A new Aite Group report says 39% of community banks say they’re “likely” or “extremely likely” to invest in new branch technologies, such as in-branch iPads for forms and signatures, over the next two years to help improve their loan delivery and decision processes.
The report, “Commercial Loan Processing Solutions and Analytics: U.S. Community Banks Weigh In,” looks at community banks’ commercial lending strategies.
According to the Boston-based think firm, community banks also responded as “likely” or “extremely likely” to invest in the following technologies over the next two years: loan origination systems for commercial and small business loans (27%), cloud computing (26%) and loan servicing and collections systems (14%).
Aite Group said demand from small business loan customers, on whom community banks rely to leverage their business banking platforms, has decreased since 2008. The firm found most community banks are zeroing in on the loan servicing and collection process as they strive to gain efficiency in the commercial loan application process.
“Lending to small businesses provides considerable payback in terms of customer loyalty and increased revenue from all manner of fee-based services,” said Christine Pratt, an Aite Group senior analyst and co-author of the report.
Failing to provide services to small businesses will result in painful losses for community banks, Pratt said.
She said there are three areas in which small businesses expect community banks to step up their game: loan products, loan application processes and loan servicing.
“Many community banks have recognized the technological challenges and opportunities in these areas, and are committed to investing for successful growth,” Pratt said.
Aite Group said it surveyed 100 community banks, each with less than $5 billion in assets, online from May through July, a sample size it said has a margin of error of eight points.