• 98%

    Reduction in time to process a new loan from 2 days to 1 hour

Funding Circle is the UK’s largest loan platform for SMEs. It was founded in 2010 in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, when small businesses struggled to access finance through traditional channels. As of today, Funding Circle has lent more than £11.5 billion to approximately 100,000 businesses globally. By combining a decade of investment in machine learning technology with dedicated SME expertise, borrowers can access fast and simple finance.

Digitising the entire end-to-end application process with DocuSign eSignature and ID Verification

Funding Circle provides small businesses with a fully-online borrowing experience. With no branches, it uses innovative technology to offer a faster service than incumbent lenders. Implementing two DocuSign products in 2020—eSignature and ID Verification—has completed Funding Circle’s digital workflow, further reducing points of friction and providing a seamless customer experience.  

While Funding Circle’s application process has always been fast, before implementing DocuSign eSignature there were a few manual, paper-based processes. For example, Customers would apply for a loan through Funding Circle’s website, filling out and submitting a quick form and providing supporting documentation. 

After performing a credit assessment, Funding Circle would generate a loan agreement for successful applicants which would be printed and sent out for wet signing by the company directors. Once all of the signatures were collected, the customer returned the original copy as well as a scanned copy to Funding Circle before the loan agreement could be completed.

Following the implementation of DocuSign eSignature, loan agreements are generated and electronically sent for signature. This has helped to significantly reduce the time needed to complete this part of the process. Prior to eSignature, signing and returning a contract could take at least 24-48 hours. Now it takes one hour.

Enhancing security and strengthening trust

Funding Circle is using DocuSign ID Verification (IDV) to verify each applicant’s identity. This process adds an extra level of control which is crucial for a platform that connects investors with small business borrowers. It is also complementary to Funding Circle's systems and mechanisms for carrying out the highest levels of due diligence. 

Prior to DocuSign eSignature and ID Verification, Funding Circle relied on wet signatures and witnesses to verify the identity of the signer. Digitalising these processes has strengthened the levels of security—reinforcing the overall levels of due diligence and trust expected by lenders. 

Now, once a loan agreement is generated and electronically sent for execution, each signer must verify themselves before signing. ID verification is built into the eSignature workflow, creating a seamless experience for customers that enables them to verify and sign quickly and easily. 

Docusign helped Funding Circle provide small businesses with a faster, simpler way of accessing vital pandemic finance

As one of the first FinTech lenders to receive accreditation to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBILS),  Funding Circle played a vital role in delivering pandemic funding to small businesses. As of Feb 2021, £2.6 billion of CBILS lending had been approved through Funding Circle, making it the third largest CBILS lender.

Alongside other innovations such as it’s Instant Decision Lending technology, Funding Circle’s implementation of Docusign’s eSignature and ID Verification is helping applicants to apply for a loan in as little as six minutes, and receive a lending decision in seconds. This is providing SMEs with an unparalleled lending experience.

Providing small businesses with a simple and fast way of accessing finance has always been at the heart of what we do. We see eSignature and ID verification as a core part of enabling this, and we will continue to work with Docusign to implement improvements across our future products.
Claudiu Udrea
Director of Product UK
Funding Circle