Higher Speed, Same Controls: How Automated Underwriting Drives New Business

May 7, 2021

Underwriting Drives New Business

One of the best things about automated underwriting is how it gives human skill and judgment its proper due. Human intervention is only used when it’s really required, with the time-consuming and tedious tasks left to machines.

When I think about the power of automation, I often recall the time I toured the Schlitz brewery when I was a kid. It was the busiest place I’d ever been, with well over a thousand people working on the factory floor, each of them responsible for their little piece of the production process.

In particular, I remember that there were a couple of people on each line, just watching the bottles go by. They were checking to make sure that each bottle was full. If the level was low, they’d pull it off the line and take it over to two other guys with carts. When a cart was full, they’d push it over to another area that was basically a brick wall with a big drain under it. Then they’d smash the bottles! Every so often they’d sweep up the glass.

Today, that brewery only employs a staff of a couple of dozen people, but they’re pumping out more beer than ever before. They’ve extensively automated their processes. Now, the only time a human is involved in the process is when their judgment is truly required.

Automation Meets Underwriting

Twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on underwriting and see the same thing. The volume of business conducted will be higher (much higher!), but it will be conducted at a much greater speed. Human decision-making will still be in control, but will only be called upon when it’s needed.

Famous race driver Mario Andretti once said, “If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough!” That’s a philosophy you could apply to modern underwriting. You’ll feel like you’re in control with human underwriters at every stage of the process, making every single call. The problem with this feeling of control is it means you aren’t going fast enough to keep up with your competition and win new business.

Increase Speed While Taking on Less Risk

There are ways to increase your speed without increasing risk. Think about the difference between a Pinto and a Mustang. The Pinto will get you where you’re going, but the Mustang does it better. Not only is the Mustang faster than the Pinto, but it’s also safer than the Pinto is at the same speed. The Mustang handles better than the Pinto because it’s built to go at those speeds. You can look at automated underwriting the same way. You can achieve high speed without added risk when you use a system configured for your business. This is where automated underwriting software comes in and shines.

Merchant ScanXpress Takes Speed to a Whole New Level 

Meet Merchant ScanXpress, our state-of-the-art automated underwriting software that helps you accept and deny merchants in minutes. Our team works with you to configure Merchant ScanXpress so that it will automatically run the specific checks you require and flag the results according to your processes.

For example, we recently onboarded a customer who wanted to auto-approve merchants and have them process payments the same day. Previously, they were taking a week to approve merchants, even when the checks were showing plenty of “green flags.” They’ve tremendously sped up their process by configuring Merchant ScanXpress to auto-approve those “green flag” merchants. It’s the same process as before, so there’s no additional risk. The only difference is in the increase in speed. This allows the client to onboard merchants faster, gets them processing payments faster, and provides everyone with a frictionless onboarding experience.

Merchant ScanXpress looks at all the other flags as well, so the client’s underwriters don’t have to waste time looking at merchants that are bound to be rejected. That also means the underwriters can spend more time looking at the edge cases, those situations where human judgment is really needed.

See the full interview with our CEO, Dave O’Brien on PYMNTS.com.