Nick Caplan, the new group chief operations officer at IFonline, has outlined the future plans for the company, following its acquisition of Trigold.
The acquisition will enable IFonline to fuse its online proposition with Trigold’s offline sourcing system and re-enter the market with a straight-through mortgage processing tool.
Caplan said: ‘IFonline was targeted as an organisation that provided a series of benefits to lenders as an initial part of the proposition, but for it to work properly it needed a user-friendly sourcing and data collection tool available on intermediaries’ desk tops. IFonline had the strongest online proposition, but not the strongest offline proposition.’
As a result, the company is now focused on integrating the component parts and putting its proposition to the market.
He said that while an element of integration is required, the 20,000 brokers registered with the new group can expect to reap the benefits of the alliance within the next three months.
‘We anticipate the first thing brokers can do is to take an application from the Trigold product and put it through electronically, using Trigold as the sourcing and data collection tool and IFonline to facilitate the electronic application,’ he said.
How it will be delivered to brokers remains to be clarified. But Caplan said: ‘We will maintain free access capability to some online quotations, sourcing, and the ability to make an online application. If they wish to have greater functionality there are a number of levels of subscription.’
Those subscribing to the system, for example, will be able to access desk-top sourcing and more online features.
Caplan added that the new product will be marketed to brokers under the Trigold brand. ‘IFonline has a strong brand with lenders, but Trigold is stronger in the broker community.’
The move, coupled with the announcement that Mortgage Brain is to set up a common trading platform, will bring brokers one step closer to e-trading.
Caplan said: ‘The majority of advisers use technology in some form or other. The question is how they move to a level where they use it to source, collect data and enable the transaction to be completed electronically.’
He added that the launch of the new system should make the transition easier. ‘Technology will become invisible. Brokers do not want to think whether they are on or offline ‘ they just want to know the business is done.’