Phil Norris, CIO at Business Backer

Phil Norris, CIO at Business Backer


"Business Backer provides alternative funding to small businesses who are too new or don’t fit a bank’s actuaries. We’re unique in that we are up front about purchase price and we have no legalese in our easy-read contracts. In fact, we have received numerous awards for our highly ethical lending practices from entities like the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio, among others. If we can’t fund a business, we take the time to find them funding. We use technology for our underwriting and data sourcing, so that we can be very clear in our answer to a client and they can trust our quotes and our speed to market. The more data we put behind a decision, the cleaner the business is going to be, and that’s one of our core philosophies. FinTech is a huge and growing space and speed is everything in our business. We’ve taken what is typically a 2-day response time and shortened it to about 60-90 seconds, all thanks to the tech products we’ve built here, including separate analytics and data teams and integrating our systems front to back."

Do you view business as a customer or a partner of IT?

"Business is definitely our customer, but it is also a partner. The end result of how we do business better is directly impacted by IT, so in that sense the business is a customer. IT increases the value proposition of a business and makes the customer happier. It’s a partner in the sense that innovative ideas are always coming out of IT – we can eliminate nonvalue-added tasks and assist the business in performing better. If scale and growth is the name of the game for a small- or medium-size business, all of the insight and innovation coming from tech is the partnership for improvement, for building better, smarter and faster."

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