Speeding up the application process – a balancing act

10 April 2017

As read on Mortgage Finance Gazette

Neil RobinsonNeil Robinson, Business Development Manager for MOGObankconnect, Callcredit Information Group

Digital technology is becoming a buzz word within many sectors, and none more so than the mortgage arena. Brokers and lenders alike are seeing a growing demand to process mortgage applications quicker, as consumers expectations become more attuned to a digital world and they expect faster turn-around times. More people than ever now use their smartphone to manage their finances, and the BBA forecasts that by 2020, 2.3 billion customers will be using their mobile to manage their current account – more than internet, branch and telephone banking put together.  It’s important to adapt to this changing trend, and look for ways to speed things up.

Faster turn-around times don’t just help the consumer though, with much a manual process, many cases involve frustrating admin time, and this prevents brokers from doing more business, which affects profitability. Whilst time saving solutions are attractive, it is important to balance this against compliance requirements, and the security of the consumer.

The time intensive process of obtaining bank statements from a consumer is one area the mortgage sector can look at to stay ahead of the game. We have worked with Mogo Holdings Ltd to develop new digital technology that enables consumers to securely share online banking transaction data using their personal device, so income and expenditure can be confirmed by brokers in real time. The consumer is in complete control and their login credentials are not stored or shared with any third parties, and they are able to supply categorised, and bank branded statements electronically in minutes.

The time saving this brings is clear, as getting a consumer to provide correctly dated, clear statements is always a challenge. In addition, with data delivered via an API it can even pre-populate a fact find, meaning no more guess work when asking a client how much they spend on xyz, because let’s face it, some just guess. Accurate data is crucial from a compliance perspective, and as the data is extracted straight from source (a consumer’s online banking session), any possibility of tampering is eliminated, meaning another tick in the compliance box.

Taking security a step further, banks are always mindful of the need for a consumer to keep their bank login details private, and not to share them with anyone, and the Callcredit solution is the only one in the market that can satisfy this point. The direct connection it makes between a consumers device and their bank means that login credentials are not seen or stored, so the process is totally secure. A tick in the security box.

Receiving statements in hard copy or via an unsecure email puts everyone at risk, but thankfully those days are gone, and the market can enjoy a solution which provides a faster, and safer service. The speed at which a case moves to offer is crucial, as is the ability to allow a client to engage electronically if they want to. Any solution which allows this has to be good, as long as central to it is the security of personal data.

In the broker world, Smartr365 are also working hard to cater to the need for speed, and are just one of the companies using our latest technology. Their new platform offers a way in which a consumer can interact with their broker, and includes an electronic fact find, sourcing systems, ID verification and property valuation tools. Using Callcredit it pulls through a credit report and bank statements, and allows a broker to submit the application at the touch of a button, and track progress right through to completion. This massively shortens the time taken to process a mortgage, whilst removing most of the pitfalls from the process and increasing the likelihood of completion. This helps brokers reduce application times, meet regulatory obligations and affordability assessment guidelines, whilst making the mortgage application process quicker and easier for the consumer.

Through the use of this new technology, existing clients suggest a saving of up to three hours on application times, and with the extensive features offered by the Smartr365 platform in conjunction with Callcredit, there will be even greater time savings. Spread across a large customer base this can generate significant gains, and at no point is compliance compromised, or consumer’s security breached.

2017 sees brokers and lenders looking at their IT architecture, and as most mortgages come via brokers their choices are critical, but they must always consider the lenders requirements, and ensure any time saving solution doesn’t breach their views on security.

Change is inevitable, and the digital age will continue to progress, but as the market looks to embrace new technology it must consider not just speed of processing, or compliance, but most important of all, it needs lenders and brokers to be united in their desire to ensure the consumer is protected.