UK technology firm Zenoo (zenoo.com) has created a new solution to enable US small businesses to quickly receive essential Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans during the COVID-19 crisis.
The technology was created at the emergency Hackathon to Save Small Business in March, where the Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR) brought together over 60 people representing more than 20 banks, fintech firms, non-profit organisations and other institutions across the US and Europe.
Set up as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program is a rescue package for small businesses to stay active during the current crisis.
However, with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Treasury Department instructing banks to handle all applications in a tight timeframe, the digital capabilities of the financial institutions have found it hard to cope, leaving many desperate businesses unable to file the applications intended to keep them afloat.
The key issue has been the failure of financial institutions to have a robust and efficient digital onboarding process which allows customers to apply for loans such as PPP without physically entering a branch.
“There are very few banks that have solved the challenge of fast and efficient digital onboarding, the impact of which we are seeing now,” said Zenoo CEO Stuart Watkins. “And even when they do have something in place, normally the tech is built in a way that is difficult to change quickly. With something like the PPP loan, where the regulation is changing daily, banks need an ability to instantly adapt and they are ill prepared.”
As the coronavirus crisis has hit US businesses hard, Zenoo has pivoted to focusing on building solutions to help firms battle the effects of the pandemic.
It was this understanding of how technology can overcome the challenges of COVID-19 that led to Zenoo being invited by AIR to try and solve the PPP application problem in March’s Hackathon.
Zenoo worked three days and two nights on the challenge and created a solution to address the crucial issue of digital onboarding of PPP applicants at mass scale with speed.
Jo Ann Barefoot, CEO and co-founder of the Alliance for Innovative Regulation, said: “We were so pleased that Zenoo participated in the Hackathon and has followed up with a working solution to help address the small business crisis.”
Zenoo’s ability to problem solve was born four years ago when the leadership team set about assembling a group of experts from around the world to build the next generation of digital onboarding platform. From there the company philosophy has been key – solid technology, built by exceptional people with a single mission.
Watkins added: “There are many companies talking about solutions, but none of them have come forward with an actual solution – we have.”
To learn more and sign up visit www.zenoo.com/ppp