Customer Stories |

AFSC and nCino’s Agricultural Lending Solution


Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)

Other Topics

Digital TransformationAgricultural Lending



Farm Credit Institutions
key points
  • AFSC is a leading financial institution in the agricultural lending space who has served the rural community in Canada for over 80 years.

  • AFSC is partnering with nCino to ensure it’s able to support the agricultural community for years to come.

  • Learn more about how AFSC is using nCino’s Agriculture Lending Solution, to achieve AFSC and nCino’s vision for the future.

Agricultural lenders face unique challenges, and their customers have specific needs. That’s why institutions like Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) are partnering with nCino to meet these challenges with technology that is transforming the agricultural lending industry.

For over a century, agricultural lenders have supported the growth of rural communities, agribusinesses and small family farms. That’s why nCino is dedicated to solving the unique challenges agricultural lenders face every day by supporting agricultural lenders around the world.

nCino’s Agriculture Lending Solution is a best-in-class technology that makes organizations more streamlined, efficient and collaborative, whether they’re at a customer’s farm using a smart device or sitting in an office working with clients and colleagues.

One institution that has experienced this first-hand is Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), an agriculture lender in Canada. For over 80 years, AFSC has provided Alberta farmers with crop insurance, livestock price insurance, farm loans, commercial loans and farm income disaster assistance—all part of their mission to provide leading, innovative, client-focused financial and risk management solutions to grow and sustain agriculture in Alberta.

According to Canada’s 2021 Census of Agriculture, farms are making the transition into becoming “sophisticated businesses that harmonize automation, modernization, and production operations.”

The Census reported that in 2020, farm operating revenues totaled $87 billion, while expenses were as high as $72.2 billion. That means that on average, 83% of farmers’ revenues feeds back into expenses. The price of land is just one expense farmers face when considering production costs. AFSC is committed to supporting new producers: the “Next Generation” program is specifically designed for young producers under the age of 40 or with less than three years of farming history and is supported by the nCino platform.

Sara Schmidt, VP of Enterprise Strategy at AFSC, explains the vital importance of agriculture in simple terms.

“Everyone who eats relies on a farmer,” she says. “When we make lending easier for farmers, they can spend more time focusing on their business, which is feeding their communities.”

Partnering with nCino

Financial institutions around the globe are realizing that to become truly customer-centric, they must reimagine their workflows, create robust partner ecosystems to offer new services and partnerships to their customers, and leverage more robust datasets and deeper analytics to anticipate customer needs and make useful and relevant suggestions.

These are just some of the reasons institutions like AFSC are partnering with nCino. “We were looking for a more modern solution that we could configure to meet the unique needs of our clients,” Schmidt says. AFSC was able to go live with both help from PwC and nCino’s Customer Support guiding them through the implementation process.

As AFSC continues to grow and evolve in a rapidly changing landscape, they were also interested in a scalable solution that provided agility and the opportunity to innovate as needed. nCino’s Agricultural Lending Solution ticked those boxes, as well. “We see nCino as a foundation piece of our digital strategy,” AFSC CEO Darryl Kay states, and “we’re excited to grow together.”

nCino’s Loan Origination System allows calculating attribution and determining loan eligibility to be done seamlessly and efficiently. With robust reporting tools, data can then be easily and securely viewed by executive management or regulators. Agricultural lenders obtain improved transparency into loan status and a solution for structured data entry, allowing for increased communication and even closer partnerships with customers. With nCino’s solution, agricultural lenders are at the forefront of high-tech lending, while continuing to support rural communities and agriculture for many more years to come.

“At AFSC, one of our key priorities is to simplify our processes and make it easier for our clients to do business with us,” says Darryl Kay. “We recognized the need to modernize our lending platform a few years ago, and our evaluation committee selected nCino as a leading-edge system.”

The admiration is mutual. “We are incredibly proud to partner with AFSC as they continue to serve the Alberta agricultural market,” said Karim Merali, Area Vice President of Enterprise Sales at nCino Canada. “Thanks to the pandemic, the adoption of high-tech banking capabilities is more crucial than ever and we are excited to have AFSC utilizing the nCino Bank Operating System to better serve and manage their agriculture relationships by simplifying loan origination and streamlining back office operations.”

Looking Ahead

Serving today’s customers isn’t a one and done task. It requires a long-term vision for the future, which nCino and AFSC share.

One example of long-term vision are emerging regulations and opportunities around ESG—Environmental, Social and Governance—which AFSC are currently contemplating, and not just because Canada and other countries are beginning to require them. “Whether ESG is mandated isn’t the point,” Schmidt says. “We want to ‘do good’ because it’s the right thing to do. Because it’s better for our clients, our industry, and ultimately our society.” As AFSC continues to build out their ESG strategy, they’re already looking forward to working with nCino for guidance and support on their journey.

With nCino, agricultural lenders are at the forefront of high-tech lending, while continuing to support rural communities and agriculture for many years to come. Our work with AFSC is a great example of this powerful partnership, and we look forward to continuing to transform Canada’s agricultural lending industry together.