FIS Blog

Choose Change for Faster, More Accurate Credit Decisions

David Ratnage, director of product management, Commercial Lending, FIS

July 09, 2019

When you’re assessing the creditworthiness of borrowers, you need technology to help you not only do it efficiently and get it right but also give you flexibility. So, is your credit assessment solution giving you the freedom of choice – or could it be time for a change?

The commercial lending ecosystem itself is evolving rapidly, with the demand for efficient, flexible and, above all, customer-centric systems driving digital transformation. While helping reduce operational costs, emerging technologies are also making it easier for lenders to integrate a greater range and depth of non-traditional data analytics into their decision-making processes.

Where, then, does this leave established commercial credit assessment practices and the systems that support them?

Amid the growing use of advanced analytics and alternative data sources like social media, the traditional assessment of financial performance remains central to making sound and informed commercial credit decisions.

However, what can’t go on, as many leading banks have realized, is the use of disparate spreadsheets for gathering, storing and analyzing data. By bringing financial spreading and rating processes together onto a single, modern purpose-built platform, commercial lenders can better meet the increased need for data lineage, model version control process management.

With a smoother flow of processes enhancing the lending journey, the modern credit assessment platform is fast becoming a necessity for commercial lenders.

Today’s technology advances, such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), are stripping out costs and unnecessary burden from the financial spreading process through the conversion of documents into key input data.

The even better news is that today’s market provides a greater choice than ever of credit assessment platforms.

Not long ago, the selection was limited – and firms had to accept both the constraints of their solution and the significant costs of development-led customization. Now, flexibility and cost-effectiveness are critical.

For both a sound credit assessment process and a seamless customer journey, the ideal platform will offer a configurable chart of accounts, integration to leading rating providers and integrated covenant management. It will also be highly cost-effective, run on familiar hardware – and give you a choice between cloud and on-premise solutions.

And there’s that word again – “choice.” Technology should be a democratic enabler not a dictator. While playing a critical role in your business, it should adapt to your requirements – not vice versa – offer the same service to all customers and never hold you back from competing.

In other words, lenders shouldn’t feel that their existing credit assessment provider is holding them hostage. While there are common misconceptions about data lineage dependencies, today’s providers have developed intuitive tools to migrate historical data and support back-testing.

Ultimately, you’re free to change vendors if you choose – and there’s never been a better time to shop around for a new credit assessment platform. Why not exercise some choice and opt for a more flexible solution?