Bank Of America Sba Ppp Loan Application - We spent 3 weeks struggling with a major bank's Covid-19 emergency loan process. Within half a day, the small bank "completed" the digital application for us.
After 16 days of waiting and hoping, an email arrived from Bank of America. It was the eve of the much-anticipated second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. The next morning, an additional $310 billion in emergency loans for small businesses was released.
Bank Of America Sba Ppp Loan Application
My small business with 8 employees was ready for PPP at the beginning of the first round and submitted our documents shortly after the constructions opened. Then we waited and waited. Now, two weeks after we last heard from the bank, an email arrived with this subject line:
Why Banks Are Putting Ppp Forgiveness On The Back Burner
Much has been written about the failures of the Paycheck Protection Program, including how big banks favored big customers and left small businesses hanging, and how the SBA system struggled to keep up with the demand for applications.
How some big banks have failed to do what they set out to do: Too little attention is paid to the digital user experience. For big banks like Bank of America – with well-funded tech budgets and design teams – the opportunity was to provide struggling business owners with a seamless online experience. Instead, they added obstacles and headaches.
Despite our shared accounting laws and expertise in the use of digital systems, we experienced difficulties at several stages of the application process. Others suffered more.
Our experience with Bank of America started well. The PPP was launched on Friday 3 April. B of A was the first major bank to introduce an online application.
Bank Of America Sent 184,000 Ppp Applications To Sba But Has Only Received 1,000 Loan Numbers From The Agency So Far
We submitted the application right after it went live, thanks mainly to the payroll provider Gust, who was in charge of the necessary documents and PPP calculations. We immediately received a confirmation email from B of A with clear next steps.
At the time, many small businesses were struggling to get their documents together or find a lender to accept their application based on the Treasury Department's changing guidelines. We feel gratitude and anticipation.
Two days later we received another email from "Bank of America" asking for more documents. That's where the problems started.
Bank of America works with Intralinks Exchange to collect your documents. It is our standard procedure...
The Ppp Loan Application Deadline Is Today. Use This Tool To Find A Lender
Hmm It wasn't just any email. We were asked to create a new account on the new platform and then upload sensitive financial documents.
I've never heard of intralinks and the name sounded like a phishing scheme - eg.
The formatting of the email was completely different from our standard Bank of America emails, with small, hard to read text. There was a period missing in the first sentence.
I googled "intralinks bank of america" and only found a few reddit threads. Others had similar doubts. Finally, I checked out the Intralinks website. Working in the tech industry and knowing what to look for, the site gave me the confidence I needed to move forward.
Out Of Town Business Receives Millions In Ppp Relief Money From Local Bank
Still, I wondered: Why didn't the Intralinks email link to a simple page on the Bank of America website that verifies the partnership?
We see such systems in our work. Usability is often poor, but their damage is limited. Their users – often tech-savvy enterprise teams – are trained on the solutions and eventually discover them by using them again.
But PPP was different: a process for thousands of first-time users who had little technological literacy.
This is how Larry Kotlikoff, an economics professor and small business owner, described his experience in Intralinks to Forbes:
Ppp Loan When Selling A Business
I immediately went to the Intralinks site, gathered all the required documents and then tried to upload them as instructed. The problem was that there was no obvious way to record. There was no scene record button or recording instructions. I went online. Other people had the same problem. No one knew how to upload the required documents.
Concerned about the future of his business, Shake continued to fill out Intralinks forms. When he finished, he noticed another problem. "There was no place to press send," he said. He called his wife, Varda, a computer scientist who spent two decades developing artificial intelligence systems. She was also confused. After about three hours, they both figured out how to apply. First they had to save the documents and then upload them to another location. Bank of America explains the 10-step process on its website about Intralinks.
This may seem like a useful resource, but those of us who do usability testing know this is a red flag.
People rarely read instructions that are separate from the user interface. If you want to explain your UI in a PDF with step-by-step instructions, you need to rethink your UI. In the meantime, integrate the least critical notifications into the interface as close as possible to where people need them.
Bank Of America Reveals Data Breach In Ppp Application Process
Two days later, on April 10th, Bank of America called asking if we had submitted everything to Intralinks. "Yes," I said proudly. We felt again before the game.
We wouldn't hear from Bank of America for another 16 days. During this period, the PPP was in the national news almost every night. Every day we wanted to hear something, anything from the bank. Meanwhile, their site and previous emails explained it much more clearly:
Information about the status of your application will not be available through the Financial Center or Bank of America contact centers.
We had no idea if the application was stuck in B of A, stuck in SBA or already rejected.
Paycheck Protection Program Calculator
I was wondering: Would Bank of America send some kind of status update during those 16 days? A mass email "we are working on it" would also help.
It was now Sunday April 26th, the day before the next round of PPP. Then came an email saying "we haven't received all your loan application documents".
There was no mention of what was missing. It was a typical email with a long list of instructions and a few possible things we could have overlooked. It was up to us to find the problem.
I was sure we had submitted all the documents but I went digging. In the end I found this in the mail:
Bank Of America Blames Ppp Applications Leak On Faulty Sba Test Server
Upload each document title as indicated on the required document reference sheet. For example, you would submit one of the documents as "Application Attachment".
Aha! Problem detected: Following standard file naming practice, we have added our company name to our documents, e.g. "Appendix PPP_4 MarketDay".
Really? How come fintech platforms are unable to accept filename changes in 2020?
On April 29th, exactly 3 weeks after we first uploaded all of our documents, we finally received an email from Bank of America titled
How To Apply For Ppp Small Business Loans In The Cares Act
. The email states, "We are ready to forward your loan application to the Small Business Administration (SBA)."
Just the other day I was talking to a friend who owns a small business. He mentioned a small bank in the DC area that was accepting applications from non-customers. We applied at 8am - via a simple online application that collected all the documents at once and provided clear instructions throughout the process. It took about 30 minutes.
The confirmation email told us that someone from the bank would contact us. Someone did it in a few hours. And by 1:00 p.m., the representative emailed us that we were “all set”: our application had gone through the SBA authorization process and our funds were reserved.
Another representative of a small bank called today. They were ready to proceed with the funds and wanted to know where to send the money. After a long wait, I informed her about our Bank of America account.
Comerica Prioritizes Forgiveness Of Larger Ppp Loans
We believe that designers are as much thinkers as they are creators. Featured stories on UX, visual and product design. https://linktr.ee/uxc · 451,000 followers A pedestrian walks past a Bank of America branch in New York. Photo: Craig Varga/Bloomberg Getty Images A pedestrian walks past a Bank of America branch in New York. Photo: Craig Varga/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bank of America refuses to completely forgive some PPP loans, offers small relief to small businesses Small businesses are trying to appeal Bank of America's vague decisions to deny full loan forgiveness.
Bank of America, the second-largest lender in the Paycheck Protection Program, is refusing to forgive loans to some small business owners, preventing them from receiving direct relief from the Small Business Administration, which oversees the PPP program.
One of the first forms of aid Congress offered to businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic was PPP loans, which would be fully forgiven if used to cover wages and other specified expenses. But in more than half a dozen interviews and emails to The Intercept, small business owners who took out their PPP loans through Bank of America described a similar experience: A year or more after they first got the loan, they were told that the bank decided originally it was due.
Sba Continues To Issue Guidance On Second Draw Ppp Loans
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