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The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a cornerstone of the U.S. government’s relief efforts for small businesses suffering from the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Since the Paycheck Protection Program’s (PPP) inception in April, lenders throughout the country have scrambled to direct the program’s unprecedented $660 billion of relief to small businesses in need. The results have been tremendous: almost 5 million loans originated and 51 million jobs supported, equating to more than 14 years’ worth of small business lending in just a matter of months.

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Yet the program hasn’t been without challenges. Many lenders relied on manual processes to intake and review loan applications, which burdened staff and caused delays for small businesses who needed the money quickly. Lenders also struggled to submit approved loans to the Small Business Administration (SBA) because of an outdated SBA system known as E-Tran that lacked an interface for lenders that could scale with the volume of applications.

Taken together, these difficulties have left lenders and small businesses worried about what will happen during the program’s forgiveness phase and a potential third round of origination that Congress is currently considering.

At MuleSoft, we’ve been working with lenders since the PPP’s introduction to help connect their disparate systems, automate manual processes, and simplify their interaction with SBA’s back-end systems. Based on these learnings, we’re excited to announce a new solution for lenders seeking to improve their SBA lending processes: the MuleSoft Framework for the SBA PPP.

What is the MuleSoft Framework for the SBA PPP?

MuleSoft’s Framework for the SBA PPP was designed to help lenders stand up and administer SBA lending processes quickly and efficiently. Although the initial use case for most lenders will be PPP forgiveness, this solution is designed to be modular and reusable so lenders can tailor it for other needs, such as PPP origination and general SBA 7(a) origination and servicing.

The Framework encompasses four assets:

  • A Forgiveness Integration Template will make it easier for lenders to submit forgiveness applications to the SBA via their new REST APIs, regardless of the lender’s back-end systems and without relying upon RPA solutions or manual data entry.
  • Eight MuleSoft APIs will help lenders streamline internal operations around calculating forgiveness amounts, collecting loan documents and signatures, and updating customer data in systems of record. These APIs are listed below:
    • Experience API for DocuSign
    • Experience API for Salesforce Communities
    • Process API for Loan Forgiveness
    • Process API for Documents
    • Process API for SBA E-Tran
    • System API for DocuSign (eSignature)
    • System API for SBA Database
    • System API for SBA E-Tran
  • A reference architecture will help lenders implement the Framework components and adapt them to their specific technology stacks.
  • Partner connectors from Codat and Glynt are certified to support adjacent use cases, such as expense verification and document digitization that will make it easier to gather the data necessary for processing loan and forgiveness applications.

How can the Framework help lenders?

MuleSoft’s Framework was developed alongside our lending customers, who emphasized three areas where they needed the most support.

#1 Application intake and decisioning

First and foremost, the Framework’s eight pre-packaged APIs can streamline the intake and decisioning process for forgiveness applications. These APIs connect front-end portals such as Salesforce Community Cloud with mid- and back-office systems such as core banking, loan servicing, and document management platforms.

#2 Application Submission to the SBA

We’ve also designed an Integration Template for the SBA’s Forgiveness REST APIs, the new method by which the SBA will accept completed forgiveness applications and supporting documents. This Template will automatically generate headers, handle errors, and manage credentials for the SBA’s Forgiveness APIs.

#3 Future PPP and SBA 7(a) Lending Operations

Finally, we’ve heard from many lenders who were frustrated that technology solutions deployed in the PPP’s origination phase would not be reusable beyond the program’s lifecycle.

Therefore, we’ve designed the Framework assets to be easily reconfigurable for 7(a) origination and servicing or PPP origination if Congress approves another round of funds. This will allow lenders to leverage the work done in the PPP to streamline their lending processes and grow their loan portfolios in the future.

How can lenders get started with the Framework?

Lenders can visit the Anypoint Exchange to find an overview of the Framework and details on how to get started.

We believe this Framework can provide lenders with the agility they need to streamline the PPP forgiveness experience for their employees and small business customers. This outcome, coupled with a long-term strategy for improving SBA loan origination and servicing, can help lenders and small businesses move forward confidently with their post-COVID growth plans.

We look forward to partnering with many of you to reimagine SBA lending for the remainder of the PPP and beyond.