Case study: UmweltBank



Michael Jessen, Leader Private Financing

Logo UmweltBank


About the UmweltBank

Sabine and Horst P. Popp had the idea of founding a bank that would bring ecology and economy into harmony as early as 1994. After “Germany’s first green bank shares” were issued in 1995, the starting signal was given two years later: the UmweltBank has been active on the market with the financing of ecological projects since 1997.

The bank mainly finances larger projects, e.g. residential projects, wind and solar parks. Borrowers are primarily commercial customers. But private individuals can also finance their own home with the UmweltBank, for example. For a long time, the minimum credit volume was EUR 50,000. In order to enable smaller investments, such as ecological renovation, the UmweltBank introduced the Environmental Wish Loan (UmweltWunschkredit) at the end of 2020. “We have been feeling increased demand in this area for some time. The zeitgeist that people are thinking more and more ecologically is of course advantageous for us”, explains Michael Jessen, team leader for private financing. With the new sustainable instalment loan, the institute is concentrating on four business areas:

  • Photovoltaic (PV) systems
  • Construction financing
  • Electromobility
  • Tiny houses

The new Environmental Wish Loan

“Germany’s greenest bank” focuses on supporting the financing of PV systems with the Environmental Wish Loan. The business area accounts for around 50% of the total volume. The other 50% is divided between the areas of construction financing, electromobility (in addition to e-cars also e-cargo bikes) and tiny houses.

The minimum loan amount when applying for an Environmental Wish Loan is EUR 10,000. There is no such thing as a typical clientele, rather it ranges from self-sufficient farmers to sustainable house builders. “Due to rising energy prices, many homeowners have now understood that they can save money with a PV system”, says Jessen.

Interest in financing e-cars is also constantly increasing – especially for used cars. For the bank advisor, this can be explained by the interaction between manufacturers and car banks when selling new cars.

Why the UmweltBank chose Collenda’s solution

There were various reasons why the bank chose Collenda’s software solution Open Credit – Loan Origination to implement the digital loan application process for the Environmental Wish Loan. Collenda:

  • Was able to implement the requirements for the application process and the clerk workflow from the outset.
  • Understood the specific nature of the purpose-related instalment loans.
  • Was one of the few providers who also offered hosting in addition to the application process (SaaS).
  • Was able to convince with its price/performance combination.

Implementation of Open Credit 4.0 – Loan Origination at the UmweltBank



Preloader
  • Phase 1

    After the project has started, the UmweltBank first meets with an internal advisory committee to discuss the general requirements for the digital loan application process.

  • Phase 2

    This is followed by the tender, in which the tender criteria and most important requirements are recorded. A completely digital application process, the assumption of hosting and the provision of the software as a service (SaaS) were particularly important.

  • Phase 3

    After Collenda won the tender, the project begins in mid-2019 with the design of a so-called “Project Definition Report”, which will be developed in several workshops after a preliminary study.

  • Phase 4

    This is followed by the signing of the contract and further implementation steps: Coordination and implementation of change requests, setup and configuration of the test environment and setup of the process (including documents).

  • Phase 5

    After extensive testing by the UmweltBank, a production environment is set up.

  • Phase 6

    After the final acceptance, the platform goes online on 30 October 2020, World Savings Day.



“We are very satisfied with the implementation”, sums up Michael Jessen. A total of eight colleagues were involved in the process. In addition to the specialist departments, experts from the fields of IT, marketing, contract law and graphic design were involved, with project manager Carsten Höldtke (PS), Christian Piller (PO) as deputy project manager and two developers from Collenda.

Since that date, UmweltBank customers have been able to apply for credit at any time and from any location. Subsequently, thanks to automated processes, the bank can handle the loan application process efficiently and handle the increasing demand without any problems.

Software operation status quo

Currently, three full-time colleagues in administration and one colleague from marketing are involved in operating the software. The administrative effort is very low now that the solution is operated as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud. From the application to the conclusion of a loan at the UmweltBank, it takes just 1 to 2 hours, depending on whether the customer can be reached immediately. The customer feedback regarding the use of the loan application process is just as positive as the growth in the number of clicks.

Michael Jessen is also satisfied with the support provided by Collenda. In a weekly status update, we discuss how the application is running and whether there is a need for adjustment, for example due to legal changes. Michael Jessen: “We feel very content with the support we’re receiving.” With Collenda, you don’t get the feeling that you’re just a paying customer after the project is over.

Michael Jessen

“Currently, three full-time colleagues in administration and one colleague from marketing are in involved in operating the software. The administrative effort is very low now that the solution is operated as Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud. From the application to the conclusion of a loan at the UmweltBank, it takes just 1 to 2 hours, depending on whether the customer can be reached immediately.”

– Michael Jessen, Team Leader Private Financing

The UmweltBank’s USP

A special feature of the UmweltBank lending business is that there is always a fixed contact person available for every customer. “There is no call centre in our credit departments”, says Michael Jessen. After taking out an online instalment loan, the first contact is made immediately by an advisor. She or he will help with technical questions about financing, but also, for example, how to apply for funding. “Through this approach, our customer loyalty is strong”, explains Michael Jessen. “We have a number of repeat clients.”

Another special feature is the interest rate guarantee. Michael Jessen: “If, for example, we offer a debit interest rate of 2.89% online when applying for a loan, then this is also stated in the contract.” The customer doesn’t face any unpleasant surprises.

Do you have questions about our loan application process? We would be happy to inform you about the Loan Origination module in a personal meeting.

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