Business equipment financing is too often a painful experience for the borrower, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Banks and equipment finance companies have had all the control over an opaque negotiation and documentation process that can drag out for weeks. Borrowers have had little influence over the slow, time-consuming process.
Innovation Finance turned to Box to custom-build the QuickFi® business equipment financing platform, leveraging native Salesforce and Docusign integrations. By applying machine learning algorithms to uploaded invoice data, the system enables users to choose their own financing terms, with transparent rates and no hidden fees or costs.
With Cloud Content Management, Innovation Finance has transformed a three-week back-and-forth process into a three-minute digital transaction. The QuickFi mobile platform is available 24/7/365, converting invoices into equipment finance agreements and putting business borrowers in control of the equipment financing process. With the ability to apply intelligence and automation, data stored in Box is far more valuable to QuickFi and platform customers.
Your business needs 100 new laptops, and your current budget won’t justify purchasing them outright. So, you look into equipment financing — standard stuff, right? Finding the laptops is easy. The loan or lease paperwork is another matter.
First, you start a proposal process. After a lengthy back and forth with the finance company — including plenty of phone calls, emails, and some adversarial negotiations — you finally receive a proposal with numbers. Those numbers are rarely transparent, and often involve hidden fees and unnecessary terms. Upon reaching agreement with the bank or equipment finance company in the initial negotiation, a financing proposal is signed with the lender, and the equipment is delivered by the vendor. The “closing paperwork” is eventually issued by the bank or finance company, often giving rise to additional negotiations over terms and conditions not disclosed or understood in the initial proposal. Eventually the closing paperwork, typically involving multiple signatures by multiple people, is signed, and the loan or lease is finally consummated.
In situations like this, says Mark Tomaselli, President and CTO of Innovation Finance USA, “The business borrower is generally at the mercy of the lender. The process is time-consuming, confusing, and can end up costing the company too much.”
Tomaselli and his partners had a better idea. They envisioned a revolutionary new platform based on mobile technology that would streamline the process of equipment financing for small and medium business owners. That idea became QuickFi, a sophisticated, 100% digital mobile lending platform that reduces the time it takes to lease vital equipment from three weeks to just three minutes — with unprecedented transparency, security, and dramatically reduced cost.
To get QuickFi up and running in just 18 months, Tomaselli’s team turned to Box.
“QuickFi is radically different from the way banks and equipment finance companies make business equipment loans today in the $1Trillion per year U.S. business equipment finance marketplace. We’ve added complete transparency and unprecedented speed.”
Mark Tomaselli, President and CTO, Innovation Finance USA
Envisioning the ideal mobile lending platform on a backbone of the right technology
While getting a new technology company off the ground is a big deal, in some ways it’s easier than trying to bring new technology into an old company. As Tomaselli says, “We didn’t start with technology we had to accommodate from legacy business practices, so we were able to focus 100% on the user experience. Our starting point was to evaluate what an ideal transaction would look like, from the borrower’s perspective. Then, without the burden of legacy systems or legacy data, we established technology platforms to enable the ideal customer experience.”
That led the QuickFi development team to Box as a content repository. Tomaselli was familiar with Box from past roles at finance-industry companies. With the new startup, he felt confident that Box would be the right platform for launching processes requiring automation and secure storage.
A core function of the QuickFi mobile platform is to process unpaid vendor invoices, turning them into commercial equipment finance agreements with a single digital borrower signature. To do this, the QuickFi iOS and Android mobile applications allow users to use their mobile device to: i) upload an invoice directly, or ii) use an image-capture function, or iii) email the invoice into the QuickFi platform.
Once the invoice is in the system, QuickFi leverages Box to process the invoice and applies an AI engine to conduct an OCR extraction of its data. Rendered in an editable format, the user may then choose from several possible loan/lease terms and execute a final agreement within QuickFi through Docusign.
As Tomaselli explains, “We were able to leverage AI and automation to consume unpaid vendor invoices into QuickFi. We then process the imported invoices with artificial intelligence to allow our customers to quickly construct, review, and execute their own loan or lease agreements — all in only three minutes. Funding of the vendor equipment invoices occurs the following business day.”
“In addition to convenience and speed of this revolutionary lending model, the cost savings, which are passed back to the customer in the form of lower rates, are substantial.”
Mark Tomaselli, President and CTO, Innovation Finance USA
Content at the center of a swift, secure transaction
“We really embraced the notion of having all of our content in one secure platform,” says Tomaselli, “with the ability to efficiently engage the data — Box’s notion that the data becomes more valuable because it’s stored in Box.” Applying machine learning algorithms to the uploaded invoices made it possible to give users control over how to manage the contract. No more tense conversations with loan officers, no more negotiations, no more hidden fees or costs, and no more delays in acquiring the business equipment small and medium-sized businesses need to grow.
The magic of QuickFi is that it leverages both the Box API and other technology integrations. For instance, a Box-Docusign integration enables contract signatures to happen in-app. QuickFi also takes advantage of extensive integrations between Box and Salesforce.
“We’ve been able to leverage Box APIs both from a custom standpoint and a partnership standpoint,” says Tomaselli. “We now have one single place that we can secure and audit all the documents and content that QuickFi consumes.”
The pivotal role of security in app transactions
Another reason Box became the critical content layer in this national, commercial business lending QuickFi platform is the importance of keeping customer financial information and PII protected. With Box Shield, Innovation Finance has complete audit and controls around QuickFi customer content.
“The security and audit capabilities with Box and Box Shield are critical to why we selected the platform,” says Tomaselli, “knowing that we could be fully compliant from a regulatory standpoint.”
Technology constantly changes, and so does regulation. Having a partner that can grow and scale with Innovation Finance’s governance needs was important. “Obviously every company needs to be focused on data security and protection,” he says, “so Box’s continued investments with the new Shield capabilities reinforce that we’ve selected a partner with whom we can scale rapidly on a secure platform.”
The future of quick, painless financing
As Innovation Finance grows, it has the opportunity to expand into additional consumer lending products and services. Tomaselli adds, “The openness of Box is important to us, because we can directly interface with strategic partners as we grow those relationships.”
In partnership with Box, companies like Innovation Finance are changing the way small and medium businesses operate by removing friction, dramatically reducing cycle times, and lowering business equipment financing costs for businesses throughout the United States.
Build powerful custom apps
Box Platform gives you access to Box APIs and the tools you need to integrate Box throughout your organization and build custom apps and integrations in the cloud — without having to build and maintain your own content management services.
Create a customer-centric, compliant and streamlined loan experience
Lack of easy access to latest versions and confusion over which documents have been submitted results in redundancy and frustration. With Box, customers can seamlessly collaborate on sensitive content with loan agents, without either entity worrying if the files are secure and compliant.