Faster, Safer Lending with Enhanced Signer Verification

Allies for Community Business (A4CB) is a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides capital and coaching to small businesses in Illinois and Indiana. Located on Chicago’s West Side, A4CB prioritizes Black, Hispanic/Latinx, women, and low-income entrepreneurs. At Momentum 2021, DocuSign’s annual product conference, we were joined by Jackie Blair, A4CB’s director of marketing & communications, and Joan Galaviz, manager of capital operations, who shared their digital transformation story.

A4CB understood that digital loan processing and signing could help them support more small businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated that effort. A4CB had to find a new way to work with borrowers and grantees to assure a smooth closing and life of a loan. “We needed to pivot and find a digital solution to close loans and disburse funds to businesses as quickly as possible,” Blair recalled. “At the same time, we needed to protect against fraud and keep our client’s information safe.”

Before A4CB began working with DocuSign, they conducted small business loan closings in person, which involved printing off a lot of documents, driving hours to meet with clients at their businesses, and processing loan documents after closing. When the pandemic began, the team started working remotely and had to quickly develop new processes to meet their security measures in a remote environment. At the same time, there was also a huge increase in demand for small business capital.

Allies for Community Business went from closing an average of 30 loans per month to 125 loans per month - a 4x increase in their production!

When searching for digital solutions, ID verification technology was especially important. The A4CB team needed to take all security measures necessary to avoid any kind of fraud, especially when they were no longer able to meet in person for loan closings. They also needed to verify that they were sending loan funds to the correct accounts and establish the right audit trail for internal and external compliance.

DocuSign eSignature and ID Verification helped A4CB transition into the world of digital loan closings and electronic filings. With ID Verification, they were able to verify the identity of the person they were funding through a government issued-ID document.

This new way of solving loan challenges helped A4CB:

  • Lower risk of ID-based fraud: “We’re verifying the identity of the person we’re funding through a government-issued ID document, such as their driver’s license,” explains Joan Galaviz, “this is an additional level of verification beyond email address.” 
  • Save time: Staff can process loans more quickly, which gives A4CB the ability to improve other parts of the organization and help more entrepreneurs. “We went from taking 30 minutes to process each loan to 15 minutes per loan,” Galaviz said, “and that doesn’t include the time we save by not having to drive to the customer’s place of business.”
  • Eliminate paper processes: “We don’t have piles of physical paperwork that we need to store in our office anymore. By moving online, we save the physical space, and we can more easily track our loan documentation, which goes back to processing loans more quickly and securely and helping more people.” Galaviz added.
  • Provide a better client experience: A4CB’s customers are able to sign documents and verify their identities remotely, at their own convenience, which means they save time and can focus more time on their businesses.

With this transformation, A4CB will be able to keep up with the incredibly high demand for capital for underserved businesses now and in the future and continue serving as many entrepreneurs as possible.

Learn more about DocuSign ID Verification.