In response to the devastating impact of COVID-19, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was established as a section of the CARES Act, enacted on Friday, March 27th. The primary objective of PPP was to offer small businesses a lifeline, ensuring they had the necessary capital to cover payroll and other operational expenses. With funds limited and contingent on availability from the SBA, rapid delivery to the bank's clientele was of utmost priority.
On Monday, March 30th, our bank's team embarked on the task of assessing 3rd party digital solutions to implement the PPP, targeting an April 19th rollout. However, a sudden announcement by the Secretary of the Treasury on April 2nd set the launch date to the very next day. With little time to spare, our team pivoted overnight, choosing to develop an in-house intake form to meet the immediate need. On April 3rd, amidst the urgency, we convened an internal meeting to strategize the development of this form, ensuring it conformed to the bank's rigorous standards and governance protocols. By 10 pm that night, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of the intake form was launched for 20 select clients. By the following day, we had expanded the MVP to cater to all of the bank's customers.
Anticipating the need for rapid iterations, we initiated the project with two separate development teams, each employing distinct technological stacks. This approach was crucial as we foresaw the need to transition swiftly from MVP1 to MVP1.2, each demanding unique capabilities.
Our commitment to expedited deployment without compromising on security led us to adopt SMTP for data transfer between the bank's external application and its internal backend system. This interim solution was chosen while APIs were being developed securely, and firewalls were being set up.
In this time-sensitive environment, we rallied a task force of 70 individuals spanning 15 functional divisions, ensuring all facets of the project were addressed concurrently. From product design to data services, VPN, EIS Security Review, analytics, and API development platforms, every unit was actively engaged. Our team worked relentlessly for the initial 36 hours, resulting in a launch within just 12 hours from inception. This momentum allowed us to continuously refine the solution, seamlessly integrating hundreds of updates daily without disrupting the user experience.
Throughout the subsequent weeks, our dedication was evident: 2900+ code commits, 470+ builds/packaging using tools like Gradle and Docker, and over 100 production deployments via CI/CD pipelines.
Our efforts did not go unnoticed. Awarded "Best in the West Region" by JD Power, our project was hailed for its unprecedented speed-to-market, subsequently becoming a case study in efficiency. We successfully funded $900M, benefiting over 8,000 businesses. While the industry norm for transaction times per loan hovered around an hour or more, especially at major banks, our system streamlined the process to an astonishing 2-3 minutes per loan. This efficiency showcased our technological mastery and reduced the need for manual intervention, setting us apart as competitors struggled to mobilize resources.