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The idea of a digital mortgage process that can cater for all is preposterous – MCI

by: Phil Whitehouse, managing director, MCI Mortgage Club
  • 02/01/2019
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The idea of a digital mortgage process that can cater for all is preposterous – MCI
Imagining futuristic events and situations has long been the preserve of science fiction buffs and fantasists, inviting visions of a world to come which are invariably outlandish, hopelessly exaggerated or just plain fanciful.


But as technology continues to evolve, the concept of a future mortgage customer is becoming easier to grasp with every passing year.

For example, the rise of so-called ‘chat bot’ technology, which facilitates mortgage guidance and advice, or central consumer hubs to access vital information and videos has encouraged the notion of an almost entirely digitalised mortgage process, with little or no concession to the lengthy, often laborious, processes of old.

This is a world in which applications are processed in a matter of minutes, as opposed to the current industry standard of 72 hours, and a fully integrated consumer experience that offers efficiency and speed of service at ‘the click of a button’.

Yet, the presence of brokers and the vital role of face-to-face advice within this utopian scenario is rarely highlighted, leading many within the industry to fear for their livelihoods.


An entirely predictable custom-base is space-age fiction

Nevertheless, while most experts concede the growing importance of technology within the mortgage sector, many of them have dismissed the possibility of an entirely digital or robo-driven mortgage model.

The sheer volume and variance of products, lenders and underwriting practices will always require the expert input of brokers.

Although technology can be developed to meet existing customer needs, it cannot predict the ways in which people’s situations will continue to evolve.

For example, as the demand for ‘niche’ or ‘non-standard’ borrowing continues to gain traction within this country, the idea of an over-riding mortgage process which can accommodate a full range of circumstances and needs is increasingly preposterous.

Especially when so many of these needs are at variance with mainstream lending criteria.

This is why it is important to discard the idea of a homogenised and entirely predictable custom-base conducting their mortgage transactions via mobile phones and laptops for the space-age fiction that it is.

People change, situations change, but the need for expert advice and knowledge will always remain constant and no amount of fancy programming will be able to change that.

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