Lucro, Corporate One’s Credit Union Business Lending Specialist Delivers First of its Kind Lending Solution with OutSystems

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

15 Weeks Development

“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.”Jim Gallagher, Founder, and CEO, Lucro

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.

Channel Partner

Truewind is a leading consultant in the management of agile software solutions addressing the business challenges of its customers.

Learn more about Truewind

A Lucrative Future for Lucro’s Digital Business Lending Center

Results - Just fifteen weeks later, Lucro was able to launch their new Digital Business Lending Center, which, as Jim explains, provides Lucro a significant competitive advantage in the credit union lending market. “The Digital Business Lending Center is a first of its kind platform. Not only are we onboarding our existing customers, but we also have huge interest from a wide range of 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.”

The fully customizable service can be tailored to reflect any credit union’s branding, lending criteria, and product details. Critical benefits for credit unions and their customers include:

  • Users can complete loan applications in less than ten minutes.
  • The streamlined, self-service process gives applicants the convenience of 24x7 access from a browser, smartphone, or tablet.
  • Applicants do not need to visit the credit union’s office, as they can upload any required documentation.
  • Integration with a wide selection of third-party credit agencies means that simple loans can have an agreement in principle within minutes.
  • The system generates the credit memo to ensure full compliance with credit union regulatory requirements.

Other features include integration with SharePoint so that all uploaded applicant documents are automatically lodged in a secure repository, eliminating the chore of manual file management. Integration with PLAID makes it easy for applicants (should they choose) to provide evidence of repayment affordability direct from their bank account, for example, balance, spending, and deposits.

Commenting further on the solution, Jim said, “The exciting thing is we’ve built for the future. None of our competitors have a solution like this. The multitenant approach means that on a single platform, we can configure separate and completely secure business lending portals, where every credit union has its own branding, own products, and own lending parameters. The fact we can do this without needing to stand-up or license different systems is a game-changer for us.”

The Digital Business Lending Center is applicable to all sizes of credit union. For small organizations, it enables them to enter the lucrative business lending sector without employing dedicated salespeople. For large multi-office credit unions that employ lending advisors, it allows those people to focus on complex, high-value loans, while customers needing low-value loans have the convenience of self-service and instant credit decisions.

Peace of Mind with Certified Security and Risk Management

Lucro opted to use the reinforced OutSystems cloud offer “Sentry,” which provides all of the benefits of OutSystems with additional security, risk management, and monitoring for a SOC2 Type II compliant low-code cloud platform. As Jim comments, “I now find it easier to sleep at night, knowing that our critical business system and client data is secure, and on a technology platform that will scale for hundreds of credit unions and millions of their customers. Also, the platform has streamlined our back-office processes, meaning we can scale to many more credit unions and higher lending volumes, without needing to similarly increase headcount.”

Importantly, thanks to low-code, the system will be quick to adjust and enhance. Based on the success of the Lucro/Truewind/OutSystems partnership, Lucro is already considering extending the solution to cater for more complex loan types, including real estate.

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