Research by EDM Mortgage Support Services (MSS) found that more than half of UK mortgage professionals (54%) believe mobile apps will play an important role in the mortgage market in the next three years. Almost the same proportion (50%) said that broker exchanges would create growth and a competitive edge.
Other important technology highlighted by the survey included core, centralised platforms (cited by 43% of respondents), new distribution channels (29%) and cloud computing (also 29%).
Joe Pepper, managing director of EDM MSS, said the increase in mobile apps created both an opportunity and a threat for both broker-led and direct relationships.
“If brokers can use technology to provide quicker decisions and more accurate advice to consumers, then that creates an opportunity to underpin their value. There’s a body of evidence which points to the fact that although consumers often use apps to collect information, they are less likely to complete a major transaction such as mortgage application using the same app,” he said.
Pepper said he did not believe a rise in consumer-facing apps would result in consumers missing out on whole-of-market advice.
“Lenders would of course need to remind consumers of the value of advice, although it is more likely that consumers might be drawn into either a lender or intermediary using an app, but be subsequently invited to interact with an adviser,” he explained.
“For example, an app might indicate a provisional offering and then a button might invite a call. It will be up to the owners of the app to define who that call might be from, and the advice that is subsequently provided. Technology can join up parts of the process, but the success will be defined by a larger range of factors.”