Answer Financial Joins CoverWallet for Agents to Expand Commercial Insurance Offerings for Small Businesses

Business Wire. | February 12, 2020

CoverWallet, an Aon company that is the leading digital insurance platform for small and medium-sized businesses, and Answer Financial, one of the largest personal lines insurance agencies in the nation, announced today they are teaming up. Answer Financial has joined CoverWallet for Agents to harness the technology platform, which makes it easy for agents to quote, bind, and service customers online, to expand their small commercial insurance capabilities. With CoverWallet for Agents, Answer Financial improves agent efficiency and enhances the overall customer experience by making it simple, fast and convenient for businesses to get insured. Agents benefit from an end-to-end solution that allows them to generate instant quotes from leading carriers, compare coverage options, bind coverage, accept multiple customer payment methods, and provide a seamless customer experience, all through the online platform.

Spotlight

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) is the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization, celebrating 80 years of small-business representation in Washington, D.C. Focused on federal advocacy and operating on a staunchly nonpartisan basis, NSBA conducts a series of surveys every year, including two Economic Reports.

Spotlight

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) is the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization, celebrating 80 years of small-business representation in Washington, D.C. Focused on federal advocacy and operating on a staunchly nonpartisan basis, NSBA conducts a series of surveys every year, including two Economic Reports.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE, BUSINESS STRATEGY

The Era of Expensive Parcel Delivery is Over in Canada as Sendle Brings Affordable, 100% Carbon-Neutral Shipping to Small Businesses

Sendle | September 17, 2022

Sendle has arrived in Canada to bring more choice and competition to the Canadian shipping industry so that small businesses can compete with big eCommerce companies. Sendle’s debut in Canada is timely, following on the heels of yet another Canada Post parcel delivery price increase.Sendle is Canada’s first 100% carbon-neutral, national shipping carrier and a Certified B Corporation. The company is making parcel delivery more affordable for Canadian small businesses – and ultimately for consumers – by unlocking the power of big business delivery and providing low flat-fee shipping rates that are up to 88% lower than Canada Post. Sendle offers free pickups with no hidden fees, subscriptions, or minimums required. As a company that prides itself on its exceptional customer service, Sendle also ensures customers have direct access to its world class support team. Canadian small businesses can sign up online today to get 10 free shipments.Small business champion Lauren Helstab, who formerly led business development partnerships at Shopify UK, has returned to Canada to take on the role of Sendle country manager. Lauren will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s growth strategy in the Canadian market. “After two-and-half hard years through the pandemic and now record-high inflation, small businesses in Canada are frustrated with how unfair Canadian shipping rates are and why the Canadian industry is not supporting them,. “Small businesses can’t afford to have 65% of customers abandoning their shopping carts at checkout because of high shipping costs. Plus, small businesses can’t compete with big retailers without fair rates. More than ever, independent businesses need more choice in their shipping options in Canada and they deserve a solution like Sendle that is built for them and offers rates that finally make sense.” Lauren Helstab, Sendle’s country manager for Canada Leger survey highlights consumer frustration with Canadian courier services eCommerce has rapidly grown and evolved in Canada, with over 27 million Canadians embracing eCommerce in 2022. Yet three-quarters (71%) of Canadians say they are frustrated with courier services in Canada, the backbone of eCommerce, according to findings from a recent survey of 1,506 Canadians conducted by Leger on behalf of Sendle. Shipping costs rank as the leading frustration (42%) for Canadians, followed by lack of reliability (26%), poor customer service (24%), and having the parcel shipped to a different location than their door (21%). The survey also finds: One-third (30%) are shopping online less this year because of the cost of shipping. Almost two-thirds (64%) of consumers who have shopped online in the past year feel that the cost of shipping for online purchases has risen since pre-pandemic times. Three-in-five (57%) are shopping less, in general, because of inflation, with one-in-ten (11%) shopping less online, specifically. Two-thirds (66%) of Canadians have been shocked by the high cost of shipping once they reach the checkout page for an online purchase. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Canadian consumers have abandoned their shopping carts because of the shipping costs. Four-in-ten (39%) are more likely to purchase from an online retailer that provides a “green” shipping option such as carbon neutral shipping. An even greater share of younger shoppers (45% of those under 35 years old) say they’ll do the same. Carbon-neutral delivery cuts shipping costs for Canadian small businesses Sendle reduces the environmental impact of shipping by tapping existing shipping providers and filling their vehicles to ensure every trip is as efficient as possible. With this model, Sendle helps its shipping partners make their routes more efficient and profitable, and in turn, passes that savings along to Sendle customers. For example, a small business using Sendle can ship a three-kilogram package from Toronto to Vancouver for $13 – 42% less than if they used Canada Post or they can ship a one-kilogram parcel within Toronto for 30% less than Canada Post. To account for the remaining carbon emissions, Sendle purchases carbon offsets to address the impact of every Sendle parcel sent. Through its partner South Pole, Sendle invests in highly credible environmental projects around the world – including Darkwoods Forest Conservation in British Columbia – that account for carbon by protecting and managing forests and other vital ecosystems. Each year, customers select the project they want Sendle to support on their behalf. No trip to the Post Office requiredSendle handles the end-to-end journey of every parcel shipped, offering dedicated customer service by real people, as well as a powerful online dashboard where customers can track their deliveries, reschedule deliveries, and more. Using Sendle, Canadian small businesses can send a parcel in three easy steps: Sign up for free online (takes less than 30 seconds) Purchase a label and request that Sendle pick up from their front door Track their parcel’s progress from their Sendle Dashboard Small businesses in Canada are long overdue for a parcel delivery option designed for them – one that helps them to serve rising customer expectations in the age of eCommerce. At a time when inflation is high and costs are rising, Sendle’s entry into the Canadian market puts an end to what’s largely been a monopoly in shipping with a solution that’s more affordable, reliable, and more flexible to suit the needs of small businesses in Canada,” says James Chin Moody, CEO and co-founder of Sendle. “We have also been 100% carbon neutral since the day we launched in Australia in late 2014. To date, Sendle has offset the impact of 34 billion kilometres of parcel delivery. We are not only bringing Canadians a 100% carbon neutral way to ship at no extra cost, we are also putting pressure on the Canadian shipping industry to do better on this front, too. About the Survey An online survey of 1509 Canadians was completed between August 26-28, 2022 using Leger’s online panel. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e., a web panel in this case). For comparative purposes, though, a probability sample of 1509 respondents would have a margin of error of ±2.5%, 19 times out of 20. About Sendle Sendle is the first shipping carrier specifically designed to serve the needs of small eCommerce businesses. Sendle levels the playing field for small businesses by offering affordable, flat-rate shipping, with no hidden fees, subscriptions, or warehousing required. Merchants simply purchase a label and schedule a pickup from Sendle, and their package is picked up from their front door. Sendle is the first 100% carbon neutral shipping carrier in Australia, the US, and Canada, and a Certified B Corporation. The company was launched in Australia in 2014 and has headquarters in Sydney, Australia, Seattle, Washington, and Toronto, Canada.

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FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Codat Partners with nCino to Help Banks Underwrite Small Business Loans Better and Faster

Codat | September 15, 2022

Codat, the universal API for small business data, today announced a partnership with nCino , the worldwide leader in cloud banking, to automate and accelerate banks' ability to underwrite small business loans around the world.nCino's seamless solution significantly reduces the time it takes banks to transfer information from a borrower's financial statements into the bank's financial analysis program (a process known as "spreading financials"). With support for 120+ languages and 140+ currencies, nCino's Bank Operating System is used by more than 1,750 financial institutions worldwide. Partnering with Codat will bring this same efficiency to underwriting loans for the banks nCino supports, making it faster and easier for small businesses around the world to access credit. "The process of underwriting small businesses remains incredibly labor-intensive for most institutions, A large number of the banks we speak to are still having to request financial data from customers on a quarterly basis and manually input that data into their loan management system - a process that is prone to error and a pain for the customer. The power of this partnership is that we've built our automated data collection and categorization capabilities directly into the nCino platform, which is already used by over a thousand institutions worldwide. They can get started now with very little lift to implement." Codat CEO, Pete Lord Our platform makes it easier for credit analysts to gain a clear picture of credit risk," said Thomas Byrne, General Manager, EMEA at nCino. "Financial institutions have the opportunity to deliver a better experience to their customers by automating the flow and exchange of data throughout the lending lifecycle. We're proud to be partnered with Codat to further automate processes that enable financial institutions to significantly improve efficiency, accuracy, and create cost savings whilst being able to respond to actual customer need in real time. One of the first financial institutions to adopt the new integration, Recognise Bank, eliminated significant data entry requirements. As a bank focused on SMEs, using technology from best-in-class providers that offer us scalability and flexibility is a key to our success. We looked at other solutions for streamlining the collection of data from customers, but Codat was the clear choice because it offers the ability to automatically categorise accounts and validate accuracy across multiple data sources. Automating our internal underwriting processes means we can provide our customers with a quicker, more efficient and frictionless service. The integration between nCino and Codat further supports our mission to make small businesses' lives easier, said Mo Fadaei, Director, Banking Platforms and Partnerships, Recognise Bank. Ninety-seven percent of financial institutions have digital transformation plans, but just 30 percent are working to implement their strategy, according to a 2021 survey by BDO. The reason for this is that most banks are held back by the practical challenges and expenses of retrofitting existing systems to incorporate new tools while meeting complex compliance requirements This partnership is just the latest in Codat's suite of solutions to streamline and automate the credit process. Earlier this year, Codat launched Assess, enabling smarter credit decisions on small to medium-sized businesses with real-time customer data via a single API after the company's lender clients universally requested a product that would support faster business decisions without increasing risk. ABOUT CODAT Codat is the universal API for small business data. Codat's API provides real-time connectivity to enable software providers and financial institutions to build integrated products for their SMB customers. Codat clients range from corporate card providers and forecasting software to lenders, and use cases span automatic reconciliation, loan decisioning, and more. Codat was founded in 2017 and has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and Sydney. For more information, visit www.codat.io. ABOUT nCINO nCino (NASDAQ: NCNO) is the worldwide leader in cloud banking. The nCino Bank Operating System® empowers financial institutions with scalable technology to help them achieve revenue growth, greater efficiency, cost savings and regulatory compliance. In a digital-first world, nCino's single cloud-based platform enhances the employee and client experience to enable financial institutions to more effectively onboard clients, make loans and manage the entire loan life cycle, and open deposit and other accounts across lines of business and channels. Transforming how financial institutions operate through innovation, reputation and speed, nCino is partnered with more than 1,750 financial institutions of all types and sizes on a global basis.

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BUSINESS STRATEGY

Mercato Announces Launch of Thriving Communities Program, eCommerce Platform Increases Healthy Food Access and Grows Small Businesses

Mercato | November 22, 2022

Mercato, the nation's leading eCommerce platform for independent grocers, has announced its new initiative to improve access to healthy foods and foster economic stability in low-income communities. Thriving Communities works with local governments, private funders and non-profits to bring more grocers onto the eGrocery platform so they can digitize their inventory, offer delivery and enable enrollment and utilization of SNAP online.Mercato, the nation's leading eCommerce platform for independent grocers, has announced its new initiative It creates what founder and CEO Bobby Brannigan calls "The Mercato Effect" whereby grocers going online provides residents access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods and the ability to redeem public/private food benefits which in turn creates more jobs, increases grocers' sales and keeps dollars circulating within the community. As the son of an independent grocer in Brooklyn, I know first-hand how critical these independent, local grocers are to the economic and social well-being of their communities," said Brannigan. "They are the lifeline for so many residents to get fresh, healthy, culturally relevant foods without having to travel far or wait weeks to go to the market. By giving local grocers the tools and technologies to operate online, they can increase their own revenue and fuel healthier ecosystems throughout the country. New York City was the first city to partner with Mercato, leveraging Thriving Communities to test a technological pilot that offered subsidized groceries to a cohort of New Yorkers. "The pandemic challenged food security in unprecedented ways, Mercato's innovative work piloting online grocery benefits making healthy, affordable groceries accessible to all New Yorkers, no matter where they live. New York City is proud to innovate with technology and public benefits, and we are thrilled that Mercato recognizes this too." Kate MacKenzie, executive director, New York City Mayor's Office of Food Policy. Getting onto the Mercato platform was game-changing for our store and our shoppers," said Gustavo Rodriguez of Key Food Stadium, located in the Bronx. "Our sales are increasing literally every day, especially fresh produce, and the technology and service Mercato provides enables us to fulfill orders seamlessly and with the same personal attention and care that our shoppers need and deserve. It feels incredible to be feeding and helping low-income residents in our community." Mercato is looking to expand Thriving Communities by finding and collaborating with partners in other cities including Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. About Mercato Mercato is an eCommerce and local delivery platform that provides thousands of independent grocers across the country with the tools and technologies they need to stay competitive in the marketplace. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, it was founded by Bobby Brannigan, the son of a neighborhood grocer in Brooklyn, who saw his father needed to modernize his inventory and delivery systems to stay in business and better serve his shoppers. Since launching in 2015 Mercato has brought more than 1,500 stores across the country onto the platform.

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