More innovations at Wolters Kluwer to report on. With the U.S. CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now entering the loan forgiveness phase, Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions has announced the launch of its eagerly awaited TSoftPlus™ PPP Forgiveness Module to help local lenders and their small business client recipients of PPP funding facilitate both online and in-person loan forgiveness applications. The company says that the end-to-end solution facilitates and automates the application process for the forgiveness of loans to small businesses that received PPP emergency funding, “providing seamless technology benefits to local lenders and PPP borrowers.”
The TSoftPlus PPP Forgiveness Module builds on the success of Wolters Kluwer’s widely used solution, Paycheck Protection Program Supported by TSoftPlus™, which, since early April, has helped local lenders assist small businesses nationwide with payroll funding. The TSoftPlus technology, which has been widely reported on, has interfaced seamlessly with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) E-TRAN platform, helping those businesses retain approximately one million U.S. jobs and thereby providing critical economic relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
The product’s online functionality expedites the loan forgiveness process for remote, electronic application processing. It features an online form pre-populated with required, existing PPP borrower loan information from the loan approval phase or, for loans outside of TSoftPlus, with data from other systems uploaded through Wolters Kluwer’s application programming interfaces. This approach speeds and automates delivery of forgiveness documentation, thereby enhancing overall application accuracy and improved document management, while reducing the occurrence of incomplete applications. Its E-Sign functionality enables electronic signatures on forgiveness applications, helping promote a convenient distance banking option for borrowers and lenders alike.
And customers are backing the module to be a much needed and well used piece of functionality. “We’re a small bank and hadn’t processed an SBA small business loan in probably 20 years,” said Marji Wolfe, Loan Officer with Glasford State Bank in Glasford, Illinois. The bank helped several local businesses obtain PPP funding including two restaurants, a print supply firm, a construction company, area farmers, realtors and churches. “One customer said they didn’t think they’d stay in business without this lifeline. Wolters Kluwer’s technology was easy to navigate and allowed us to process 17 PPP loan applications. We are now looking forward to using the TSoftPlus software again for the loan forgiveness stage.”
Lenders can also brand the forgiveness module with their organization’s name and, as Glasford’s Wolfe adds, the ease of successfully processing PPP loans with this technology can provide another customer benefit.
“Interacting with many of our existing customers has allowed us to work with them to ascertain what other banking products may be beneficial for them. The PPP loans have helped our close-knit community in a time of difficulty and, during this process, we have worked with a number of these PPP customers to identify other needs that we can support them with moving forward. All in all, this process has provided a real positive for the community.”
“This phase is about having a well-documented process in place to treat all PPP borrowers in a fair manner and this module allows borrowers to start the forgiveness application using an intuitive customer journey experience. Notably, lenders need not have used the TSoftPlus technology during the loan’s origination phase to take advantage of the module’s efficient data import option,” said Steve Meirink, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions. “There is also the added benefit that enables lenders to request additional documents after the initial forgiveness application questionnaire is submitted. The module provides tremendous flexibility and clarity for lenders as they work through the loan forgiveness process with their borrowers.”
Wolters Kluwer Compliance Solutions describes itself as a provider of risk management and regulatory compliance solutions and services to U.S. banks and credit unions, insurers and securities firms. The business, which sits within Wolters Kluwer’s Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) division, helps these financial institutions efficiently manage compliance obligations tied to loan and deposit origination transactions and workflows, manage risk and other regulatory compliance obligations, and gain the insights needed to focus on better serving their customers and growing their business.
Earlier this month Wolters Kluwer shared insights showing that its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Supported by TSoftPlus™ solution helped small businesses retain approximately one million American jobs, representing almost 100 different industries. The figures provide further evidence as to how the Minnesota-based business is continuing to provide industry expertise and technology prowess, leading the way when it comes to ensuring local lenders have access to robust solutions during Covid-19.
“Full-service restaurants lead the list of top business types that have obtained critical payroll funding during the Covid-19 crisis, facilitated through local lenders’ use of TSoftPlus technology,” said a Wolters Kluwer press statement. “Physician offices and lawyer offices, electrical contractors, and commercial and institutional building construction businesses are among the other industries to have received Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance.”
Additional analysis based on PPP loans processed with the TSoftPlus solution, indicates that TSoftPlus-processed PPP loans have overwhelmingly been focused on supporting Main Street businesses, with 90 percent of that funding directed to organizations with 20 or fewer employees. The average number of employees assisted by local lenders who used TSoftPlus-originated loans is 12.
Independent analyst firms are also noting the ability of TSoftPlus to provide important access to industry insights during the pandemic. Steven D’Alfonso, Research Director with IDC Financial Insights, notes that beyond lenders’ use of TSoftPlus to facilitate PPP loan and loan forgiveness applications, the process may provide a trove of new insights into customer priorities and preferences, ultimately benefitting small businesses in communities across the country.
“After witnessing a demonstration of TSoftPlus functionality, it would appear that, thanks to the data generated by the PPP loan process, lenders will now be in a better position to truly understand their customers’ needs. Essentially, they will be able to enhance existing banking products or develop new offerings for customer benefit,” said D’Alfonso. “The close collaboration required between borrowers and lenders to meet PPP requirements may have an important side benefit in helping deepen and strengthen customer relationships, helping engender mutual trust for the long term.”
The TSoftPlus PPP Forgiveness Module is one of several expert solutions launched by Wolters Kluwer’s GRC division in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including the Business Entity Search for CARES Act solution, offered by Wolters Kluwer’s Lien Solutions business, which conducts bulk/batch corporate identity searches to verify the business status of potential borrowers. COVID-19 Noteworthy Developments Bulletins, meanwhile, aggregates COVID-19 related global regulatory changes, orders, notices and other informational updates for the financial services industry. The division has also launched a COVID-19 resource center to provide businesses and law firms with international, federal and state legislative updates.
The GRC division of Wolters Kluwer is headed by New York-based CEO, Richard Flynn. Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer, Flynn held a variety of executive positions during his career in financial services. His professional experiences, achievements and expertise spans across finance, risk management, information management, database marketing, new business development, product management and general management. His last position with American Express was Senior Vice President and General Manager for OPEN, the market leader in U.S. cards dedicated to small businesses. In that role, he led the business through the credit crisis and implemented a new growth strategy focused on payment product innovation for B2B customers.