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AI-powered bots process thousands of SBA loans applications amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Automation Anywhere, a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), today announced new AI-powered bots to help lending institutions automate thousands of loan applications for small businesses under the $2.2 trillion U.S. coronavirus stimulus package.


The new Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Bots streamline loan processing by automatically extracting application data and entering the information into the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan origination portal – quickly, efficiently and accurately.

In the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the U.S. Government initiated the emergency PPP loan program managed by the SBA under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program was created to allocate funding to help businesses keep their workforce employed, as the pandemic disrupts the global economy. However, limited guidance to banks racing to handle a deluge of applications has created a backlog and many of the largest banks as well as smaller regional lenders have become overwhelmed with thousands of applications for the federal stimulus money.
Like many lending institutions, Vista Bank, and its community network of 15 branches across Texas is helping small businesses apply for funding across the state within a mandated filing timeline of only 10 days. With so many businesses rushing to get loans, the bank was looking for a scalable solution that could meet audit requirements and process an estimated 1,000 applications for customers – more than the total numbers of loans it processed last year. Under the law, the loans will be forgiven if employers maintain or quickly rehire their employees.

New AI-powered banking bot helps put employees back to work

Vista Bank turned to the consulting firm, Metre22 and Automation Anywhere, to streamline a loan application intake process from the usual three weeks to just three days.
“RPA has been a game changer in its ability to automatically manage and move data between our community banks and the SBA application portal to generate loans quickly,” said John Steinmetz, CEO of Vista Bank. “Leveraging software bots will accelerate this process to allow lending institutions like Vista Bank to distribute critical funds into the hands of thousands of small businesses - who are the engines that drive our economy - in real time.”
Here’s how the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Bots work:

  • Streamlines the loan application intake process by automatically extracting data from the borrowers’ application.
  • Accelerates the payroll validation and calculation process by automatically mining data from IRS forms.
  • Automates the loan submission process by using lender data to populate fields into E-Tran, the SBA loan origination portal, a process bank employees typically perform manually, taking up to 30 minutes per application.

“In working with community banks throughout the U.S., we have begun automating multiple banking and loan application processes for operating efficiencies,” said Leslie Andersen, the current advisory board member of BancAlliance, a network of 250+ community banks, and the CEO of Bank of Bennington in Nebraska. “This solution can relieve the backlog of loan applications for community banks and delivers value to banking customers hoping for a quick recovery so they can open their businesses and can get their employees back to work quickly.”

“In an industry where an estimated 35 percent of processes are still manual, the case for process automation in banking is compelling,” said Ken Mertzel, Global Industry Leader for Financial Services at Automation Anywhere. “With RPA, banks can achieve productivity gains compounded across thousands of transactions to increase efficiencies, eliminate errors, free up bankers for more valuable and rewarding work, improve customer services – and in the age of COVID-19 – kickstart the economy.”

Caitlin Stewart
Edelman for Automation Anywhere
+1 619-874-6181


COVID-19 Media Fact Sheet:

Intelligent automation enables a more effective response to mitigate risk, while igniting a race for innovation in this time of need. The following Automation Anywhere solutions leverage the power of RPA to help manage the economic and human impact of COVID-19.

Enabling healthcare, government agencies to keep citizens informed, safe and connected:

  • - Automated processing of clinical case forms to advance public health: The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global COVID-19 Anonymized Clinical Data Platform that requires the manual processing of critical clinical data and lengthy case record forms for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Automation Anywhere, in collaboration with Microsoft, designed an RPA solution with its AI-powered Document Automation, enabling the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom to automatically extract critical patient information and process these anonymized forms with speed and accuracy saving stretched healthcare organizations precious time to focus on improved patient outcomes.
  • - Directing citizens to vital information with a public service dashboard: In collaboration with NetCraft, a technology partner in Macao, China, The Macao Anti-Epidemic Real-Time Interactive Map was built as a GPS-enabled dashboard that uses bots to collect relevant digital data and provide real-time information to Macao’s citizens, including infection sites, hospital wait times, local availability of masks, bank status, and other useful information — updated every few minutes. In its first few days, the site received 50,000 visits as Macao’s population logged on to receive trusted, live information. More information is available here.
  • - Employee risk assessment tool for managing COVID-19: In Mainland China, Automation Anywhere partnered with IT consulting firm Shenzhen Pactera Information Limited to develop the Pactera Employee Risk Assessment Tool to determine employees’ risk of infection as they return home after traveling outside of the region. Utilizing Automation Anywhere’s AI-powered Document Automation and RPA to collect and analyze data – including travel history and confirmed cases from the public health department – the tool can manage the risk of COVID-19 infections, trace contacts, and suggest a course of action to mitigate its spread. More information is available here.
  • - Free bots to help combat COVID-19: Public and private agencies around the world are looking to intelligent automation to rapidly respond to the global challenge and create real-time outbreak maps, mask inventories, quarantined sites, testing locations, school closures and emergency funding. In a recent survey, Automation Anywhere was identified as the leading RPA provider to the U.S. Government with more automations currently in operation than any other company1. New bots are created daily on the company’s platform to help frontline organizations manage COVID-19 response, and are available for free in the company’s Bot Store. Solutions include: Create Healthcare Claims Processing Dashboard, Fraudulent Claim Detection, Automate the Audit Of Healthcare ICD-10 and Analyze Customer Feedback in the Insurance Industry.

1 Federal Robotics and Cognitive Consortium (FRCC) Bot Index – Q2 2019, Automations by Sector, Breakdown of Reported Automations by Civilian, DS&J, Health, and SLHE Sectors

Staying operational: Helping all industries maintain business continuity and productivity:

  • - Enabling collaboration, communication from anywhere: Automation Anywhere has devoted significant automation resources to enable employees in all industries to collaborate, communicate and work regardless of where it takes place. Not all companies are downsizing – in fact, some companies: Walmart, CVS and Dollar General are hiring to fill the demands of the new normal. The Employee Onboarding bot helps companies automate the employee onboarding process by letting bots take care of repetitive tasks in a fast, efficient and error-free manner. The Slack Login bot helps users in home offices automatically log in to Slack to collaborate on projects while working remotely. Also, the Remote Disk Cleanup bot helps IT teams focus on critical needs instead of manual on-site disk optimization.
  • - Keeping companies afloat through intelligent automation: Through the company’s new Business Continuity Automation program, customers are invited to a free one-hour session with Automation Anywhere’s Quick Reaction Team to identify a business continuity automation use case. Customized bots or Digital Workers will be customized and built for selected use cases and delivered to customers – typically within a week. All bots created through this program will have the highest level of certification through Bot Security, and the resulting work will be published in the company’s Bot Store to allow other organizations to benefit.
  • - Ensuring business continuity with contact tracing: Automation Anywhere is deploying customizable software bots to ensure organizations can continue operations. The new Health Status Manager bot helps employers plan for adequate staff levels at store locations when employees are out sick, with anonymized aggregated results displayed on a dashboard, distributed by email to designated supervisors and analyzed using Automation Anywhere’s Bot Insight analytics technology. The company is also supporting containment efforts using bots to trace contacts between infected individuals to reduce further transmission. The Contact Tracing Bot has been developed to automate the contact tracing process in Singapore – from data extraction using Document Automation, to assessing risk to aid containment efforts.
  • - Helping banks implement grace periods for loan processing and repayments: Financial institutions across the globe are being challenged to meet new loan processing requirements and repayment. If loan payments are not rescheduled promptly, systems will send late payment reports to credit monitoring agencies. To mitigate negative impact on consumers’ credit in this uncertain time, Banco de Guayaquil in Ecuador built and deployed Automation Anywhere RPA bots to automatically halt late fees and refinance loans within a very aggressive timeline, all at a fraction of the cost of any manual option. Automation Anywhere is working with other financial services customers to implement similar solutions globally.

Community response: Sparking a race for COVID-19 RPA solutions:

  • - Mobilizing the RPA community to innovate: Automation Anywhere is investing $500,000 toward a global scholarship program for individuals looking to learn RPA skills to add value to communities in need. Automation Anywhere University the company’s training and certification division, will award 200 global scholarships to individuals to achieve the coveted Master RPA Professional Certification through virtual live training and certification. More information and the scholarship application are available here.
  • - Free online training and collaboration to spark new solutions: The company has increased its offering of free online training from Automation Anywhere University (AAU) with a comprehensive library of over 100 self-paced RPA courses and learning options for users to gain expertise in building bots. AAU has also extended its free promotion for its Advanced Certification program through June 30, 2020, to encourage users to develop bots – and spark a race for new solutions that automate and streamline healthcare and other business processes. 
  • - Calling all developers to collaborate: The global pandemic has upended work, travel and home life, shifting the rules around what businesses and citizens are able to do in their daily lives to remain safe and connected. Developers are encouraged to tap into Community Edition to build and test bots for COVID-19 response as well as create work-from-home related bots. Business users are also invited to join the discussion in A-People to collaborate on new ways to use RPA.


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