Online Lender SmartBiz Gains Four Distribution Partners
Golden Pacific Bancorp and financial technology firm Better Finance have teamed up to create an online lending program that is designed to sharply reduce the time it takes to approve and process an SBA loan.
Alternative lenders, once considered competitive threats, are becoming allies for some banks. BBVA Compass now pitches its clients on OnDeck loans in the hopes of better retaining small-business customers.
SmartBiz, an online lender to small businesses, announced four new distribution partners Wednesday: California Business Bank in Los Angeles, Yahoo!, Xero and ePay.
SmartBiz is used to help automate Small Business Administration-backed loans from $5,000 to $150,000 and is the fruit of Golden Pacific Bancorp in Sacramento, which teamed up with Better Finance (formerly BillFloat) in 2013 to become the tech company's origination partner. The tech platform, which can fund loans within five to seven business days, helps make smaller dollar loans more cost effective for banks. It is also meant to let busy business owners apply for a loan at any time of day.
California Business Bank will pitch its own customers on the SmartBiz loan option. This is the latest example of a traditional bank shipping off business to alternative lenders. BBVA Compass recently announced it will recommend online lender OnDeck to some of its small business customers.
In partnering with Xero, an accounting suite provider, Yahoo! and prepaid payments provider ePay, SmartBiz will also get more small-business loan leads. Applicants, in turn, will be saved the trouble of entering in certain keystrokes during the application process. Whatever the partner knows about the prospect perhaps an address, perhaps a cash flow will prepopulate within the SmartBiz application form.
SmartBiz has already processed more than $23 million in applications.