Online Lending Proposition for SMEs

About the project

Client Objectives

A Western European retail bank wanted to re-evaluate their potential role in the underserved SME finance market. The client needed to choose the best approach for re-entering this market, and for more effectively serving their existing SME clients. The bank enlisted Fincog’s strategy consulting services to carry out this task.


We not only created a strategy for the SME market for the bank, but also developed an online lending proposition. In working on these deliverables, we took a phased approach. After the first stage of research we drafted a minimum viable product (MVP), tested this with customers, and then built a business case from there.

The MVP functioned as a self-service, digital lending solution along with a digital dashboard providing insights into an SME’s financials. The prototype included a quick and effective online loan application process that allowed for integration with other payment, savings and insurance offerings. Services on the platform were set up in a modular fashion, allowing users to tailor services to their needs. SMEs could also opt for offline assistance with a branch’s business advisor.


Creating an online lending prototype with Fincog led to a 60% reduction in operating costs for the client, a loan issuance cost reduction of 95%, and a projected tripling of its SME lending market share by 2020. Furthermore, the client reshaped operational processes by simplifying risk and finance mechanisms along with digitizing and partially automatizing operational procedures.

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