How banks can streamline contact centers to support SMBs through CEBA

Transforming Retail Commercial Banks Future With Chris Skinner

Proactive outreach, AI, automation, predictive routing, and calling will be essential for reaching out to the most vulnerable small business clients.

COVID-19 is raging throughout the world at the time of this publication. Many hospital intensive care units (ICUs) are at capacity and many more are nearing capacity.


Across the country, premiers are mandating regional lock-downs and stay-at-home orders which have a devastating effect on small and mid-size businesses. According to Stats Canada, November 2019 report, small and mid-size businesses (SMB) generated more than 50% of the Canadian economic activity and, in the private sector, account for 89.4% of the employment in the country. When small businesses hurt the whole economy hurts. Going into regional lock-downs again may result in massive layoffs and permanent closures.

Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

The CEBA program has set aside $55 billion to support SMBs. This money was set aside to provide interest-free loans. Originally the loans were up to $40,000, but as of December 4, 2020, the limit was raised to $60,000.  These loans are available to organizations that are actively operating their business that was in operation on March 1, 2020. The CEBA process follows two streams: 

  1. Payroll Stream in 2019 that was between $20,000 and $1,500,000
  2. Non-Deferrable Expense Stream for organizations that paid $20,000 or less in total income in 2019.

If organizations are able to pay back their loans by December 31, 2022, will receive loan forgiveness of up to 25% or $10,000).

The catch? The loans must be issued by March 31, 2021, resulting in higher than inbound inquiries.

How financial institutions can improve the process.

Proactive outreach, AI, automation, predictive routing, and calling will be essential for outreach to the most vulnerable clients while ensuring proper staffing levels. Since many banks have shuttered their branches they are leveraging the contact center as their client experience hub. They are standing-up special, dedicated remote teams to facilitate the CEBA application intake and review process to ensure fair, fast, and efficient processing for their small business clients.


A recent Talkdesk Research™ report, The CX Revolution in Financial Services and Insurance, in which 220 global financial services and insurance firms and more than 900 of their clients and policyholders were interviewed, found that 63% of clients believed one poor experience would motivate them to switch banks—just one. In addition, 82% of financial services and insurance firms believe their contact center is a strategic asset and a differentiator. They see the contact center as a hub for their client experience with omnichannel spokes into the web, chatbots, apps, email, SMS, and social to deliver a cohesive and delightful experience. For some banks and lenders, the contact center replaces the retail footprint, left by the closure of branches.


Talkdesk CX Cloud™ is the market-leading, secure client banking solution designed to integrate every client engagement across channels and lines of business. With Talkdesk’s award-winning cloud-native solution, banks can rapidly deploy integrated communications across a flexible, secure platform to deliver differentiated client experiences that build and retain loyalty. Talkdesk CX Cloud is designed for the “new normal” where banks can deliver speed and trust at scale

  • Speed: Designed, implemented, and deployed in days, not weeks. 
  • Trust: Over 30 cybersecurity certifications, licenses, and international data privacy compliance.
  • Scale: Deployed in over 1,800 enterprises in more than 75 countries across the world.


Talkdesk can help financial institutions quickly stand-up dedicated PPP contact centers to manage emergency programs like PPP in multiple iterations, or integrate the Talkdesk CX Cloud into your overall contact center platform, leveraging:

  • Workforce Engagement Management to empower agents to deliver exceptional client service from home
  • Predictive Dialing to triple or quadruple connect rates
  • Proactive Notifications to decrease inbound call volumes
  • Guide is an AI-powered, self-service knowledge base for agents and customers
  • Agent Assist to supercharge agents with intelligent guidance
  • Studio to seamlessly manage and configure call flows
  • Video Conference integration for white glove service
  • Omnichannel to provide integrated communications across email, chat, messaging apps, and social media
  • Remote enables your agents and relationship managers to securely and confidently work from anywhere, office, home, or client site on their mobile device
  • 60+ API integrations, including AWS, Salesforce, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft

Talkdesk CX Cloud helps to reduce agents’ average speed of answer (ASA), client average wait time (AWT), improve agent productivity, and increase customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.

No room for mistakes this time.

The effects of COVID-19, along with the mortgage crisis and resulting Great Recession, will have their place in history as one of this generation’s greatest trials. The mobilization of bankers to administer these government-backed programs is a brilliant example of dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of bank employees banding together to tackle an incredible challenge.


To learn more about how Talkdesk is helping banks streamline service and stand-up enterprise-level omnichannel contact centers, please learn more here.

7 Easy Steps For Banks And Lenders To Streamline The Ppp Process


7 easy steps for banks and lenders to streamline the CEBA process

Cory Haynes Blog Author

Cory Haynes

Cory leads the Talkdesk financial services strategy team focused on thought leadership and market solutions for banking, insurance, payments and wealth management. Before Talkdesk, Cory led the digital transformation and robo-advisor initiative for TIAA's global asset management and advisory business. He also led BNPP strategy team for global commercial and retail lending digital transformation. Cory still holds his FINRA Series 7, 66 licenses.