By PYMNTS Posted on November 3, 2017

Citizens Bank is enhancing its small and medium-sized business (SMB) lending offering by digitizing the loan application process, according to a press release published by the financial institution (FI) on Thursday (Nov. 2).

The bank is launching a new platform, built in collaboration with alternative online lender Fundation, allowing SMB customers of the bank to apply for a loan or line of credit and receive an approval online. Citizens said that, in “most cases,” applicants are informed of a decision the same business day and receive funds within three business days.

“We understand that our small business customers are busy running their businesses and serving customers, so there’s little time left for lengthy [loan] applications, documentation, meetings and waiting for answers,” said Citizens Bank president of business banking Jack Murphy in a statement. “With our new digital lending technology, we have simplified the process of applying to smaller credit requests and are making it possible for more businesses to access the credit they need online, with rapid decision making and funding.”

Fundation has struck other partnerships with traditional FIs, and spoken out about the value it sees in collaborating with traditional FIs, telling PYMNTS in 2015 that such partnerships are “a great conversation point in our industry.”

“We are trying to really work to build a solution that exists right on a bank’s homepage, so we can really partner to get the customer into the right product,” said Fundation CEO Sam Graziano at the time.

In another statement issued Thursday, Graziano again emphasized the effectiveness of bank-FinTech collaborations.

“We believe what Citizens Bank has created is the ideal model of how to leverage the collective strengths of a digitally minded bank with a digital solutions company like Fundation,” he said. “The results are already showing that the bank will be able to reward a broad array of small businesses with the type of borrowing experience they are coming to expect from best-in-class financial services companies.”