National Bank of Canada has partnered with Montreal-based FinTech Thinking Capital to streamline its SME loan application process and offer financing to a wider segment of small businesses in Canada. The partnership enables National Bank to use Thinking Capital’s Lending-as-a-Service platform - which embraces artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms - to make lending decisions and process loans directly in-house.
Small businesses across Canada can now apply online for a term loan on National Bank’s website, and receive a decision within seven minutes of submission, with funds being processed within 24 to 72 hours upon approval. According to RFi Group data, over half of SMEs have used digital channels to apply for borrowing products, while two thirds would be willing (score of 6 - 10 out of 10) to apply for such products online. This suggests high levels of comfort with online applications among small businesses, supporting the strategic partnership agreement with Thinking Capital.
Mario Desautels, Senior Vice-President of Business Solutions at National Bank, commented in an interview “We have been looking at providing digital options to our small business clients and making the experience easier, faster and more efficient overall. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we have a clear strategy to provide innovative solutions to the marketplace by partnering with fintech providers and, in doing so, we can make ourselves more available to certain segments of the market.”
This new financing option for SMEs is the latest in a number of solutions introduced by National Bank for business clients, including the mobile point-of-sale app Easy Pay powered by Mobeewave, Interac e-Transfers and international fund transfers.