BlueVine Collaborates with AWS to Provide Small Business Relief Loans
Guest post by Raanan Turgeman, Senior Technical Account Manager, AWS IL and Nir Klar, Chief Technology Officer, BlueVine IL
BlueVine offers a modern approach to small business financing. Its advanced online platform provides business owners with fast and easy solutions to everyday financial needs with fast approvals, simple and flexible financial products (E.g., Invoice Factoring, Line of Credit, Term Loans), and an easy-to-use dashboard. BlueVine also offers an advanced checking account built to service small businesses. BlueVine started its journey with AWS back in 2013 and since then has rapidly adopted more managed services as they scaled.
New product based on Amazon Textract
BlueVine developed a product that allows small businesses in the US to get access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as part of the COVID-19 relief stimulus package of approx. $650B provided by the US government, also known as “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.” The program provides small businesses with cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans. As part of the PPP program, BlueVine helped thousands of businesses across the US get funds, saving more than 400,000 jobs. This was achieved partly due to high automation and efficient processes built by multiple teams. A significant part of this success was a result of the cooperation with Amazon Textract and its team that allowed a high degree of automation for document processing, less burden on backoffice, helping the servicing and risk teams focus on serving the customers faster and better.
BlueVine has adopted AWS cloud services and are using AWS Enterprise support, which is the highest level of premium support. Once BlueVine shared the importance of the project and its goals with AWS enterprise account team, AWS and BlueVine worked together to build a clear and fast multi-stage plan which included understanding new product requirements, identifying systems, services, scaling and HA risks, and bottlenecks. Working together, AWS and BlueVine architected the right solution, developed and integrated it with BlueVine applications, deployed it in production, and monitored it in real-time. Since there was expected to be a large volume of PPP loan applications, the BlueVine team, after careful consideration, chose Amazon Textract to help automate the loan application process. BlueVine had to automate the processing of parsing and analyzing PPP forms to eliminate a significant bottleneck in the process and to ensure the documents were verified in accordance with the law. In a couple of days, BlueVine launched a new product incorporating Textract to automatically process and analyze tens of thousands of pages per day. The new service was efficient and streamlined and guaranteed a high accuracy analysis process. The development, integration, deployment, and monitoring only took a few days. Textract was deployed in April and was critical to the success of the entire product. The solution scaled up and out, improved HA, reduced latency, and integrated Amazon Textract. BlueVine consumers highlighted the efficiency of their PPP loan process all over social media.
Amazon Textract is a service that automatically extracts text and data from scanned documents. Textract goes beyond simple optical character recognition (OCR) to also identify the contents of fields in forms and information stored in tables. It detects and extracts text, structured data, such as fields of interest and their values, and tables from images and scans of documents. Amazon Textract’s machine learning models have been trained on millions of documents so that virtually any document type you upload is automatically recognized and processed for text extraction. When information is extracted from documents, the service returns a confidence score for each element it identifies so that you can make informed decisions about how you want to use the results.
Overview of solution
In the diagram below is the Amazon Textract architecture and deployment, led by BlueVine infrastructure and DS teams. The full solution involves various AWS serverless services around Amazon Textract and comprises of three main flows: the extractor flow, the analysis flow, and PDF fixer flow. All flows shared some common architecture keys, such as AWS Lambda functions to execute a single operation to keep the flow simple and fast to develop and debug, API throttling to avoid API thresholds/limiting, every flow getting triggered from Amazon S3 key upload using Amazon S3 triggers, every AWS Lambda working with a separate Amazon SQS queue, and every Amazon SQS queue having a dead-letter queue as a retrying mechanism.
This story that demonstrates how a company succeeded to develop and deliver large scale, resilience, E2E solution that allows small businesses in the U.S. to get access to Paycheck PPP loans as part of the COVID-19 relief to its small business customers using AWS cloud infrastructure. As an enterprise support customer, BlueVine handles every small business with white glove premium service to ensure each gets the best quality service on this journey.
Raanan Turgeman is a Senior Technical Account Manager with Amazon Web Services. He works closely with enterprise support customers helping on operational excellence, networking, security, cost optimization, compliance, and more.
Nir Klar is the Founder and CTO of BlueVine. Located in Tel-Aviv, Israel he is leading the R&D center in building the next generation of financial and banking platform leveraging cutting edge technologies on AWS cloud.