Meet The Business Services & Lending Finalists For The 2020 Innovation Series

Innovative solutions that leverage every channel available from cards to text are brought to the forefront by the Business Services & Lending category entries in our 2020 Innovation Series.

In 2018, launched a one-of-a kind contest that showcases the ways in which inventive suppliers are transforming the credit union industry.

Read about the finalists by clicking on the links below.


Presented by and sponsored by Callahan & Associates, the Innovation Series gives three suppliers 10 minutes to impress a captive audience of credit union decision-makers. Suppliers pitch their cutting-edge solutions. Attendees vote on their favorite.

The 2018 Innovation Series spotlighted solutions of the Mobile and Lending variety. The 2019 Innovation Series included Mobile, Lending, and Member Experience. This year, we’re focused on Mobile/Digital, Payments, Member Experience, and, in the series of profiles below, Business Services & Lending.

Read their stories, watch the webinar, and vote for the winner.


Derik Sutton, Vice President of Product Marketing, Autobooks

Describe your innovation.

Derik Sutton: Autobooks is an all-in-one small business product suite that helps financial institutions increase deposits, differentiate their digital banking experience, and better serve small-business cash flow needs by making it simple for them to get paid directly into their existing banking account.

Autobooks integrates directly inside the financial institution’s digital banking channels to make it simple for small businesses to send invoices, collect online payments, automate accounting, and gain access to financial reporting from the same login they use to manage their traditional banking services. In addition to making it simple for the business owner, Autobooks makes it simple for financial institutions to get to market. Autobooks comes with pre-built integrations for the nation’s largest core platforms, digital banking providers, and merchant processors.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

DS: Less than half (47%) of U.S.-based small businesses believe their primary financial institution understands their needs. The result is high attrition with 14% stating they will definitely switch banking institutions in the next two to three years and an additional 36% saying they might.

The reason for the disconnect is that small-business owners need help with cash flow and current banking tools don’t offer much support. According to a U.S. Bank study, a whopping 82% of businesses that failed cited cash flow problems as a factor in their failure. The reason being is that the average small business only has enough cash flow to cover three to four weeks of expenses and many struggle with past-due invoices. A small-business owner’s ability to get paid faster is critical in order to maintain and grow the business.

However, a report by Aite Group found that less than 10% of U.S. financial institutions offer these tools to their small-business customers. The lack of available tools has led most small businesses to become dependent on manual processes and applications, such as spreadsheets, bank statements, and pen and paper to manage cash flow.

Those that do seek digital tools are turning to non-bank providers like PayPal or QuickBooks. Once these companies capture the customer they are then layering in deposit and lending products that directly compete with the financial institution.

How does it increase member value?

DS: Autobooks enables financial institutions to offer an all-in-one small business product suite that integrates directly inside of their existing digital banking channels. A business owner can now manage their business in the same place they manage their finances, saving them time and growing deposits and non-interest fee income for the credit union.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

DS: The current landscape of online business banking was designed for large businesses that have complex needs for ACH management, wire transfers, and user permissions. In addition to the complexity of features, the use cases for these features is primarily focused on managing payables (moving money out of the credit union). Autobooks was designed with the small-business owner in mind, better equipping them to manage electronic receivables (moving money into the credit union). Less than 10% of the financial institutions in the U.S. offer electronic invoicing capabilities today, yet that is a critical need of many small-business owners. With Autobooks, a credit union can better meet the needs of a small-business owner and help them to better manage their cash flow and their business.

Watch the Business Services & Lending finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

Watch Now


Ian Lampl, CEO and Co-Founder, LoanStreet

Describe your innovation.

Ian Lampl: LoanStreet’s commercial loan origination and administration platform is a turnkey solution for any size credit union, loan, or deal volume. By automating and streamlining routine management and compliance tasks, we improve transparency and enable credit unions to scale their commercial loan program from origination to participation. With our new tool, the flow from member, to originating credit union, to any participant, is a seamless process all on a single platform. Members can complete complex loan actions, such as draw requests and covenant compliance, all online, while simultaneously enabling each credit union to manage internal workflows like periodic credit reviews.

The LoanStreet commercial lending platform allows credit unions to manage private club deals or leverage our powerful book-building tools and lending network while maintaining control over information flow. The easy onboarding process helps reduce the administrative burdens associated with adding existing deals, enabling any credit union to launch new opportunities quickly. The platform can support any loan type from revolvers, to multi-draws loans like construction loans, to SBA loans, to floating rate loans or even pricing grids and beyond, allowing unparalleled flexibility to meet the nuanced needs of members.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

IL: Commercial lending is on the rise, but the credit union industry is not currently equipped with the proper tools to manage it. LoanStreet has created the modern online lending tools that credit unions need to meet the increasing expectations of their members for transparency, automation, flexibility, and efficiency.

While credit unions need to support their growing business lending platforms, they can’t necessarily increase the headcount or costs. LoanStreet’s commercial platform automates back and middle office processes so that credit unions can grow their book efficiently without undue burdens.

Manual data entry is not reliable or efficient. LoanStreet’s platform is integrated from origination to maturity, which avoids re-keying and duplication of efforts and eliminates transfer errors and other critical information loss that occur over time. Furthermore, our automated reporting facilitates completion of all applicable regulatory and financial entries for you and every investor.

Commercial loans are more frequently participated, so having a single platform that goes from member, to lender, to participants, is critical to allow individual credit unions, as well as the industry at large, to grow to scale.

How does it increase member value?

IL: Members expect a smooth, efficient, and flexible experience when managing their business loans and processes. LoanStreet’s commercial platform creates that seamless flow by improving workflows and reducing friction in the business lending experience.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

IL: The competition does not recognize that the key to successful commercial lending is about sharing information over time with many parties, both within and across each institution from the member business to different teams within the credit union and their participants. The incumbent position views commercial lending as a standalone record-keeping solution, which misses the point of modern lending. LoanStreet’s commercial platform is both a record-keeping solution as well as a sharing network, functioning as a turnkey solution covering the entire commercial lending and participating process.

Watch the Business Services & Lending finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

Watch Now


Brendon Dibella, Chief Commercial Officer, StreetShares


Describe your innovation.

Brendon Dibella: Business Lending as a Service is a branded, end-to-end solution for credit unions to offer small-business lending. Credit unions and their members receive a completely digital, small-business lending experience with instant pre-qualification and digital decisioning. This innovation allows credit unions to open or expand their small-business lending in a cost-efficient, low-risk, and time-effective way. It is a partnership for the credit union and not a project. No expensive software to buy, no people to hire, and no resources required from the credit union. And the solution is stood up in 30 days or less.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

BD: Unsecured small-business loans can be risky, costly, and time-intensive for credit unions to underwrite. Yet, these are everyday loans that members require to keep their businesses running, and time is a constant pressure. The innovation of Business Lending as a Service solves all three of these challenges. Credit unions can ensure their small-business member is receiving a quality loan in as little as 24 hours with credit approval, all while maintaining strict compliance. The small-business member is satisfied, and the credit union has time to put their resources where they are needed most.

How does it increase member value?

BD: Here are four ways the StreetShares Platform increases member value:

  1. Access to affordable small-business loans
  2. Funding in as little as 24 hours after credit approval
  3. Seamless, omnichannel member experience
  4. Ongoing member support from a team of dedicated account specialists

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

BD: The StreetShares Platform is truly a new and unique product to the market, and here are some reasons why:

  1. Complete end-to-end SMB loan solution with nothing to purchase and install
  2. No integration to a core processing system
  3. Ability to use StreetShares balance sheet or the credit unions for lending
  4. Rates and terms that credit unions are comfortable with
  5. Fully compliant
  6. Marketing toolkit to help credit unions grow their small-business segment
  7. Stood up in 30 days or less
  8. Provided by an experienced lender with over $300 million in lending history
  9. Banker built. Military grade.

Watch the Business Services & Lending finalists pitch their leading-edge solutions.

Watch Now

All interviews have been edited and condensed.

Read more about other Innovation Series finalists by clicking on the links below.


February 24, 2020

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