Voice activated services
Voice-powered devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are changing consumer behaviour. Google says more than 20 percent of searches now happen by voice and expects that figure to reach 50 percent by 2020. So, it is no surprise that banks and building societies are investigating how they can use voice technology to engage with consumers and mortgage intermediaries.
Around a third of respondents are actively reviewing or considering voice activated services and 14% are planning to implement voice activated services. But over half of respondents (54%) are not considering voice activated services.
Lenders commented that voice services could reduce time to verify a customer and route an enquiry to the relevant mortgage agents and also support customer engagement preferences.
Mobile services in finance continue to grow, becoming a ‘bank in your pocket’ and replacing your credit card at checkouts. In the mortgage world, successive IRESS surveys have shown a steady increase in mobile service provision for both consumers and mortgage intermediaries.
Nearly a fifth of respondents (19%) have already implemented mobile services and 67% are reviewing or considering offering mobile services to mortgage applicants.
Lenders commented that provision of mobile services was driven by customer expectations of how they wish to engage and transact during the mortgage application process. Mobile services provide convenience and the ability to actively manage a mortgage application and transaction in a simpler, quicker and more efficient way, without being restricted to a desktop computer or laptop. Lenders also see mobile as providing another channel for intermediaries to interact with lenders both from their offices and on the go.
Although open banking started slowly and cautiously at the start of the year, both lenders and fintech companies are beginning to explore the opportunities open banking offers, especially around affordability which typically can take days, but with open banking access to relevant data, is likely to take minutes. Half of the respondents in the survey are actively reviewing (23%), likely to implement (9%) or implementing open banking (18%). The early adopters in the survey are all banks.
With open banking, lenders expect to increase efficiency, reduce time and costs from the mortgage sales process with the ability to assess and verify income electronically and remove paper documentation. Lenders also noted an expectation of improved accuracy and the potential to deter fraud.
Application programming interfaces (API)
Application programming interfaces or APIs open a lenders mortgage platform to innovative technology developments and value-added services, such as income verification, electronic valuations and application submission.
Looking at APIs specifically for income and expenditure verification, over half of the survey respondents are actively reviewing (32%) or likely to implement (23%) such services. For other types of value added services, a quarter of the survey respondents (25%) are actively reviewing or likely to implement such services and a quarter (25%) are already using API services to enhance mortgage application processing.
Lenders expect such API services to take the non-value adding elements of processing out of the mortgage journey, reducing the amount of data being keyed and validate the data in real-time. The ability to access and process data from differing sources, through smart APIs, has become a key requirement for a lenders’ target technology architecture. Lenders see their systems developing as API platforms that will speed up the whole journey and provide trusted data sources for things like income and expenditure verification, intermediary and sourcing integration, solicitor integration, AVMs and the Land Registry.
Early decisioning is seen by lenders as a logical extension and addition to credit decisioning, ruling applicants in or out much earlier in the process. As the technology becomes available to intermediaries, it will help them place their client’s application with a lender most likely to accept the application.
Nearly a fifth of respondents (18%) are implementing early decisioning and over a fifth actively reviewing (14%) or likely to implement (9%).
Lenders expect early decisioning to improve the quality of applications, provide more certainty for customers and brokers and manage customer expectations.
The explosion of smartphone usage and social media over the last few years has seen instant messaging become a key method of communication and not just with millennials. Lenders are being driven by consumer demand to offer messaging as part of their engagements with mortgage applicants and existing customers. Just over half of respondents (52%) are actively reviewing (21%), likely to implement (17%) or implementing (14%) instant messaging for both consumers and intermediaries.
Lenders believe that secure instant messaging for both consumers and intermediaries provides many benefits including reduced operational costs, reduction in calls to contact centres, convenience and an effective communication method choice for applicants. Lender systems can generate event driven messages keeping all parties up-to-date and in real-time.
Mortgage hub technology
Mortgage hub technology connects the broker to sourcing and through to the lender digitally without having to re-key or have multiple steps through the sales and application process. Data is transferred seamlessly and update messages returned.
Three out of five respondents (62%) are actively reviewing (43%), likely to implement (9.5%) or implementing (9.5%) mortgage hub technology.
Lenders expect connecting the mortgage chain together with a dynamic mortgage hub will increase speed of execution, remove waste as part of re-keying applications, increase certainty of decision for consumers and improve service through fully orchestrated integration with sourcing systems and intermediaries.