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Facebook, Google to be stronger after Virus Crisis

Facebook, Google to be stronger after Virus Crisis

Facebook, Google to be stronger after Virus Crisis

Cathie Wood, chief executive officer of Ark Investment Management, discusses her views on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting U.S. technology giants.

Credit Bloomberg

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technology-in-business.net

Really interesting to think about how the tech giants will fare after the crisis, and how that could potentially change the landscape!

Essential Characteristics of a Quality Loan Origination Solution

Essential Characteristics of a Quality Loan Origination Solution

With the continued growth of FinTech and the Alternative Lending industry, systems and solutions that are tailored to these industries have also flourished. Loan Origination, that fundamental piece to any lending business, can be one of the biggest pain points as it involves a complex sales process as well as various documents, checklists and qualifications to complete.

Naturally, digitizing and automating your loan origination process will mean a huge savings of time, effort and investment. What’s more, because so many systems and solutions are available through the cloud, lenders no longer have to buy a custom built option or spend a lot on in-house hardware. 

What to look for from a Loan Origination Solution 

Replacing an outdated loan origination solution with a streamlined, automated and scalable system is not an easy decision, or one that should be done spur of the moment. Whether your company is coming from an analog process involving pen, paper, notepads and spreadsheets, or a computer system that you have simply outgrown, you know that moving to one of the newer and better options could be a huge boost for your business. If you’re dissatisfied with your current system’s performance or concerned about growing operating and support costs, then your company’s overall success and profit are taking a hit and it’s time for a replacement.

When browsing around for a solution, you will see that most of your solution options will have many of the same features, including automated deal submissions, renewal management, stips and document tracking and easy to use application pages. Further, with so many companies having slick, modern looking websites with well written copy, it can be hard to know who you can trust to really deliver a system that will take your business to the next level.

So, in addition to the features and price of your potential solution, here are some characteristics of the solution and the company that provides it, that will help guide you to a winning option:

  • Company Focus, Experience and Background
  • Cutting Edge Technology 
  • Quality Resource and Data Integrations
  • Scalability and Configurability
  • Quick and Efficient Implementation

Company Focus, Experience and Background

First and foremost you should consider where the company came from and what their focus is? Do their employees have experience working in lending and do they understand if from all sides? While a very large software provider may have some advantages, if they are providing solutions for dozens of industries, how can you be sure that what you get will really meet your needs?

What you are really looking for, at the end of the day, is someone who speaks your language, understands loan origination inside and out, and intimately knows the lending industry.

A team of highly-knowledgeable employees with a background in lending, or hands-on-experience using a loan origination system, can significantly enhance the design, development, and support of a lending system.

Another tell tale sign of this is the solution provider’s client list. Have they worked with just a handful of businesses similar to yours, or dozens? If some of the top players in your industry or vertical are using their software, it’s probably a good sign that the solution is a good one.

Cutting Edge Technology

Cutting edge technology for software and solutions isn’t exactly like a new phone, which usually equals a better camera and sharper display. For a loan origination system, it means not only being built on a solid foundation of proven architecture, but one that also has the capability to grow and adapt to whatever developments arise down the road.

Software platforms can only grow as much as their development company puts into them. However, when a loan origination solution is built on a robust, worldwide CRM platform, like Salesforce, which spends billions every year to grow, enhance and develop, you can be sure your system will stand the test of time. After all Salesforce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and their arsenal of products, features and results only continues to grow.

Quality Resource and Data Integrations

Lenders rely heavily on 3rd party data providers to help them make quality decisions. With growing online support, this has become much easier than it was 15 years ago, however the next step is a quantum leap forward. A new loan origination system can integrate directly with your data provider, giving you instant access and sometimes pre-built automation, giving you a supercharged process. What was once a tedious, manual process, that could take hours of going back and forth between different screens and manually entering repetitive data, can be automated and reduced to just a fraction of the time commitment.

In addition, lenders can take advantage of Integrations with of Lender API’s, giving them direct access to some of the biggest players in the game, such as OnDeck and Kabbage.

When looking at a new system, take a look at which data sources and integrations you currently use, which ones are supported by the solution you are looking at, and which ones you might want to grow into in the future. 

Configurability and Scalability

No two lenders have identical procedures. Your process is something that you have worked with and developed based on your own experience, portfolio and the overall market. You want to remove pain points, not scrap the whole thing.

So when looking for a new system, you should make sure that the system can not only be configured to your needs, but that you have transparency into the process as well. Some questions to consider:

  1. Does every change and tweak need to be made by the developer, or can that be done by users as well?
  2. How technical is it to make changes?
  3. What level of support is offered and needed to ensure the longevity of the system?

Again, a system like Salesforce built its reputation on “clicks not code” meaning users everywhere were given the power to configure their system by clicking, dragging and dropping, rather than needing a coding background.

Going hand in hand with this is scalability. If you are going to make a big investment into a new solution, you don’t want it to break or be completely outdated in just a couple of years. So make sure to look for a system that is built on proven tech, built to last, and can be changed and configured without too much hassle. If you can meet these requirements, you should have a system that will grow with you.

 

Efficient Implementation and User Adoption

So you have done your homework and know which system will be best. Now comes the next challenge, the implementation. While you naturally want to have the system up and running as fast as possible, sometimes good things come to those who wait (at least a little).

Get a system that can be implemented at lightning speed and you might be running a risk that it isn’t robust enough to really handle your business needs for today and for tomorrow. Or there could be corners being cut when it comes to QA and testing, so while the system is up and running fast, it is full of errors and you end up wasting more time and money to get things right.

On the other hand, a solution that takes a long time to implement might end up costing you more than you expected, as you are stuck with your in-effective system while others get further ahead.

The Goldilocks zone is different for every company, and will change based on the project and level of customization. After all, if you are spending $5 million on a system versus $30K, your timeline and expectations will be very different.

Finally, there is user adoption to consider. How easy is it for new users to be on-boarded and trained? How challenging or cumbersome do employees find it to be diligent with their data and practices? No matter how good the software, how quick it is implemented or how great the price, none of it matters is your team doesn’t use it, or doesn’t use it the right way. So make sure you look for a loan origination system that is easy to adopt and use, and is built on a platform that is known for its usability!

 

-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team

 


 

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Motivation Webinar with Hoopla and CloudMyBiz

Motivation Webinar with Hoopla and CloudMyBiz

 

It’s one thing to get some good momentum and motivation going internally within a company. It’s another thing to keep it going and adopt a series of best practices to ensure it never leaves.

On February 7th, 2019, CloudMyBiz partnered with Hoopla – a leader in employee motivation and engagement to put on a free webinar regarding exactly this topic.

During the webinar we discussing motivation in the workplace. What is it? How it works? And how can you use that knowledge to apply solutions that keep everyone motivated and ready to tackle anything that comes next!

We’ll also discussed practical applications for departments across financial organizations, leaving our participants with knowledge that they could apply right away. The feedback was great and overall, resulted in a very successful webinar.

Did you miss it? Well do not fear, we have a recording available for anyone who is interested!

Watch the recording here!


Want to learn how CloudMyBiz and FUNDINGO can help your company fund more deals faster?

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How Conga can make FinTech more efficient and profitable

How Conga can make FinTech more efficient and profitable

At CloudMyBiz, we are in the business of providing the best possible solution to our clients for the best possible price. That usually means one of two things.

First is that for any client who has a specific need, particularly in the niche market of Alternative Lending, the best solution may be to build out the necessary functionality on top of our FUNDINGO frameworks.

The second option is implementing and integrating 3rd party apps. After all, if we can leverage an already built app, and take advantage of that company’s unique knowledge and specialization, why would we want to re-invent the wheel?

Conga

In regards to 3rd party apps, one of the highest rated and recommended apps, built on the Salesforce platform, is Conga. We recommend Conga over and over to our clients, and in particular FinTech companies, because, simply put, Conga delivers fantastic results in areas that FinTech companies need a reliable option.

Conga is a suite of AI-powered solutions that focus on automating documents, contracts and the processes surrounding them. Conga solutions include:

  • Contract Lifecycle Management
  • Document Generation
  • Data and Process
  • eSignature
  • AI

 

Benefits for FinTech

To put it into a nutshell, when FinTech companies use Conga, they can speed up processes, automate workflows, reduce overhead, and reduce errors. Below we overview some of the best options for FinTech:

Contracts in Salesforce

  • Conga allows the users to quickly and seamlessly draft and send out contracts, with essential data pulled directly from the account in Salesforce. The signed contracts can them be sent back directly to Salesforce, and the account updated.
  • For FinTech companies, where deals need to be made with a matter of hours or days, this is an essential time saver and ensures contracts won’t fall through the cracks. Turnaround times on deals decrease by 80%

Document Creation and Collaboration

  • These are some of the most popular Conga products and used by many CloudMyBiz clients. They help you create professional looking documents, in just about any format, including email, Word, and PDF. Of course, because it is connected to Salesforce, you can easily populate your docs with your hard earned business data. Conga also offers the option for online collaborative documents, so you and your team can work on them together, from anywhere.
  • FinTech relies heavily on documents, for just about all parts of the business. You not only need professional, easy to read and use documents but in order to manage risk, you need to make sure those documents are error free! You can send out essential emails, pulling aggregated data from multiple sources, and focus on selling, rather than admin tasks and creating docs.
  • In addition, Conga offers add-ons to their core document apps for:
    • Simplifying mass mailings
    • Creating & sending batches on a custom schedule
    • Generate docs from event triggers

Data and Process

  • Data, workflow, and processes are some of the trickier products to build. Conga, however, has done a great job with theirs. Admins can embed automated, repeatable processes in Salesforce to increase record keeping, reduce administrative tasks and encourage user engagement. In addition, you can automatically log activities, create follow-up tasks and even update fields with a click of a button.
  • Data entry and manual processes are the number one complaint we hear from FinTech companies.Whether it is reviewing/analyzing bank statements, calculating deal terms or populating borrower information, there is a lot of data to process, and it all has to be done flawlessly. The Conga data and workflow tools are an easy way to help companies streamline their processes.

eSignature and AI

  • While not part of Conga’s core offering (their bread and butter is documents), it only made sense for Conga to expand and handle related processes like eSignature and AI.
  • For any business, FinTech or otherwise, if you can easily integrate eSignature to your documents, it will save you a lot of time. Document review AI is another big time saver. If you need to analyze your documents, organize and ensure you aren’t missing out on valuable insights, AI systems are the way to go.

So in conclusion, no matter what business you are in, but particularly FinTech, Conga can help your business. After all, documents, contracts and processes are central to most companies out there, so why wouldn’t you want one of the best solutions to handle this essential part of your business?

-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz team

 


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How Salesforce Enables the Top FinTech Trends of 2018

How Salesforce Enables the Top FinTech Trends of 2018

At CloudMyBiz, we like to say that we speak the language of lending. We know how the industry works from the inside, and so, we are always keeping up with the trends and news in the Alternative Lending and FinTech. This allows us to keep abreast of new developments, better understand what our clients are experiencing and then better tailor and develop our solutions to meet the changes of the future.

Alternative Lending and FinTech have been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years. The industries move quick, and so staying on top of things is essential to keeping ahead of the competition.

There have been a number of articles written in recent months detailing the top FinTech trends of 2018 and, after reading our share of content, we wanted to share some of these trends in our own blog.

Interestingly (and not really surprising), many of these trends mimic the developments and growth that Salesforce is taking as well. So, we will not just be looking at the current trends in the industry, but also how Salesforce is enabling this growth, and providing companies with better tools and solutions to keep up with the trends.

So without further ado, our list of Top FinTech Trends of 2018


More and More Automation

Automation has come to just about every industry, and so it should be no surprise that FinTech is not an exception. For financial companies, increased automation means faster transactions and smarter processes. Interestingly, McKinsey & Company predict a second wave of automation in banking, that will increase capacity and free employees to focus on higher-value projects.

How Salesforce Enables Automation

Not much needs to be said here. Salesforce was built to bring companies streamlined processes and all around better functionality through automation. The idea has always been to empower administrators through “clicks-not-code”, so that smart workflows and automation can be built by anyone, regardless of any programming knowledge.

More Data. Better Data

Data and big data have been getting a ton of attention in the last few years. In regards to the finance industry, how data is collected and used is changing. Credit scores are no longer the only driving factor, as many creative loan options look at a large variety of factors to determine eligibility. Having access to large volumes and more precise metrics are changing the way financing is done

How Salesforce Enables Data

Reporting. Cough. Reporting. It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Salesforce routinely touts the power of their reports and dashboards to give users deeper insights into their data. And it’s for good reason. The reporting in Salesforce is robust, and when used properly, can provide valuable info on all sorts of important business metrics.  

In addition, with Salesforce’s ability to add on various apps, risk and decisioning tools can be integrated directly to your CRM. For example, FUNDINGO’s LexisNexis or Experian integrations give lenders, brokers and funders direct access to these online credit services.

Increasing Regulation

Finance is certainly one of the most regulated industries and as financial technology continues to change, financial regulations are constantly struggling to keep pace.

10 years ago, Bitcoin hadn’t even been invented, let alone understood in such a way as how to regulate it. As companies are relying on digital tools more and more to handle money, security concerns are just one of the things that come along with it. For the FinTech industry, more regulation by and large means that companies simply have to keep aware of what is happening, and do everything they can to remain compliant.

How Salesforce Handles Regulation

As a cloud-based system, Salesforce has always had to worry about regulation and security. Protecting sensitive customer data has always been essential, and with a Sales platform that can be used in just about any vertical, Salesforce has had to be ironclad to be used so broadly. How did they do it? Say hello to Salesforce Security and Salesforce Shield, which protect your data and help you remain compliant.

Blockchain and Bitcoins

Speaking of Bitcoin there could hardly be a discussion about new trends in finance without Blockchain. Yes, this year’s markets have been volatile, but regardless of how the individual coins fare in trading, the Blockchain technology is here to stay.

While we can’t really say how much blockchain will infiltrate financial systems, it does provide the opportunity for a more efficient and more secure way of doing business.

Because blockchain works in real time, and on an unchangeable digital ledger, both paper transactions, and large amounts of fraud can be avoided. Not only that, but wires and transfers will be less necessary. Bitcoin can clear and settle instantly, and with digital wallets, credit applications or funds queries can be run in real time.

How Salesforce Enables Blockchain

When you think Salesforce, you probably don’t immediately think blockchain. However, Salesforce has begun this year to get involved in blockchain to improve transportation. Then there is the AppExchange, which has something for just about everything out there, including a couple of Blockchain integrations for fund storage and transfer, such as PencilDATA and Blockchain Explorer.

 

Artificial Intelligence

What’s that? You didn’t know that robots are taking over the planet? Well its true, but not in an apocalyptic way. FinTech is in the early stages of investing and embracing AI where, according to a report by Econsultancy and Adobe, 20 percent of financial services organizations are already using AI, while 41 percent are planning to use it within the next 12 months.

For FinTech AI is set to do a number of things in the near future, including facilitating customer interactions with chatbots, offering financial advice based on customer’s habits and spending, detecting fraud and being able to automate data analysis tasks.

How Salesforce Handles AI

If you spent any time in the Salesforce network or blogosphere this year or last, you have definitely heard about Salesforce Einstein. Einstein was developed to plug directly into the heart of the CRM, and the AI analytics can then be applied to just about any of the clouds you or your team use. AI is getting better all the time, and so using it to guide your business might very well be one of the best investments you can make.

Everything Goes Mobile

Banking and financing ‘on-the-go’ is pretty much a given for the future. With the ever-increasing efficiency of our mobile technology, customers are going to expect to be able to do just about everything from their mobile devices. Currently, about 45% of banking customers use mobile payments while banking interactions on laptops and desktops are expected to decrease by 63% by 2022

So, for any company in the FinTech industry, providing quality mobile services will be more and more essential going forward, and those that get there first may win a lion’s share of potential customers.

Salesforce and Mobile Usage

For mobile CRM usage, there is Salesforce1. While it’s true that FinTech is going ever more technology-heavy, in particular with all sorts of mobile applications and devices, Salesforce is right there to keep pace. With a mobile version of your CRM, anyone who is routinely on the go, can continue working and remain plugged in no matter where you are.

Wrap Up

Keeping up with the latest trends in the industry is not just something we do for work, it’s also something we are genuinely interested in.

This is not just because we specialize in loan management solutions for Alternative Lending and Merchant Cash Advance industries, but also because many people on our team, used to work for Alternative Lenders. In fact, that’s how the idea of CloudMyBiz came to be, as our founder recognized a gap between the technology available on the market, and the systems that were commonly being used by lenders, brokers, and funders. So, where there is a gap, there is a need, and where there is a need, there is usually a solution.

And that solution as we see it, is Salesforce and our FUNDINGO Loan Management Solution.

-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2018/07/03/exploring-5-trends-driving-the-fintech-revolution/#548bc6ff12c7

https://rubygarage.org/blog/biggest-fintech-trends-for-2018


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