In reality, the customer experience has often been less than smooth. Customers are asked to provide lots of information which, at times, can be time-consuming and unwieldy.
Frustratingly, in the traditional mortgage process, the affordability assessment comes last.
This means that customers who do not meet the criteria are refused after spending hours filling out forms and talking to customer service staff.
Multiple manual checks are needed during the process to identify and authenticate customers, and to validate the financial information they have provided.
Data from third-party providers is also reviewed manually, including their credit score, slowing down the process and ultimately delaying the lending decision.
However, through the use of new technology, there is a real opportunity to change the UK mortgage market, driving digitalisation in an industry lacking significant innovation.
Five steps to consider when implementing a digital mortgage application process
Step 1: Quickly assessing the customer eligibility. Based on simple information provided by the customer, you can access their credit score. An eligibility score is returned to show them how likely it is that their application will be accepted, allowing them to take an informed decision about whether to apply or not.
Step 2: Pre-populating the application form. With consent to share bank account transaction data, a fact-finding tool could pre-populate up to two-thirds of a customer’s mortgage application form for them. This can save hours of time and ensures all data provided is accurate, trustworthy and formatted correctly – allowing the adviser to focus on the customer’s needs, rather than on data capture.
Step 3: Automating required customer checks. All data relating to a customer is brought together by aggregation, to accurately identify and authenticate them, and to access affordability for the product in hand. A decision is then made automatically, potentially reducing customer waiting time from days to minutes.
Step 4: Creating a value-added home move offer for customers. Once a customer has been approved for a mortgage, you can offer them a wide range of complimentary services that they may need during their home move. These include anything from legal services and conveyancing services to utilities, internet, home removal service, and others – creating opportunities to generate new revenue for your business, and most importantly bringing additional value into the transaction.
Step 5: Supporting customer long term. Consider providing on-going support once a customer has moved into their new home. This could include a home-management app that shows customers how the value of their home is increasing, how they can save money on their utilities, insurance and home maintenance costs and how they can pay off their mortgage sooner. You could also provide calculators that show how much your customers could borrow in the future and how they can benefit by renewing their mortgage with you, rather than switching when their term is up.
Help customers and boost business
Done right, digitalisation in the mortgage market is a win-win for businesses and customers.
By reducing manual effort and supporting customer self-service, it can help dramatically improve efficiency and reduce costs.
At the same time, your customers can access all the products, services and support they need quickly and easily, direct from their computer or mobile device.
By embracing the opportunities presented by digital transformation, you can enhance every key stage in the mortgage journey.