Australian Bank Debuts BizExpress To Speed Up SMB Financing

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has introduced a new digital service that expedites the distribution of pandemic-related loans, allowing small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to access money “within minutes,” according to a report from News.com.au.

With the bank’s new BizExpress Online, existing SMB customers can apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the bank’s NetBank and CommBank apps. The report stated the loan amounts were completed within 20 minutes. The application is set up to take requests from the Australian government’s SMB guaranteed loan scheme, but CBA wants to extend the service through the end of the year.

“Small businesses need quick access to cash flow to keep them going through these tougher times,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, the CBA executive of business banking, in the report.

He said the BizExpress application is intended to make lending applications more streamlined and digitally friendly. Customers who fit the mold “can apply directly by logging onto NetBank or the CommBank app — no other Australian bank offers this complete fully automated service with near real-time funding,” the report stated.

BizExpress determines eligibility through information already provided by CBA customers. That way, some of the documentation usually needed can be eschewed. Karen Last, BizExpress general manager, said 50 percent of SMB guaranteed loans since the pandemic began had been funded through CBA, according to the report.

By not asking customers to produce documents, Last said the bank wanted to remove some unnecessary complexity.

The development of BizExpress Online is part of CBA’s commitment to invest $1 billion per year into new digitization technology, the report stated.

In separate news, CBA is one of the larger issuers of contactless cards in Australia, and David Budzevski, executive director, head of merchant acquiring products, told PYMNTS that the bank is trying to bring more newer, smaller businesses into the digital fold. He said the new ways include partnerships between old-school financial institutions and new FinTechs.

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