Accelerating CBILS Small Business Loan Applications with Docusign

How Docusign can help accelerate CBILS loan applications

In extraordinary times, where a series of drastic measures have been taken to tackle COVID-19, small businesses are facing growing setbacks - losing customers and losing deals while expenses remain high. It is becoming increasingly difficult for these businesses to pay their employees, their bills and continue operating. 

To help small businesses through the uncertainty, the UK government and the British Business Bank have launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. This new scheme provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Under the scheme the government underwrites 80 percent of the value of the loan, with loans of up to £5m available to businesses with revenue below £45m. British Business Bank operates CBILS via its accredited lenders. There are over 40 of these lenders currently working to provide finance to UK small businesses.

The importance of processing CBILS loans quickly

There are 6 million small businesses in the UK that potentially need access to the resources made available by the UK government. A growing number of these small businesses don’t have enough cash to cover costs and stay afloat. Getting the approved loan funds into the hands of these business owners is a race against the clock. 

As a lender to small businesses, it’s imperative to process as many requests as possible and to move as fast as possible. 

The CBILS has a long list of documents on its loan application checklist. This may vary from lender to lender, however the standard process usually involves more than just gathering documents. The process usually also requires application information capture and ID verification processes, which are typically handled in person at a branch. Under the current conditions, lenders that digitise the steps necessary to create a remote loan processing workflow will have an enormous advantage in terms of getting crucial funds into the hands of the business owners who need that cash so badly.

Streamlined CBILS loan processing

The CBILS loan process is complex, with a series of highly manual steps in the standard agreement process. Docusign can help lenders upgrade their process at various steps by replacing outdated workflows with a more automated and efficient process. By implementing a modern system of agreement, lenders can reduce, if not avoid, paper-based processes that require manual resources to process and complete, eliminate bottlenecks that can delay agreements, reduce errors that accompany manual data entry and ensure compliance with security standards. 

This improved digital infrastructure can connect the tools, processes and documents involved in loan processing, resulting in faster, more accurate and more efficient submissions. It helps small businesses improve their chance of qualifying for a loan and minimises the frustration of bank employees who manage the loan process.

Below are a few ways that Docusign’s digital system of agreement can help banks improve all loan submissions, including CBILS at each step of the document lifecycle:

  • Prepare: Automate the creation of digital forms, prefilling relevant information based on integrations with other systems.

  • Sign: Implement Docusign eSignature to make it simpler and more secure for anyone to complete and sign CBILS loan applications or any other necessary forms. 

  • Act: Automate steps in the loan submission process to complete faster, decrease administrative mistakes and cut back on staff time required to manually process/fill forms.

  • Manage: Store completed forms in the cloud for easy searchability and access, reducing the cost and hassle associated with paper form management.

How Docusign can help

Docusign offers a suite of products called the Docusign Agreement Cloud. It can help a lender speed up CBILS loan submissions. Our eSignature, ID Verification, Guided Forms and Contract Lifecycle Management products provide the tools to help small business lenders quickly upgrade their infrastructure, allowing them to complete loan paperwork faster and easier. 

Here’s more information about how each product can improve your workflow.

  • Processes that involve filling out paperwork may be able to benefit from the most modern means of signing agreements. Our highly rated mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows empowers a borrower to sign an agreement from almost anywhere at any time. Docusign eSignature allows a lender to add standard fields to agreement forms, including signatures, dates and custom fields that are required. With more than 350 pre-built integrations and open APIs, Docusign can easily connect with the systems and tools you already use, like Salesforce or nCino.
ID Verification
  •  At several stages of the CBILS loan process, it becomes important for borrowers to verify their identity. Identifying borrowers quickly and efficiently can reduce cost and risk, helping protect lenders from fraud and keeping them in compliance with regulations like Know Your Customer. Docusign Identify provides  lenders an additional tool to help verify a borrower’s identity using a variety of options, including a government-issued ID, SMS, phone and access code alongside EU specific ID offerings for eIDAS Advanced and Qualified electronic signatures
Contract Lifecycle Management
  • CBILS loans involve more than just collecting and signing the right documents. Those documents need to be prepared, signed and submitted in the right order and then acted on correctly to ensure a loan gets approved. Manually moving each document through this series of steps is an easy way to run into roadblocks in the submission process. Building a technology stack with a series of point solutions for individual steps is inefficient, costly and introduces more room for breakdowns. Docusign CLM can manage the end-to-end process in a more seamless solution, utilising workflow automation to cut down manual work and redundant data entry.
Guided forms
  •  CBILS loans application involve collecting a variety of information about  borrowers. Docusign Guided Forms provides a step-by-step, mobile-ready guided experience to help borrowers easily complete long or complex forms. Borrowers are given questions that automatically adapt based on previous answers. The information collected will then help lenders decide if the borrowers meet the CBILS criteria or not. It will also enable them to use this information to generate an agreement.  When the questions are completed, the system can  also use the answers to automatically generate the borrower’s signature-ready agreement in Docusign eSignature if needed. The result is a faster, friendlier experience for borrowing small businesses, with fewer errors and less friction.

With the Docusign Agreement Cloud, lenders can streamline the CBILS loan submission process while maintaining compliance at every step. Docusign meets some of the most stringent UK, EU and global security standards while offering strong data encryption technologies. On top of that, Docusign has invested in maintaining certifications in the most robust regulatory and industry standards including SOC1, SOC2 and PCI compliance.

Watch our on-demand webinar: Accelerating CBILS Small Business Loan Applications with Docusign