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How To Know Which Is the Best Lending Platform for You

Colored arrows around a circle that says “Onyx IQ Loan”. The orange arrow says “origination”, the gray one says “screening”, the blue one says “underwriting”, the cyan one says “closing”, and the coral one says “servicing”.

Recent shifts in digital transformation have changed the way we work in financial services, particularly for small business lending. 

More than ever in our post-pandemic world, customers expect speed and convenience. Digital grocery sales are a clear example: this year alone, the U.S. market is expected to grow another 20.5%. While traditional loans depended on in-person processing and slow-moving timelines, alternative lending in 2022 is experiencing an evolution towards digital agility.

The latest and greatest cloud-based technologies are making an extraordinary difference in the lending industry. New tech helps automate processes making them more efficient and much faster. From application to document management to credit analysis and beyond, emerging lending technology is enhancing the experience for both lenders and borrowers.

In this article, we are going to help you figure out which is the right lending platform for your business, and how much it can actually do for you.

What Does the Ideal Lending Platform Look Like?

The ideal lending platform is cloud-based, turnkey, and allows you to automate key processes from the beginning to the end of the lending process. It eliminates repetitive tasks and empowers your talent to focus where you need them the most.

While cloud technology certainly isn’t new, small business lenders have only recently realized the true power of agile and end-to-end loan management. This gradual move towards digital has resulted in a number of benefits for all parties involved in the lending process, which include transparency, efficiency, information security, and optimization. 

Benefits of a Lending Platform

Traditional lending forced businesses and consumers to turn to banks as trusted advisors in the loan management process. But where banks offer knowledge and expertise, they tend to lack flexibility and speed. This is mainly due to regulatory obligations and slow or inefficient legacy software.

Alternatively, the fintech lending industry has been quicker to adopt emerging technology, leading to happy repeat customers and sparking significant growth over the past decade. In addition to increased customer satisfaction, leaning on a digital, cloud-based platform can help you:

  • Optimize your underwriting process: dramatically reduce the paperwork, time, and errors associated with manual data entry.
  • Leverage data to make decisions: combine a solid data repository with automatically generated reports to inform your next move.
  • Improve stakeholder collaboration: allow people you work with to access the system and view relevant information so that they can play their part in the lending process.
  • Secure all information: advanced security in cloud-based systems prevents fraud and protects sensitive data.

Regardless of a lender’s size or time in the market, the right lending platform offers boundless advantages, particularly when it comes to saving time and money.

4 Essential Features to Look For

A lending platform is a fundamental tool for your business, but not just any one will work for you. First, make sure your solution is cloud-based. Next, see if the platform offers the essential features highlighted below. 

1. Automation. 

Although it may seem redundant, always check how much automation a platform offers. This is the first building block of a lending platform. Look for a platform that gives you as much automation as possible.

Underwriting, syndication, payments, email notifications to your merchants and syndicate members, countless reports—it can all be automated. This translates into higher quality results (not to mention time saved), as documents are more efficiently processed, and in a much more reliable and secure way. 

2. Configuration and Customization. 

Your technology provider must recognize the nuances of your business and the unique importance of your book of business. Alternative lenders operate in different markets, with different products and clientele.

Sure, a good platform offers a modern user interface with user-friendly features—but a great lending platform allows for both configuration and customization.

A platform that’s highly configurable makes it easy for you to organize the platform as you need it. Just by clicking and moving things around, you can create and manage your client profiles, business rules, and standard terms—the more a platform allows you to configure, the better.

When it comes to customization (changing the actual code of the platform ), it’s important to partner with a platform vendor who has the resources and expertise to interpret and execute any changes that you require. Finally, make sure that all parties understand the timeline and associated costs for custom work now and in the future.

3. End-to-End Management. 

Looking for programs within your computer or your browser bookmarks, opening and closing windows, switching tabs… all this makes you lose time and energy. The purpose of a powerful and comprehensive end-to-end lender management SaaS software is to help you manage a loan lifecycle (i.e., from origination to servicing, processing to collections) all in one place.

As a lender, you need software to facilitate e-signing for sensitive documents, collect financial information, manage the emails you send and receive, and verify customer identity. A powerful lending platform will offer robust integrations to allow you to seamlessly bring all other software that you need under one roof.

This means that you get total transparency along the way, as you will have quick access to all the information you need. In turn, this gives you firmer control over what you’re doing, not only because you’re actually viewing data in real-time, but because you have it all in context as well. 

4. Collaboration 

Collaboration is key to thriving as a modern alternative lender. 

With syndication likely sitting high up in your priorities, you know this. Smart lending platforms take into account the fact that you work with other people and rely on different tools to be successful in what you do. From customer application through collections, each lending stakeholder must be efficient in managing their responsibilities.

As focused as you may be on your role as the facilitator of the whole process, there’s no denying that you need other people. Look for a lending platform that offers you the possibility of working hand-in-hand with everyone involved in the process–one that delivers straightforward interactions. 

You are going to need features like an exhaustive syndication workflow, where different people play their part along the way. Or a number of different login roles so that relevant stakeholders can see and do exactly what they need. Leveraging the expertise and knowledge of collaborators can only add to the efficiency of your experience using an agile platform.

At the end of the day, when it comes to features, the more boxes you can tick when looking at a lending platform, the better it will be for your lending business. 

Onyx IQ: The Leading Cloud-Based Solution for Alternative Lenders

Tedious and slow manual processes, lost information, scattered tools—it’s all a thing of the past. 

A modern lending platform can empower you to not only overcome this hassle, but also manage your lending business like never before, through automatic and transparent processes. Get more and better results, and get them quicker and safer.  Onyx IQ comes in at exactly this place.

Close more deals faster with Onyx IQ, the lending platform built by B2B lenders for B2B lenders.  Schedule a demo with one of our industry professionals today to see how we partner with our customers and drive real results. 

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