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AI will make the market a ‘better place’, says broker group Believe Money

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  • 05/06/2024
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AI will make the market a ‘better place’, says broker group Believe Money
The founder of mortgage broker group, Believe Money, has predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) will make the market better through improved efficiency and outcomes.

The group, which specialises in first and second charge mortgage advice, unsecured loans and protection, developed its AI-driven sourcing system Clicktech in 2018. 

Clicktech has been tailored for the financial sector and is used across the Believe Money group to find suitable products for customers. 

Ryan Wagstaff (pictured, right), group managing director of Believe Money, said: “The use of artificial intelligence and big data adopted by our sourcing system is a more robust and reliable way of understanding a client’s data and therefore their individual needs, which leads to a smoother and more efficient customer journey.

“The system uses big data and AI to retrieve data from sources such as UK Land Registry, customer credit files, open banking, using enriched customer data to provide the most personalised experience applied across a range of financial products, including mortgages, secured and unsecured loans, and protection.” 

Dave Rodgers (pictured, left), Believe Money’s chief technology and development director, used his experience in computer science to create the system. 

Since its launch six years ago, Clicktech has gone through a number of developments and enhancements, which have all been tested within the business. 

The most recent iteration of the system was launched over the last 12 months using a test and learn strategy designed to make product sourcing fast and efficient, and to streamline the group’s customer management processes. 

Clicktech has facilitated “better product placement” with enhanced sourcing and underwriting processes, Wagstaff said, which has resulted in improved conversion rates as well as better outcomes for brokers and clients. 

He added: “As brokers, the quality of our service depends on us finding the most suitable product for the consumer and helping streamline their journey from beginning to end. By using AI to better understand our customers, we’re able to enhance these aspects of our service while also driving costs down – for us and for the customer.

“The use of AI increases the level of intelligence around the advice we give, as well as around affordability and product sourcing. This reduces potential risk and supports our compliance obligations by helping to make sure we achieve the right outcomes for each customer.” 

 

AI making the market a ‘better place’ 

Wagstaff said many financial services providers were already using AI for open banking and consumer credit profits to deliver a better consumer experience. 

“In the second charge marketplace, we’re seeing the arrival of new lenders who are bringing with them new levels of innovation, and who are consequently providing better offers with more efficient decisioning. Ultimately, better outcomes are the result,” Wagstaff added. 

“These efficiencies will make the market a better place for everyone.” 

Wagstaff said AI could play a “key role” in making sure “sound decisions are made early in the process”. 

“The use of multiple data points means we can really tailor decisions around the needs of each individual customer,” he added. 

 

The importance of protection with second charge 

The group also advocates for the importance of selling protection, with Wagstaff saying it was a “key product” in the first charge sector but “not discussed enough” in the second charge market. 

“All second charge customers are raising additional borrowing against their properties, and it is vital they are having an in-depth protection review with a qualified adviser. Believe are leading the way by promoting protection reviews within the second charge industry,” he said. 

Wagstaff said the biggest challenge in the protection market was that not enough people knew about the benefits. 

He added: “The regulator is putting more pressure on us as brokers to make sure we’re reviewing our customers’ protection needs, and rightly so. As an industry, we have a duty of care to all borrowers to ensure their protection needs are met.”

 

Capitalising on second charge demand 

Wagstaff said the second charge market was “set for growth” and felt the firm was “poised to capitalise on this opportunity”. 

He added: “The impact of economic uncertainty, higher interest rates and rising living costs has made borrowers realise the benefits of second charges; for example, building an extension whilst keeping their first charge mortgage. 

“There are also more lenders on the horizon offering second charge mortgages, which will lead to more competition and better products.” 

 

The Believe Money Group 

Believe Money group was founded by Wagstaff and Ian Johnson (pictured, middle), commercial and marketing director, in 2017 and has five businesses under the brand. This includes the unsecured loan quoting app Simply Money, second charge mortgage broker Believe Loans, first charge remortgage broker Believe Finance, specialist insurance adviser Believe Protect and non-standard finance broker Believe Specialist Finance. 

Prior to Believe Money, Wagstaff held director positions and sat on the boards of successful mortgage intermediaries, including Freedom Finance.

Johnson has experience working in business development and at board level within finance brokers and lenders. He now oversees the business’ brand development and commercial strategy. 

Believe Money launched with a mission to improve borrowers’ financial futures regardless of their circumstances. 

The group has more than 120 employees across two locations and had a turnover of over £20m in 2023. 

Since its establishment, the group has issued more than £800m worth of finance and completed 15,000 loans. The firm said it used “powerful technology to deliver a seamless customer journey”.

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