How Wyth Financial delivered a COVID-19 relief loan program in five days and provided critical assistance to thousands of businesses
The program is expected to distribute $520M in relief funds to small businesses in need.
Benefits You Can Measure
Cinchy Dataware and a data-centric approach helped Wyth Financial reduce the burden of IT integration allowing for rapid development of solutions and create a faster path to intelligence and democratize data across the organization.
saving on IT project and development costs
accelerated loan processing time
annual growth in loan data volume
How to rapidly deliver emergency funds to thousands of small businesses across 80+ credit unions during the COVID-19 pandemic when legacy systems were not scalable.
“We needed a rapid implementation of a new digital customer experience that could securely manage and protect member data. When we met with Cinchy, we collaborated on all the data streams upfront and automated them. The solution exceeded everyone’s expectations. The Cinchy platform lets us deliver an end-to-end COVID-19 relief solution, not just window dressing,” said Jim Vibert. “By using Cinchy’s data fabric approach, we were surprised at how quickly we were able to automate manual and legacy systems across our 80+ credit union partners.”
About Wyth Financial
Wyth is Canada’s leading provider of wholesale banking and trust solutions to credit unions. With a forward-thinking, innovative approach, Wyth forges partnerships to develop comprehensive lending and investment solutions. The bank also offers a wide range of financial services in areas such as specialized banking, consumer finance, treasury, and wealth/trust.
Empowering small business is at the heart of the Wyth story
For decades Wyth Financial has been at the centre of the business community, helping organizations access the funding they need to thrive.
In early April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began introducing a significant set of new challenges for their customers. Businesses began to struggle and required rapid access to funds to stay afloat. In response, governments around the world introduced relief programs to save businesses by guaranteeing the funds that would be distributed by financial service providers.
One of those programs, administered through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), is aimed at helping small businesses remain afloat by covering short-term operating expenses, payroll, and other non-deferrable expenses.
Government relief funds were distributed through Wyth and select banks to manage the governance and auditing of loans for the next 2.5 years. Wyth needed a way to rapidly service the CEBA loans as efficiently as possible to a network of 80+ credit unions across Saskatchewan.
Wyth was faced with a new set of challenges
A tight timeline of only five days to develop a digital solution for the in-take thousands of COVID-19 relief loan applications.
Develop a centralized yet fully customizable secure loan platform for 80+ credit unions that protected member privacy and ensured data governance was auditable.
The requirement to automate complex reporting outlined by the Canadian Federal Government.
Scaling quickly to adapt to a new reality
Wyth was faced with a challenge of quickly aligning its processes to this new reality.
Due to the speed required to get funds to those who needed them, traditional approaches that used slow manual processes including front-end forms and patchwork back ends were not an option. Reporting on the funds was going to be required daily and for 2.5 years so solutions managed through Excel or hastily developed code were not an approach that Wyth considered. They knew manual processes wouldn't scale up or hold up to the rigours of ongoing monitoring and would very likely put personal banking data at risk.
Wyth needed a way to ensure its operations department could service the CEBA loans as efficiently as possible and automate much of this manual work. It had to be easy to use, given the varying technical capabilities across Wyth’s 80+ credit union partners. It also had to be customizable for each partner so members felt they were being serviced by their own financial institution; it had to be highly secure, able to issue timely reports and auditable.
With thousands of small businesses needing COVID-19 relief loans, Wyth required an application process to meet the strict requirements of the program to support 80+ credit unions in Saskatchewan.
The solution had to enable both applicants and credit unions to collaborate on data, as opposed to making copies and sharing it, which would expose sensitive information to security threats.
Moving beyond data sharing and data integration
There is a crucial need for the private and public sectors to move beyond data sharing and data integration technologies that require data to be copied as it moves between systems — with potentially catastrophic impacts on data privacy and data protection.
Data Fabric offers the bridging technology to not only enable a rapid response for time-sensitive emergency programs, but also to enable the ongoing use of data in a secure platform where it can always be accessed. This simply is not possible with today's models, where every system needs its own data storage solution and users are forced to spend significant amounts of time and money on integration and its byproducts such as ETLs, APIs, reconciliation, and MDM.
Data Fabric approach enabled a rapid response in five days
From the front-end portal to the automated back-end reporting, Cinchy’s solution was delivered to Wyth in five days. “The Cinchy platform lets us deliver a full solution, not just window dressing,” said Vibert. “We needed a rapid implementation of a web portal system, and Cinchy thought about all of the data streams upfront and automated them. By using Cinchy’s data fabric approach, we were thrilled with how quickly we were able to provide a solution to our 80+ credit union partners that exceeded everyone’s expectations. ”
Cinchy’s Data Fabric provided a comprehensive system that allowed data to be captured through a web form and automatically pushed to the Cinchy platform. This enabled a seamless workflow of information between Wyth and the credit union supporting the client. It made the process of sending the necessary reports to the Canadian federal government highly efficient, allowing funds to be approved and distributed much faster to the businesses that needed them.
The automation throughout the data lifecycle has also increased Wyth’s efficiency. As Vibert says, “Cinchy has automated the processing to create the required government reports; instead of the manual chaos at the back end with multiple people trying to process data, we can have one person handling those tasks.”
Now, all of the data on the Cinchy platform is fully tracked and auditable, with capabilities that meet stringent regulatory reporting requirements of the programs. Vibert notes the importance of meeting these requirements: “When you submit these different schedules and forms, the government cross-checks. If you’re not getting everything done, they have the ability to exclude you from the COVID-19 relief program. Cinchy was available to meet those deadlines, so to be able to rely on the system was crucial.”
The results of the solution
Made loan processing seamless for 80+ credit unions, allowing them to focus on members’ needs
An estimated five times the savings with Cinchy’s solution versus similar solutions and an infrastructure to expand to other relief programs
End-to-end solution delivered in five days to get loans to members when they needed it the most
The impact of using Data Fabric technology
After implementing Cinchy’s Data Fabric, Wyth was able to facilitate more than 1200 applications in approximately one week for credit union members to distribute to businesses that urgently needed them. And by adopting this new paradigm, Wyth now has the flexibility to integrate the solution into any system and respond to emerging requirements in real-time, including future COVID-19 relief loan programs and economic stimulus programs like wage subsidies and payment programs.
In partnership with Cinchy, Wyth has been able to respond to the pandemic’s challenges. Thousands of small businesses can now receive much-needed funding from the COVID-19 relief loan. The implementation of Cinchy’s Data Fabric has also been critical to bringing security and true data collaboration across Wyth and its credit union members.
Up next: unlock network effects on future COVID relief projects
Part of the Cinchy mission is about “fundamentally giving people and organizations back control their data.”
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