By mid-June 2020, nearly half of all US-based, black-owned businesses — around 400,000 companies — had closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s from a report by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
“Some of those businesses have come back, but a lot haven’t and never will,” says Alisa Joseph, director of programs at the US Black Chambers, Inc., a nonprofit that supports and advocates nationally for black-owned businesses in the name of economic empowerment — often in partnership with local African-American chambers of commerce. “It was incumbent on us to figure out how we could best serve our communities and our chambers.”
In response, the USBC reached out to lending-software maker TurnKey Lender to help it manage grants and loans, and give the businesses and the organizations its supports “the tools to be successful in an extremely charged time,” says Joseph.
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Moving more money, more urgently
The USBC, based in Washington, D.C., is one of many community-development financial institutions using TurnKey Lender to help the communities it serves. These CDFIs are private financial institutions committed to providing responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream.
“More than 20% of our clients are nonprofits, and we’re excited to be in talks with other CDFIs eager to automate and track their lending,” says Dmitry Voronenko, TurnKey Lender’s CEO and co-founder. “All of them cite the pandemic as a catalyst. They’re moving more money, more urgently, to where it’s needed like never before.”
The USBC chose TurnKey Lender’s standard Box edition to automate every stage of lending from origination to discharge and leverage the platform’s credit decisioning which is characterized by the flexibility needed to conduct alternative evaluations with help of proprietary machine learning and artificial intelligence. The USBC is especially enthusiastic about its ability to create and manage unique credit products for CDFIs across different US jurisdictions.
For the USBC’s Joseph, the nonprofit’s overriding goal in turning to TurnKey Lender “was to figure out how we provide our members and others who are interested in the things we promote to give them the tools they need to be successful in an extremely charged time.”
TurnKey Lender is no stranger to providing full-cycle lending automation for CDFIs and other nonprofits. With this software, even the most complex nonprofit mandates can:
- Reduce operational costs and virtually eliminate human error
- Configure every step of the lending process to suite operation’s needs
- Reduce credit risks and approve more of the “right” loans, faster
Major features of the Standard Box of TurnKey Lender’s solution include the following.
- It’s an end-to-end solution. TurnKey Lender provides a flexible system that meets your need for scalability and automates every step of your loan management process. This includes application processing, borrower evaluation, credit decisioning, collateral management, loan servicing, payment collection, reporting, and more.
- It provides for traditional and alternative credit scoring. TurnKey Lender origination modules come with a proprietary, customizable Decision Engine that’s powered by artificial intelligence. It combines traditional and alternative scoring approaches and data sources to help your organization approve the most suitable applicants on fair terms.
- Its fraud detection and cybersecurity are super-compliant. TurnKey Lender’s solutions are GDPR compliant out of the box and assist lenders with anti-money laundering and “know your customer” compliance. AI-driven credit decisioning lets you approve more of the right loans faster, filtering out scammers automatically.
- It provides failsafe tech-to-tech integration. Efficient integrations make or break a fintech solution. TurnKey Lender’s software is used and constantly tested for its ability to work flawlessly with third-party providers with 75+ integrations pre-configured and an intuitive API client for the rest. The list extends to payment vendors, credit bureaus, bank verification providers as well as communications and archiving providers.
- It doesn’t get between CDFIs and their clients. TurnKey Lender is fully white-labeled so you can customize its branding in seconds to avoid confusion and so the borrower — not the tech vendor — commands the mindshare it deserves among users at every level.
- Its support and training are available 24/7. TurnKey Lender’s team is at your service 24/7 ready to help you use your solution to the fullest. You and your employees can request online help or even get one of our top executives to come and help out on sight.
- Robust bank-grade reporting built-in – TurnKey Lender comes with powerful reporting functionality, so you always know your business ROI and can track the performance of loans and borrowers. The data can easily be batch exported and imported and the reports comply with the Metro 2 standard for streamlined cooperation with credit bureaus. All the lending-related data that enters the System is processed and updated with every action on every loan application. You can review the information in the intuitive and configurable dashboards of the dedicated Reports Workplace.
Besides the USBC, several other CDFIs have turned to TurnKey Lender’s technology to manage and streamline their financing operations — a core function in every case.
The Kheprw Institute – Powering Social Entrepreneurship in Central Indianapolis
The Kheprw Institute, focused on empowering young people while building community wealth, chose TurnKey Lender for its end-to-end lending automation, which it uses to extend accessible credit to marginalized communities in and around its home base of Indianapolis. The Kheprw institution uses TurnKey Lender’s Box edition but made significant modifications to its application template to align with its mandate and mission.
People Trust – Microloans for Students and Underserved Communities
People Trust has a strong focus on helping the individuals it funds maintain healthy credit histories. It operates a fund for making affordable and easily accessible installment loans to students and other members of the community. Needing software to support its “extra mile” commitment to borrowers, especially around restructuring and rollovers. This Little Rock, Ark.-based CDFI uses TurnKey Lenders’ Standard Box version with customizations for payment scheduling that reflects borrowers’ payday cycles. A feature of particular importance to People Trust is the integration between TurnKey Lender and Payliance, the operator of a third-party payments to facilitate card repayments and internal loan-status notifications in addition to standard notifications for borrowers.
Gaston County – End-to-End Credit Automation for a Local Government
Not a CDFI per se, but a local government, North Carolina’s largely rural Gaston County consists of fifteen incorporated towns, ranging in size from Gastonia with 76,000 inhabitants to Dellview with a population of under 10. This entity uses TurnKey Lender software to automate the lending process at every step. Among other customizations, TurnKey Lender included an option to its loan application that helps the county ensure that every borrower meets its criteria.
“It’s a good sign that all these companies address their lending automation needs with the built-in features and all the pre-configured integrations,” says TurnKey Lender’s Voronenko. “This makes lending automation quicker and less expensive. And, he adds, “we continually upgrade the system to include new features requested by nonprofits using our boxed solution so our platform is constantly becoming more robust and flexible, making it easier for CDFIs to digitalize every aspect of their financing operations under one cover.”