom integrations are built in partnership between your tech leads and our integrations team. Through this engagement, we bring partners into Blend “under-the-hood” and build them into the Blend platform. Other relationships result in branded partners, in which we white label our solution. Think of this as “powered by Blend.”
3) API integrations
Finally, API integrations work as a self-serve option. Banks integrate Blend using the API endpoints of our Software-as-a-Service to complement existing point solutions rather than replacing them. In this sense, Blend works more as a kind of “open stack” solution in which you select only the features that you need to round out your product offerings.