2018 SBB Conference shines a bright light on digital SMB lending

 Kevin Burke, SVP of Business Development at Mirador, brings over 15 years experience in opening new markets and leading teams to develop new and disruptive technology solutions. At Mirador, Kevin focuses on helping financial institutions understand how digitization could improve their lending processes and what market opportunities they could be missing by not digitizing.

With digital transformation taking boardrooms, C-level meetings and industry headlines by storm, the upcoming Small Biz: Banking Conference 2018 (SBB) comes at an optimal time for bankers considering digitizing their lending processes. Kicking off on November 28, 2018, in Nashville, TN, the SBB has consistently offered some of the best content and networking opportunities for bankers and service providers focused on small business (SMB).

In the five years, I’ve attended SBB, I’ve focused on educating banks on how they can use digital technology to create experiences that “wow” customers and differentiate themselves from the competition. Now that digitization is moving beyond the early-adopter phase and into mainstream banking, customer demand and a proven track record of success are enough to convince even the most skeptical and change-averse bankers that digital is the future of 21-century banking.

That shift is particularly noticeable in the lending space.  As one of the newest additions to the Mirador team, I’ve been surprised to observe that only a minority of large financial institutions (FIs) in the US currently offer the ability for small business owners to apply online for a loan.

But, as the content of the SBB conference demonstrates, things are about to change.  One of the headline descriptors of the conference is “originating small business loans profitably.”  No longer deliberating whether they’ll implement digital SMB lending processes, bankers have turned their attention to when they’ll digitize SMB lending. Understandably, they want to implement correctly, armed with the learnings and best practices of others.  Skepticism about fintechs has been replaced with an eagerness to co-create products and a desire to leverage fintech strengths in areas like customer experience and agile development. Multiple sessions will provide practical examples and insights, for example:

· Transform the SBA Loan Experience” – A Mirador session with Patrick Harten, one of the air traffic controllers who guided US Air Flight 1549 to safety on the Hudson River. Patrick’s long-time “retirement” dream, Long Beach Brewing Company, was finally made possible through Mirador’s digital lending platform and NYBDC, a Bank of America lending partner.

· Lessons Learned from the Technology Community” – A guide to becoming more relevant to SMB customers based on learnings from the tech community.

·  “You’ve Got 99 Tech Problems. But these aren’t it.” – Insights from fintech experts on banks of all sizes can attract digitally-savvy SMBs.

·  “Combining Man and Machine”and“Bots or Bankers” – Discussions on striking the balance between human and digital interactions to grow profitably.

With a keen focus on digital and technology themes, this year’s conference is sure to be a great show. If you attend, please stop by the Mirador booth or set up a meeting with me. And if you’re contemplating what it takes to move a financial institution down the path of digital transformation, be sure to peruse our step-by-step guide to digitization.