Today's consumers go for fast, easy solutions, preferably when and how they themselves want and need them. It's all about speed, ease of use and transparency. Customers expect that the goods they order today will be delivered tomorrow. You therefore need to be able to act fast and replace that van that won't start or that machinery that's playing up. No time to waste. That's the new norm. And it's a new context that also goes for financial institutions.
An explanation from Patrick Tans, Banking Products Senior General Manager in the KBC Belgium Business Unit: 'Against the background of our clients' changed expectations, we've dramatically simplified our internal credit processes over the past year. Technological and digital developments mean that we're now able to process 90% of business loan applications within 24 hours. During a pilot phase over the past few months, 99% of qualifying business loan applications were fully processed within 24 hours, to the applicants' immense satisfaction. Not only does the greater organisational efficiency give branch staff more time and space to further improve the provision of services to our clients (after all, we're serious about our desire to make the client key to all we do), it means that businesses know in no time whether or not they qualify for a loan. KBC's aim is to be the reference. Not just for private clients but also for business in Flanders: our fast loan-decision process seeks to bolster our role in society.'
What loans qualify and who can apply for 'instant' credit?
All KBC and KBC Brussels business clients (SMEs, the self-employed and liberal professions from any sector, including agriculture, horticulture or 'social profit') can apply for and get loans up to 150 000 euros within 24 hours. Previously, it took nine days to process such loans. Qualifying loans are business and investment credit facilities and financial leases, whether applied for via a KBC branch or processed by head office.
KBC's aim is to have 100% of loan applications meeting these parameters processed within 24 hours. Additionally, all other credit applications also benefit from the faster process and can now be finalised in five days.
Digital signing saves more time and increases ease of use
Digital advances mean that lion's share of loan contracts can be signed digitally via KBC Touch (which gives clients an overview of both their personal and their business accounts). From the end of February, clients will also be able to sign digitally from their KBC Business Dashboard. Business clients no longer need to leave their desk – wherever they might be – to sign contracts or send us supporting documentation electronically.
KBC Business Dashboard gives clients a transparent overview of their transactions
The KBC Business Dashboard is our new portal giving businesspeople access to all their business banking and insurance apps together with a clear view of the various tools for running their business. The dashboard means that transactions for which business clients previously had to go to their KBC branch or agency can now be carried out and monitored from their own office or wherever they happen to be. The digital signature feature that we've integrated by means of KBC Touch saves time by allowing business clients to sign loan applications, powers of attorney and transactions and view their insurance policies, no matter where they are. Even when they're travelling abroad.
 CBC, a subsidiary of KBC, operates its own commercial policy for business clients.