Reimagined member portal dashboard for loan servicing startup
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.
Digital loan origination and servicing Fintech, Financial Services, Small Business online services
- 115,000 Small Business Members
- Illinois, USA
- UX/UI design
- Design and integration strategy
- ClickModel Prototyping
- Deployment architecture and development plan
- Data modeling and migration preparation
NEWITY 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 and provided a seamless experience improving the platform’s ease of use for customers by building a fast, flexible, and scalable solution. In addition, by integrating with third parties, Praxent helped reduce or eliminate manual data loads.
Praxent was very prepared for our first call. They researched our business, asked specific business-related questions, and quickly evidenced their ability to add value beyond the tech build. They’re very knowledgeable about the space and understood the depth and breadth of our project. From our perspective, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner – Praxent was the right choice for us.
Chief Operating Officer
Front-End Integration Analysis and Design
Enable the seamless end-user handoff between applications and the tracking of inbound and outbound referrals.
Deployment architecture and Development plan
Informed development, including budget, timeline, and staffing.
User Interface design
Applied to wireframes for key flows which are used to harvest reusable digital styles
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.
What NEWITY had to say
What was the scope of their involvement?
We started the project by putting together a high-level overview or schematic of what we were offering, for which Praxent submitted a proposal to evolve our 1.0 portal to a 2.0 version. We gave them access to our existing database and portal and conducted a handful of calls to introduce them to our goals in terms of features and functionality.
Over the course of a few months, Praxent redesigned the UI/UX of our portal to be more robust. For instance, they enhanced it to allow new member registration and accommodate new business services. They presented a technical product design that aligned with what we wanted, so we decided to use them for the implementation of it as well.
In the end, we were able to migrate our member base and connect our partner businesses to the fully integrated platform.
What is the team composition?
We worked with a few delivery leads and product designers. There was also a technical director, three developers, and a QA tester.
How did you come to work with Praxent?
A marketing firm that we were working with helped us identify candidates for the job. We spoke to a number of different firms, but Praxent was, from day one, the provider that truly understood our business and what we were trying to accomplish. They had relevant experience and seemed really interested to drive our project to success. It was a clear choice for us.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We always knew that this was going to be a tough and complex project to take on, but it has gone very smoothly. We have just launched the platform, and though bugs are inevitable, Praxent has been quickly responded to and fixed any issue that came up.
How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?
Their process is really great, and their team is awesome to work with. They’ve helped us navigate this complex project. The way our technology is built requires a significant amount of attention to detail, and they’re able to come through for us in a major way. They’re very organized and on top of everything.
We go by a weekly cadence, and their technical director and delivery leads are always accessible via Teams, email, or phone calls. It’s easy to communicate with them, and they’re very open to any feedback or suggestion that we give.
What did you find most impressive about them?
The organization of the Praxent team really stands out to me. Everybody — from the delivery leads down to the technical team — has understood and delivered what we were trying to accomplish. They’ve gone above and beyond for us and have taken a vested interest in the success of this technology and our business.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, I can’t think of any negatives. Everything that came up during the process has been quickly identified, analyzed, and resolved.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
I would recommend Praxent to anybody who’s contemplating the implementation of a new process or design. Their team is great and fun to work with, and any pain point you encounter will be quickly mitigated.
Willing to refer
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