It is also the only sector to have gone backwards in the last 30 years with regard to the length of time it takes to complete a purchase, the audience at the launch of Dock 9’s digital transformation playbook heard.
Speaking at the event, Dock 9 managing director Mark Lusted said the mortgage market had a long way to go to catch up to similar financial services industries.
“Comparing it to the insurance world, it is years behind in terms of electronic passing of data, basic things like not having to re-key things into lender systems. It’s the basic stuff we need to get right first,” he said.
Only mortgages have gone backwards
This was echoed by Kensington Mortgages digital transformation officer, Vicki Harris, who noted that it was possible the mortgage process had got longer over the last 30 years when others had rapidly improved.
“In 1990 it took days to buy a flight, in 2017 it took minutes,” she said.
“For personal loans, in 1990 it took weeks, it now takes minutes. Insurance, in 1990 it took weeks, it now takes minutes. Mortgages – in 1990 it took weeks, it now takes months.
“It is the only sector that has gone backwards in the last 30 years. It is slow, offline, lags other sectors, and is desperately in need of some change.”
Ready for change
Harris suggested there were some key reasons for this stagnation, but added things were beginning to change.
“The high street banks are big, they have legacy systems, it’s very difficult to get anything changed,” she said.
“And then you get some of the smaller players who are starting to think about API (application programming interface) functionality, but historically not had it and not been able to do some of the things to address these issues.
“But the conditions are now in place for disruption,” she added.
This was echoed by Dock 9’s Lusted, who noted that things were changing.
“In 2019 we’ve started to see some real improvements and developments and things improving from a technology perspective,” he said.
“This year has really forced incumbent lenders and software providers to react and move forward.
“The industry is really starting to get its act together with APIs.”
Lusted added that barriers to entry for adopting new technology have become a lot lower and the momentum around the mortgage industry to truly adopt agile ways of working has really increased in pace this year.
“Those that do adopt these ways of working really see the benefits – 2019 is a tipping point in the sector and from 2020 we’re really going to see transformation in the sector.
“Our belief is that despite the noise and publicity around start-ups, fundamentally we’re in the age of the incumbents.
“So those incumbents that adapt and transform, have lots of advantages they are not leveraging or could potentially leverage, and those that embrace change will prevail,” he said.