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50 Best Companies to Watch 2017

Combining financial services with technology solutions for value creation: Automated Financial Systems, Inc. (AFS®)

thesiliconreview-jim-greenwood-ceo-chairman-automated-financial-systems-2017.jpgThe banking industry is changing to keep up with rising customer expectations for personalized and seamless services. It is moving from traditional banking to a digital world that makes it important for banks to provide more than just financial services. Banks and financial institutions have to understand their customers to improve customer experience, streamline processes, and reduce costs. AFS helps banks deal with the current challenges as they innovate and transform themselves for ever-evolving growth opportunities.

During AFS’s inception, there were over 16,000 banks in the U.S., all operating autonomously and shielded by restrictive banking laws in each state. The initial target market for AFS was to provide accurate and consistent loan accounting for approximately the largest 500 commercially oriented banks in the U.S. With the evolution of the regulatory market and overall industry landscape, the focus of AFS and AFS solutions evolved. The need for multicurrency and multilingual capabilities as well as a digital and now mobile framework, across globally geographic markets formed its product development roadmap. Today, AFS provides the industry’s only fully automated, digital, and mobile credit lifecycle processing and loan management solution.

Products that deliver excellence

The first product that AFS launched was the AFS Commercial Loan Accounting System, which provided the first integrated accounting capabilities for various forms of loan principle, interest calculations, and billing functionality – automating on one accounting system what previously had to be reconciled and managed manually with disparate systems. With various releases and major changes in functionality and architecture, the system evolved from AFS Level I to AFS Level II and then to AFS Level III™. In the initial stages, gaining market acceptance and convincing a very conservative banking industry to move from a manually intensive and familiar process to a newly defined automated process was a tough challenge.

With the release of AFS Level III, real gains in efficiency and profitability were achieved by adopting automation. Its systems, including the premiere, real-time, 24/7 AFSVision®, has become the industry standard with over 250 major U.S. banks in production, prior to all of the major industry consolidation. AFS also provides a secure, Private Cloud computing facility that represents the fastest growing component of the company. Today, AFS is the largest cloud-based provider in the commercial banking space in the U.S., processing over 500,000 commercial loans valued at U.S. $250 billion daily.

Commitment to service is the key to success

AFS believes that the single largest factor of its success is its commitment to the core mission of data quality and accountability of its systems to provide accurate, auditable, and compliant data. It aims to continuously train, maintain, and enhance its staff to support and find ways to revolutionize the credit process. “We remain leaders in commercial credit lifecycle solutions by adopting new technologies and processes including a recent focus in mobility and agility, which are critical in today’s market,” says the CEO Jim Greenwood. Staying focused on regulatory compliance and having regular and meaningful interaction with all major banking regulators and groups enables AFS to set and maintain compliance and operating standards in the market. AFS also helps its customers evolve through their changes, upgrades, and acquisitions as they transition to a mobile and digital experience. 

Over its 45 years in the business, AFS has taken advantage of major events and changes in the industry to facilitate its business aspirations and search out new levels of opportunity and growth. Its product and service roadmaps evolve with market and industry drivers, ensuring that it offers its clients the support they need to prosper and grow. Ever since the company was set up, it has continued to support banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo throughout the changes in the banking industry and their individual journeys from $1 billion regional and national banks to the trillion-dollar global banks they are today. These experiences have been replicated in every major regional bank in the U.S.

Adopting new opportunities and experiences

thesiliconreview-john-shain-president-automated-financial-systems-2017“As a company, we are always investing for the future and the growth of our franchise in multiple dimensions.” Its expansion into a Private Cloud was a major new direction. AFSVision, the only real-time, 24/7 loan accounting solution in the U.S., has expanded to provide a scalable, real-time delivery, including the capability to consolidate systems and provide flexibility to achieve the needed efficiency and performance standards to compete effectively. What differentiates AFS as truly unique is its fully mobile and digitally enabled, straight-through credit process, along with benchmarking activities that anchor its value proposition.

AFS is continuing to expand and evolve AFSVision with enhanced capabilities, offering new mobile and digital capabilities including voice recognition applied to all portions of the credit process. AFSVision is uniquely positioned to take full advantage, in real-time, of new and emerging technologies and capabilities, including blockchain. AFS is also investing significantly in the Syndications market, the fastest growing product segment in the industry where banks are focused on competing and retaining customers in the commercial space. AFSVision Syndications’ real-time, digital capabilities provide automated support all the way through the Syndications lifecycle – from agents to participations to trading. Additionally, its continued expansion of web services and APIs provides the flexibility to integrate and expand the breadth of its offerings rapidly in this ever-changing and customer-driven market.

Knowing the leader behind AFS, CEO Jim Greenwood:

Founder, Chairman and CEO, Jim Greenwood started AFS in 1971 with the mission to provide accurate accounting to commercial banks for commercial lending products and services. Since then, Mr. Greenwood has grown the business to become the dominant provider of commercial lending systems, providing the world’s only real-time, straight-through processing (STP) business model accommodating all types of lending on a single system.

“We strive to be the best we can possibly be at what we do, and then do it even better every day.”