Lucro’s digital lending strategy was thrown into turmoil when a competitor acquired their Fintech partner. Suddenly they needed a new technology solution, and the question was— should they build or buy? Rather than continue to be reliant and vulnerable to a third-party, they decided to build their own solution. Following three weeks of discovery with OutSystems partner Truewind, they delivered a first of its kind, ultra-configurable business lending platform in just fifteen weeks. Now Lucro can help any credit union or CUSO make business lending more lucrative, with less paperwork, faster processing, and a superior experience for end-customers.
Ultra-configurable Business Lending Platform
Loan approvals under 10 Minutes
Secure cloud—OutSystems Sentry—SOC2 Type II compliant
“The Digital Business Lending Center is a first of its kind platform. We have huge interest from numerous credit unions, both big and small. When we demonstrate the platform, prospects are blown away at how quickly we can configure it to meet their specific requirements.”
Escape From a Burning Platform
Challenge - Lucro Commercial Solutions (“Lucro”) is a specialized Credit Union Service Organization founded in 2003, and now wholly owned by Corporate One Federal Credit Union. Lucro’s mission is to help credit unions maximize their returns from business lending.
Having long provided commercial loan underwriting and documentation services, three years ago, Lucro launched a digital servicing platform to allow their credit union clients to offer a self-service loan application process for their business customers.
That service relied on third-party software from a Fintech partner. In January 2019, without warning, the partner was acquired by a competitive financial services organization. The acquiring company decided to terminate the partnership with Lucro, who then had just nine months to replace their business lending application, or they would have to shut down their digital service.
As Jim Gallagher, Founder, and CEO of Lucro, explains, what seemed like adversity soon turned into an opportunity, “The problem with off-the-shelf lending solutions is that they are designed for a single lender, rather than a wholesale business like Lucro. The crisis allowed us to see if we could invent a digital lending service that we could economically tailor for hundreds of credit unions and other CUSOs.”
Build Rather Than Buy to Achieve Ultra-Configurable Solution
Solution - Having surveyed numerous off-the-shelf software as a service options, Lucro concluded that they needed to build their own digital lending service. As Jim explains, “Only by building a configurable service could we offer multiple credit unions a tailored solution. Also, we’d be masters of our own destiny, rather than at risk of a software vendor failing, being acquired, or changing direction.”
Lucro was introduced to OutSystems by Corporate One, who also use the OutSystems low-code application development platform. That introduction soon led to a three-week discovery exercise with Truewind, an Elite OutSystems consulting partner, that specializes in accelerating OutSystems delivery through the adoption of agile development and digital design by their customers.
The project team involved Jim, (CEO), Cori Schmidt-Zdrazil, Lucro’s COO, and Heather Bosenko, Product Owner of Lucro’s Business Lending Center. As Lucro had limited agile product development experience, and no dedicated in-house application development resources, it was crucial for Truewind to provide the technical know-how, agile product management coaching, as well as digital experience design consulting. Truewind dedicated a full-fledged OutSystems team to the project, (an Engagement Manager, a Tech Lead, three OutSystems Developers, a Frontend Developer, and a Tester).
“Being on a burning platform certainly ensured this project had our full attention,” admits Jim. João Campos, CEO of Truewind concurs, “Having two company leaders involved from the start of the project, certainly underscored the importance of the project for Lucro, and the energy and enthusiasm that the whole Lucro team brought to the table, made this a very successful and enjoyable partnership.”
The Lucro team decided to spend the second week of a three-week discovery exercise at Truewind’s office, for an intensive product envisioning workshop. This gave the twin benefits of being away from the distractions of day-to-day business and having more face-to-face time with Truewind’s digital experience team. “We found that the high-speed visual prototyping approach helped firm-up our business requirements. However much we prepared in advance, it’s extraordinary how a visual prototype helps crystalize requirements,” explained Jim.