How to get 50k hardship loan in 20 minutes
Commonwealth Bank has cut the red tape for small businesses needing to access COVID-19 hardship loans, launching a new digital service that enables funds to be obtained within minutes.
BizExpress Online will allow the bank's existing small business customers to apply for up to $50,000 through CBA's NetBank and CommBank apps, with requested loan amounts credited to accounts in less than 20 minutes.
The real-time application is set up to take requests for the Federal Government's SME Guarantee loan scheme; however, CBA is intending to extend the service by the end of the year to encompass most of its small business lending products.
CBA executive of business banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle said BizExpress was part of the bank's broader digital overhaul to make lending applications simpler and faster.
"Small businesses need quick access to cash flow to keep them going through these tougher times," Mr Vacy-Lyle said.
"It means eligible customers 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."
BizExpress uses information already provided by a CBA customer to determine whether they are eligible for the loan, cutting out documentation that is usually needed when making an application.
BizExpress general manager Karen Last told NCA NewsWire the CBA had funded roughly 50 per cent of all the SME Guarantee loans that had been lodged in Australia since the start of the pandemic.
"We have made a really significant investment in building something that is structured around customers rather than traditional bank processes," she said.
"We are taking the complexity out for customers and saving them time by not asking them to produce any documents."
The country's largest bank first introduced the technology as an internal solution for business bankers to speed up loan application approval times.
Its development is part of CBA's five-year pledge to invest $1 billion every year into technology that will assist the bank's digitisation strategy.
The online process for COVID-19 business loans follows CBA's decision in June to taper its broader pandemic support packages, with the bank noting it would move to a more tailored response.
CBA, along with the majority of Australia's banking institutions, offered loan repayment relief of up to six months for business, mortgage and personal loan customers.
Coronavirus SME loans are 50 per cent backed by the Federal Government and are designed to enable lenders to provide cheap unsecured funding for small and medium businesses.
Loans are available to companies with less than $50 million in annual turnover, and applications are open until the end of the 2021 financial year.
CBA is offering three-year loans of up to $250,000 though the scheme at an interest rate of 4.5 per cent, with repayments deferred for the first six months.
Originally published as How to get 50k hardship loan in 20 minutes