In recent years, the world has undergone an extreme level of transformation which led to unforeseen challenges. These challenges include financial pressure. Industries across the globe have been dealing with financial distress, especially America’s financial institutions, who had to face an uphill battle: meeting customers’ evolving needs while also fighting off competition from non-bank lenders and technology companies. COVID-19 effectively shut down face-to-face branch interactions, and financial institutions had to pivot overnight to serve customers through digital channels. Banks and credit unions that leveraged technology for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) had a first-hand look at how transformative digitalization can be. The PPP exposed many areas where technology excelled over traditional processes, freeing up lenders’ time spent on manual processes for more value-added services for clients.
The biggest hurdle financial institutions have to overcome with technology is change management amongst their staff. Abrigo has certified change management experts on staff, equipped to help banking leaders map out a plan for successful adoption and ROI on their technology investment. Abrigo provides more than a username and password, and it’s that additional layer of support that allows innovation to be accessible and positive.
Wayne Roberts is a transformational leader and builder of high-growth technology companies and teams who joined Abrigo as CEO in 2016 when the company was still Banker’s Toolbox. He led the resurgence by driving next-generation products and services, unleashing a powerful company culture, generating impressive organic growth, and leading multiple acquisitions to make Abrigo the partner of choice for America’s financial institutions. Previously, he was the chief operating officer at Accruent, the leading provider of software solutions in the commercial real estate management market, and held senior leadership roles at Rackspace, Dell, Trammell Crow, and Accenture. A native of Austin, he is also a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a BBA in business analysis and research and an MBA in finance.
Roberts’ transformational leadership skills were pivotal during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Abrigo enabled nearly 400 financial institutions to provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that helped over 335,000 small businesses throughout the United States. Abrigo assisted financial institutions with PPP origination, PPP forgiveness, and PPP reporting and administration, and provided a comprehensive marketing program that educated lenders on program requirements. Through the Abrigo PPP Solution, Abrigo helped secure PPP loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) totaling more than $36 billion, including $22 billion in 2021. In addition, lenders helping borrowers seek SBA forgiveness for PPP loans have already processed requests totaling $40 billion. Abrigo was able to do this by digitizing lending through online loan applications, integration with SBA systems, E-sign capabilities, and more. Abrigo rapidly updated its platform as the SBA released guidance and new borrower and lender forms only hours before bankers were expected to begin lending.
The wave of digitalization brought by the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay for the long term. Roberts anticipates that the traditional financial institutions will have to offer digital account and loan origination to keep pace while also integrating risk management systems to minimize the risks that come with online and mobile interactions. “Abrigo will lead the vendor pack to ensure our financial institution clients have the tools to satisfy their customers and keep their institutions safe,” he adds. Abrigo’s combined technology and experience across thousands of institutions allows them to uniquely cater to financial institution needs. Many banks and credit unions are hamstrung by legacy software or siloed tools that prevent cooperation and reporting. The Abrigo platform and its API connections mean financial institutions can start to consolidate their data to harness it across marketing, risk management, and strategic decision-making.
In 2021, Abrigo secured a strategic growth investment from funds managed by Carlyle—a global investment firm with deep industry and technology expertise. The amalgamation of Abrigo’s organic growth and the investment will fuel faster product development and continued growth in the company’s client success and support teams. Wayne concludes, “Clients can expect the same great service they’ve had to date but with continued innovation in the technology.”