Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with a redeveloped portal dashboard, a PPP loan origination and the servicing firm launched an online marketplace, providing SBA loans as well as accounting, insurance, marketing, and legal services to small businesses owners.
Based in Chicago, Illinois, NEWITY (formerly ACAP) connects entrepreneurs with affordable loan solutions and trusted business services—such as online managed accounting, business insurance, marketing, and legal services—by leveraging technology and partnerships.
NEWITY was founded in 2020 to service Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. During PPP’s initiation, the federal government relied upon the Small Business Administration (SBA) and banks to disburse $522 billion to businesses throughout the US. This placed a massive burden on banks that were not readily equipped to process, fund, and service these loans, despite banks’ desire to help their small business customers. Recognizing this challenge, NEWITY began to acquire PPP loans from banks and service them at scale, utilizing their knowledge of the product, focus on customer service, and technology-forward approach.
After purchasing and originating $11.3 billion PPP loans, NEWITY saw an opportunity to expand its offerings to better serve the primary beneficiaries of the PPP: small businesses. These small business owners had limited access to affordable financing and critical services like accounting, insurance, and legal. NEWITY began building partnerships with trusted service providers to launch an online marketplace, but they quickly realized they would need to upgrade their member dashboard, called the Smart Portal. In addition to increasing functionality and enhancing the user experience, NEWITY also sought to improve the portal design and build new features and integrations into the platform.
NEWITY engaged Praxent to reimagine, redesign, and redevelop its Smart Portal; design and implement multiple integrations; and introduce new features and functions to accommodate its new users and services. With the launch of Smart Portal 2.0, in addition to business loan solutions, NEWITY now offers managed accounting, insurance, marketing, and legal services to its Members. The new dashboard offers an intuitive user experience and has enabled NEWITY to serve more users, scale its partnerships, and onboard new product offerings. Third-party integrations provide a seamless, automated, self-serve experience for NEWITY members. Finally, NEWITY’s Member Services team has seen a significant decrease in support requests related to the portal, which has freed them to focus on the Members’ overall experience.
Along with a fresh rebrand in the summer of 2021, NEWITY sought to improve its customer experience and scale its product offerings, transforming from a loan servicer to a fully integrated technology platform. To do that, NEWITY needed to redesign their existing Member dashboard, called Smart Portal, as well as add functionality, features, and integrations.
While they had the capability to manage processing and servicing the new marketplace, NEWITY needed a specialized technology partner to focus on designing and building the platform while providing consulting insights. From the first interaction, NEWITY felt Praxent was the only partner that truly understood their business and mission. They chose Praxent because of Praxent’s relevant industry experience and demonstrated interest in driving the project to success.
How we helped
Praxent focused on the design and integrations for NEWITY’s Member dashboard to help scale their fast-growing business, reduce operational risk, accelerate loan income, and improve access to funds for small businesses through a digital single-sign-on hub.
Praxent capitalized on the room for improvement in the technology stack and UX. NEWITY’s technology portfolio included a custom-developed application that was improved by incorporating additional context on the PPP process and NEWITY’s capabilities.
Finally, Praxent provided a seamless experience. By integrating with third parties, they helped reduce or eliminate manual data loads and assisted in improving the ease of use of the platform for customers by building a fast, flexible, and scalable solution.
Praxent focused on technical design to deliver needed integrations and gain alignment for the new dashboard based on the existing product. The approach included:
Front-End Integration Analysis and Design: Produced technical designs to enable the seamless end-user handoff between applications and the tracking of inbound and outbound referrals
Back-End Integration Analysis and Design: Analyzed available APIs and designed the back-end integrations between NEWITY’s dashboard and other in-scope systems
Design Thinking Workshop & Journey Map: Facilitated sessions designed to gather different opinions and ideas to align around common goals, outputs, and expectations for the user experience
User Journey Research: Documentation of customer and user journey insights, videos, tags, and analysis in one place
Data Modeling and Migration Preparation: Modeled the necessary data structures and migration approaches for both the NEWITY’s dashboard and the HubSpot customer data repository
Deployment Architecture and Development Plan: Designed the deployment architecture and create a detailed plan to inform development including a budget, timeline, and staffing
Site Map: Deliverables such as sitemaps helped define information architecture
User Interface Design: Branding and visual design applied to wireframes for key flows which are used to harvest reusable digital styles
Over the course of a few months, Praxent redesigned the UI/UX of NEWITY’s Smart Portal Member dashboard to be more robust with enhanced capabilities to allow new Members to register and access various business services. Praxent presented a technical product design that aligned so well with what NEWITY wanted, they decided to engage Praxent for the product implementation as well. In the end, NEWITY was able to migrate its member base and connect its partner businesses to the fully integrated platform.
Since launching the new dashboard, NEWITY’s Member Services team has noted a decrease in support tickets related to issues with log-in, registration, password reset, business processes, PPP loan services navigation, etc. NEWITY leadership is thrilled with its ease of use as well as the new functionality and scalability it provides.
NEWITY will continue to partner with Praxent, rolling out new feature enhancements for its members every two weeks.
Designed four front-end and eight back-end integrations for Biz2Credit and inbound/outbound marketing affiliates by analyzing existing technical solutions, reviewing available API documentation, and producing a written specification and interaction diagram
Data modeling and migration to produced schema for the next version of NEWITY’s dashboard database, as well as recommendations for HubSpot record configuration and data remediation
UX research and design conducted to define the user experience of the new dashboard
Deployment Architecture and Development Plan before development phase by making key hosting decisions, producing an epic-level agile product backlog
Borrower Dashboard Development to provide better support for loan origination and loan servicing and a new marketplace for non-banking services
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