The determinants of online loan applications from small businesses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


– The purpose of this paper is to examine both the characteristics of the business customers and the types of venture which make use of online loan applications. Despite the growth in the use of technology in banking and the advent of online banking, little research has been conducted on the factors underlying online loan application behaviour amongst business banking customers.

– A multivariate analysis is conducted on a USA dataset to empirically test the hypotheses derived in this paper. The empirical evidence is drawn from the US Survey of Small Business Finances, which contains 3,561 sample ventures, representing 5.3 million small businesses in the USA.

– The paper finds that online loan behaviour is largely determined by the characteristics of the entrepreneur, rather than that of the venture. It is also found that factors that trust, evident in the length of the relationship between the applicants and their primary lender, is important. Moderating these effects is further evidence that suggests the number of lenders and distance between lenders and applicants has a marked effect on online loan behaviour.

– This paper identifies the factors determining small business online loan application behaviour. This is important because the nature of online loan behaviour is changing the existing relationships between banks and customers. Whilst online loan applications afford banks the opportunity to substantially reduce costs, the danger is that long term relationships with customers are harder to cement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-486
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • virtual banking
  • loans
  • small enterprises
  • United States of America
  • behaviour


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