Build a Website for a Loan Origination or Financial Company

Technology is changing the way businesses operate and how they can deliver immersive experiences to consumers in many sectors. The most recent advancements are helping shape the future of the finance industry. Despite complex regulations, compliance laws, and increasing security threats the march toward a digital landscape has changed the way the industry completes business transactions. As a financial or a loan origination business owner, harnessing the power of websites would be the best decision to assist you in reaching potential customers. To enjoy the full potential of your financial website, it has to be more professional and incredibly productive.

Let’s dive deep into understanding the technical requirements for loan origination and financial businesses. It’s all about building an amazing website that boosts your customer acquisition cycle.

Why Loan Origination businesses need customizable web forms?

Loan origination is a process which involves multiple steps that every user must go through while they are working to obtain a mortgage or any other type of loan. It also includes the response from the lender, who will review, process, and approve the application simultaneously. The process might look simple but it involves critical process like lending decisions, document preparation, compliance, and more. The factors that cover this loan origination process includes:

-Seeking different loan options -Filling out forms -Submitting requested documents -Undergoing background checks and credit checks -Reviewing an application -Negotiating loan terms if allowed -Finalizing the loan application process -Approval of the loan application

It is essential for financial institutions to be quick and responsive to the borrowers and efficiently manage the loan data they have collected. Most of the loan origination systems today use static data entry forms which are very hard to customize. To manage data for any type of loans such as mortgage loans, commercial loans, personal loans, auto loans, and more, it is advisable to have a customizable and flexible web form builder. Integrating artificial intelligence or machine learning can also have its benefits. A system like this helps improve efficiency, mitigating risks, and improving borrower relationships.

What functions do I need in my Loan Origination System?

1. Customer Management The initial step in any loan decision is collecting financial details and any other important information from the customer. Automating the process can mitigate the inconsistencies and delays that come with manually collecting financial and other mandatory data. Customer-facing web-based portals, application program interfaces (APIs), and financial algorithms can boost the digital onboarding of new prospects and existing customer data straight to the lender’s loan origination platform.

More advanced automated loan origination platforms are capable of receiving data feeds that pre-populate customer information fields within the origination platform. One of the most important features is the import of customer ownership hierarchies. A well automated credit origination platform enables multiple teams across departments or locations to access the same customer documents electronically, according to their needs and wants.

2. Credit Analysis The most important stages of the commercial risk assessment process are spreading the financial data that has been received from the customer. An automated financial spreading process can assist the analyst by accurately and efficiently tabulating the borrower’s financial statements for the rating process. With this, the process can occur instantaneously and even allow the lender to pre-screen, rate the borrower, and provide an in-principle credit decision within a matter of minutes.

3. Credit Decisions Automating the commercial loan approval process is about mining the appropriate data and information to make a credit decision. For many lenders, the credit application represents one of the toughest manual exercises in preparing and collating several papers because it is incredibly time-consuming.

An automated loan origination credit application solution combines the elements of the customer management module, financial analysis, and risk assessment which can help enhance your customer journey. In the market today there are a few exceptional applications that package all the stages together for credit approval where lenders of all sizes are arming their loan executives with laptops, smartphones, and tablet devices fully loaded with applications to make credit decisions on the move.

4. Portfolio Risk Management Integrating a robust risk management solution to your loan origination software allows you to perform health checks on the internal, client, and regulatory reporting. It also provides complete transparency of the data and underlying calculations as per your business needs. With an inbuilt portfolio risk management module, you could:

-Improve and make swift decisions with an overview of risk key ratios from multiple perspectives -Manual and traditional processes can be replaced by value-adding risk factor analysis -Transparency in all the existing risk models, data inputs, and calculations -Ability to compute pre-trade limits along with the post-trade risk calculations

How to build a successful financial website from scratch

Having a professional and comprehensive website is very important for online businesses. Due to the converging demands of the customers, financial institutions must cope with those demands in order to stay competitive. However, getting started with developing a website can seem intimidating for those who have never had their own website before. Here are some key indicators to build a successful financial website from scratch.

1. Content Good content is what sets your website apart from the masses and delivers the right message into the hearts and minds of your customers. Whether health-related, financial or any industry, content is always king. It is essential to have high-quality content and authentic information so that you create loyal customers and keep them educated about your business.

2. Creating flawless UI & UX The UX of a site refers to the overall user experience going from one to the next, and the user interface (UI) plays an important role in delivering the intended experience through visuals. In less than the second, users make a decision about the design of a website, so you need to decide what you want users to do and make it flawless. Never make it difficult to find action buttons and it is essential to visually focus the attention on the main button versus a bunch of buttons on the home page. Make the UI & UX of your financial and loan origination website emotional so that users have a more positive experience using your product.

3. A Personal Budgeting Tool Most people create a budget but they forget to follow it which leads to increased consumer credit card debt. If you offer your customers a personal budgeting tool in your website, you are proactively adding value and increasing the loyalty of your customers. This also helps in increasing your website traffic by reaching potential leads.

4. Interactive Forums People love to interact and share their opinions. If you own financial or loan origination business, it’s a good idea to have an interactive forum that enables the web visitors to share their experiences, ideas, and experiences. This could be a useful way to provide your expertise by commenting on the best possible solutions for their financial issues and problems.

5. Debt Estimators A more transparent way of converting your financial website visitors into customers is to have a debt estimator or calculator in place. This allows your customers to play with numbers, plan their debt consolidation or debt settlement.

6. Videos and Infographics Selling is about storytelling, and videos are a great way to share a story as well as a great source to keep people on your website longer and engage them with your content. Having interactive videos and infographics explains your service offerings better.

7. Mobile Responsive With responsive web design, all content and pages are flexible across all screen resolutions and devices which allows your customers to stay connected with your business from their handheld devices. As a financial company or loan origination business owner, it is essential to stay up-to-date with the most popular screen sizes and resolutions when designing web and mobile sites.

To help you get started you need website developers like SDI who has expertise in creating websites that provide a great deal of trust with your visitors. The first step is understanding your business model, objectives, and leverage our technical capabilities to offer a website that creates a sense of personal connection and confidence in your brand. Talk to Rob Lapointe today at +1.408.802.2885/rob@sdi.la to ahead of the competitive curve.

How to become entrepreneurial teachers and create the perfect educational app

Reasons why teachers turn into the best entrepreneurs?

Teachers are an invaluable and integral part of our community. They contribute a great deal of knowledge from elementary school and beyond to help mold us into the people we are today. Teachers are tasked with preparing today’s students to become next-generation thinkers, leaders, and entrepreneurs to shape tomorrow’s world. With such an important role to play in children’s lives, a teacher must have a unique way of supporting their students’ academic and social development throughout their schooling. The should offer them a comfortable and secure learning environment by being a mentor, guide, motivator, and a source of inspiration to them.

Nowadays many teachers leave their jobs to pursue more lucrative careers. More than one-third of teachers quit within a few years of joining their profession. Some teachers choose to stay in the educational field but in a more unique way. Sometimes they become educational entrepreneurs by providing a spotlight to enhance the way education happens. Teachers who often become EdTech entrepreneurs are very successful and that’s why teachers make some of the best EdTech entrepreneurs.

Tips for entrepreneurial teachers to create their educational app:

It is essential that mobile apps be developed with precision starting from their ideation to deployment to ensure its success post-launch. As a teacher, it is essential to keep an eye on what needs to be developed and how it is going to be developed. To ensure the visibility of your app in the app stores in such a competitive and complex technological scenario, you need to be very particular about the approach you follow for mobile app development. Here are some steps to follow for teachers looking to come together to build an amazing educational app for your students and teachers.

Step 1: Ideation We always have ideas that strike us randomly and they sound amazing and perfect. Although these ideas may be brilliant, they may not necessarily be filling a need gap or addressing a pain point. An idea is said to be a potential if it’s converted into a successful mobile application to solve a genuine problem of the target audience. As a teacher, your obvious target audiences would be students, parents, and school faculty. The idea behind having an educational app is to extend the availability of teachers to his or her students. The Apps you develop should allow the students to learn round the clock because the app can serve as a tutor 24/7.

It is a must that the idea actually is feasible, and the feasibility of the idea can be perfectly determined by conducting market research, performing a competitors’ analysis, and establishing well-defined goals and objectives within a fixed timeline. Post establishing the feasibility of the idea, the next step is to chalk out the timeline and the most specific goals you wish to achieve against the milestones. The base objectives could include sorting out the actual budget and scope, coming up with a USP, and defining the specific features that your app requires.

Step 2: Determine what goes into your app Educational apps should have the ability to solve the problem. If your app fails to do that, it’s likely an entertainment app rather than being an educational app. Decide what you would like your app to do and make sure the user experience is your priority. Content is the king for any app to be successful. Thus, determine what content goes into your app.

If your app will be assisting mathematical students with practicing addition or subtraction, for example, will you include only numbers or also elements to denote the numbers? Also, it is essential to frame how to reward the students who get questions right? Obviously, validation and feedback features come into play here. Like this, it is essential to gather the in and outs of your application before jumping into development.

Step 3: Design Your Ideas It is essential to move your clearly worded ideas into visual representations of your thoughts. Since your key focus is education, your app should be very intuitive for kids & parents of all ranges. Now, create a cluster-sketch where you could write your core topic in the center of the page and surround it with possible subtopics. This will help you to brainstorm ideas which will provide you with the features of the app highlighting some major options. This also helps you define the foundation for your app.

Having a solid foundation for your app idea is incredibly important, so take your time with this and be sure it’s exactly what you want. You should then start your prototyping phase which allows you to check whether your app is living up to its functionality and also get it tested by your team and the stakeholders involved in the mobile app development.

Step 4: List the pros and cons As entrepreneurial teachers, you want to keep in mind that when an app gets released on the store, there are going to be items you will need to adjust. List out the app’s potential without forgetting the likelihood that somebody out there will find a reason to complain. The best way to lower your chances of negative feedback is to think about whom you are creating this app for and what they would find it most useful. Then, think about the people that wouldn’t use this and the reasons for it. The outcomes you receive will help you boost your ideas about what the functions are and how they work.

Step 5: Development Most software developers prefer developing the app from the ground up all by themselves. There are few mobile app development platforms that can be used to build a fully functional app with just the main features also known as a minimum viable product. At this point, you start setting up your developer accounts on the app stores where you plan on releasing the app. However, the mobile app development process consists of multiple phases before launch:

1. The Alpha Phase: This is the phase where only the core functionality of the mobile app is developed, but it isn’t tested.

2. The Beta Phase: This involves bringing in all the major features and functions of the mobile app and is selectively released to a few external users for testing purposes.

3. The Release Phase: This is the final phase wherein all the bugs have been identified and fixed after multiple levels of testing, and the app can be released to all audience groups.

What are the core features of an educational app?

Generally speaking, the features list of educational apps can go on forever because of the wide range of situations for which the app is being applied. Today’s trend of educational app development is using AR/VR, Natural Language processing techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to enrich the end user experience. So, here are the main features of educational apps, but don’t forget that you can always create and add something new and innovative:

-Integration with social networks -Planning and scheduling -Videos and live streams -Surveys and tests -Leaderboards -Multi-Language -Cloud integration -Progress tracking and achievements

How to create your app investment group as teachers? Going from a teacher and transforming yourself into an entrepreneur is not a simple thing. There could be multiple obstacles and roadblocks. The potential for entrepreneurial teachers is endless and all you need is to stay focused on what you want to build. In general, bringing an app idea to reality and converting it to success is much different than working a normal job or being a non-tech business owner. There’s a common myth amongst tech startup entrepreneurs that all they need to bring is their ideas to the table and from there, an investor will just hand them millions to launch their app next week. Then by the following month, everyone will be rich. It does not work like that at all, otherwise, everyone would be a successful app entrepreneur.

First and foremost creating an investment group with like-minded teachers and school board members is the best place to start. Trying to make money over a shorter period of time is not a preferred approach, not only when it comes to investment clubs, but for individual investors too. A three- to five-year vision and analysis over your app idea and augmenting the investment sources from your groups is a good strategy for your app’s success.

Becoming a group of entrepreneurial teachers is essential to formulate a strategy which focuses on long-term commitments and results. The following points could be useful when laying down the blueprints of your club’s strategy:

-Understand the costs associated with app development, maintenance, and research on how to avoid hidden costs. -Commitment to a set fixed amount regularly, ie monthly/, etc.. -Have a timeline set for each phase -Determine shares for each -Decide how profits will be used.

The educational market has become a lucrative business and as a group of teachers, you can easily identify the needs and wants of the students, parents, and faculty and offer them solutions that could help them in many ways. SDI has immense experience in developing cutting edge educational applications where we have helped other teachers and parents achieve their business objectives. With strong experience in augmenting NLP, AR/VR, AI/ML we are aimed at offering a bright future for the education world. If you are a group of entrepreneurial teachers looking to develop a useful educational app, then it is the right time to consult with one of our industry experts at +1.408.621.8481 or email Rob at rob@sdi.la.

Why Artificial Intelligence (AI) Should be Used in E-Commerce

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the core concept of replicating human intelligence processes through the creation and application of algorithms that are built into a dynamic computing environment. In a nutshell, AI makes computers think and act like humans. There are three important components to this:

1. Computational systems 2. Data and data management 3. Advanced AI algorithms (code)

The whole point of intelligence is to make every human’s life easier. Researchers wanted to bring in an emotional component to the machines along with the general intelligence they possess. We are at the beginning of this technology but we are starting to see how this is coming about. Starting from the product design process to sales forecasting, artificial intelligence is just about everywhere.

How can AI transform E-commerce?

The internet has provided businesses with the ability to offer their customers with unbeatable digital experiences. The e-commerce sector has unlocked new opportunities to help grow your business and sales exponentially. Artificial intelligence is taking e-commerce shopping to the next level. Here are three main ways artificial intelligence will have a serious impact on e-commerce in the coming years.

1. Visual search E-commerce owners can create hype and the “impulse to buy right now” feeling for their buyers with the use of visual search capabilities that allow them to upload images and find similar/complementary products.

2. Bridging online and offline worlds The visual search capabilities enhance and boost the connection between the online and offline modes of your e-commerce business. Retailers must change the way they interact with their consumers. Artificial intelligence will help them gather a great deal of important information about their customers thus helping them to improve their customer service and gradually increasing their sales.

3. Personalization The personalization concept in e-commerce is not a new concept. Artificial intelligence has enabled e-commerce business owners to offer a more personalized shopping experience thus boosting their sales. This is already working now and as it grows and becomes more sophisticated it will truly take over the online shopping experience.

Why You Should make Use of Artificial Intelligence in Your E-commerce Website:

Every business has to really prove themselves and come up with something unique to truly be competitive. Incorporating more advanced technology like artificial intelligence is pretty much a necessity to stay alive. AI will help you understand consumer behavior and thus offering them a more personalized shopping experience. Here are some key factors as to why AI is so important in e-commerce:

1. 20% of consumers will purchase goods from a chatbot. 2. 40% of consumers are making use of chatbots to explore for offers and deals. 3. By 2020 image and voice-based product search will make up about half of all online searches. 4. Almost 60% of shoppers enjoy personalized customer service when shopping in-store as well as relevant product recommendations when shopping online. 5. There is a high possibility that by 2020, around 80% of all customer interactions will be done with the use of artificial intelligence.

This should assist you in evaluating how crucial and important AI is for your e-commerce business. To become business savvy and expand your business globally, AI will most likely be your best option.

How can AI help your personal e-commerce business

1. User Experience: E-commerce business owners should always focus on offering their customers rich shopping experiences. AI can provide them with great user experiences by enabling you to design a brand new website or augmenting the power of smart widgets to your existing site. The business to shopper personalization is a significant factor for success where it would maximize your ROI and brand equity. For example, landing a shopper on a page without a good user experience would eat the marketing efforts due to low conversion.

Here are some artificial intelligence tools that could offer more personalized experiences:

Choice.AI: Choice AI helps you create more personalized eCommerce landing pages as well as smart banners in real time. This helps the business owners get top line growth, allows retailers to drive sales through mass discounts and promotions, and provides significant control on profitability. Choice.AI can help you generate more sales with personalization rather than just throwing out random discounts here and there.

B12: B12 is a great way to build your website from scratch. B12’s user-friendly robots help you to draft your site based on your inputs. They also provide you with suggestions from their expert designers. With this AI tool, you can create a unique style and design with the ability to make quick updates. This is suitable for all sizes of e-commerce businesses.

2. Predictive pricing and incentives: Artificial intelligence tools with its advanced computing algorithms can help you ass a dynamic pricing layer to your store. By leveraging the machine learning and data science to understand your user’s behavior, the product price can be modified in real-time. Some advanced AI tools also consider the competitor’s pricing and market demand and help you increment/decrement the product’s pricing based on those outcomes.

Granify: A next-gen AI tool that monitors shopper behavior in real time by analyzing tons of attributes to show personalized incentives and pricing factors. Gratify’s machine-learning decision engine predicts which in-session buyers you may lose and then works to convert them.

Personali: Personali creates personalized incentive plans to increase sales factors. Their intelligent incentive platform uses predefined machine learning algorithms, developed by professional data scientists and behavioral economists. It’s used to help the business owners perform precision targeting of shoppers with intelligent incentives and offering the optimal incentive type, level, and experience in real-time.

3. Marketing & Analytics: When it comes to subsections of marketing, most of the leading brands make use of machine learning concepts like user data enrichment, user identification across devices, intelligent Ads personalization, predictive analytics and so on. e-commerce businesses can also make use of these tools to grow and enrich their brand. Here are some common tools that could be used for e-commerce businesses:

Wacul-AI: AI analyst tool provides user-friendly proposals and solutions for the entire E-commerce web application enhancements. You can easily connect your Google Analytics with this tool in a few easy steps to get weekly and monthly reports. This provides detailed yet simplified advice with a future demand analysis driven by the acquired data.

NeoWize: NeoWize helps you access the entire behavioral data of your customers and potentially transforming it into actionable insights. Its AI-driven solution will help you streamline the marketing and inventory aspects of your business. This tool is suitable for all sizes of e-commerce businesses.

4. Visual search: Enabling your e-commerce shoppers to search for items in your catalog just by taking a picture on their phones is a very good technique to increase their engagement. As mentioned this can be accomplished through AI. The tool picks similar products based on parameters like color, texture, shape and so on. These tools are really helpful for clothing stores with a large catalog.

Cortexica: Cortexica is a cutting edge AI tool that automatically identifies objects and products within a photo image. They have the ability to analyze all objects, perceptual elements like settings, colors, patterns, and shapes in the image providing a summary of the mood, theme or emotion of the image. They are one of the top platforms for visual search which is highly suitable for all sizes of e-commerce stores.

The customer experience will continue to be the battleground for businesses to achieve a competitive advantage. AI in e-commerce will have a direct impact on core business functions like transactions, customer retention, satisfaction, efficiency and many more.

Are you an E-commerce business owner looking to take advantage of artificial intelligence? Get in touch with the top software solution provider – SDI with strong expertise in building scalable AI, ML & IOT products for any e-commerce business. Contact Rob Lapointe at team@sdi.la or 408.802.2885