ANZ deploys new platform to fast-track SME loan approvals

ANZ Bank SME Lending Loan Platform

Small businesses could have conditional loan approvals in under 20 minutes through ANZ, with the big four bank launching a new SME lending platform that directly taps into businesses’ accounting software data.

Developed in partnership with DemystData, an external data aggregation service, the ANZ Online Business Lending platform tracks historical financial data collected from several popular Accounting Software Platforms (ASPs), including Xero, QuickBooks, and MYOB.

The service requires businesses to link their ASP to the bank’s credit assessment platform, allowing ANZ’s system to capture relevant financial data.

Demyst states that its External Data-as-a-Service (EDaaS) function can “join thousands of external data attributes together”, using a “single integration point (API)” to connect to data providers.

According to the EDaaS developer, it also provides ongoing reporting and data compliance monitoring with data engineering, integration, reporting and project management support for internal data access and ingestion.

While ANZ said the new system can deliver conditional lending approval within 20 minutes for unsecured loans up to $200,000, full approval will take another two days to fulfil.

In a statement, ANZ retail and commercial banking chief Mark Hand said the “technology is deeply integrated with ANZ’s existing platforms.”

The rollout of the new lending platform coincides with what may be the early inklings of returning business confidence, Hand said, despite lingering Covid lockdowns across the country.

“While the current economic crisis will be devastating for some businesses, there has also been a great deal of resilience and some will be able to come out the other side even stronger,” he said. “We’re also starting to see new businesses being created to meet emerging customer needs.”

ANZ said SMEs will be able to use the new digital lending platform to borrow under Phase 2 of the Government Guarantee Scheme.

According to ANZ’s most recent half-year report, released at the height of the Covid lockdowns in April, the bank had racked up around $4 billion worth of pre-approved loans to 35,000 Australian small businesses with existing transactions accounts.

Nevertheless, despite the efforts to fast-track SME loans, ANZ’s home loan approvals times appear to have taken a backward slide recently.

While ANZ claims to be able to assess mortgage applications “within a week”, data from the bank shows it may in fact take up to 23 business days to approve.

On average, ANZ requires between 15 to 18 business days from the day of the mortgage application to approval.