Dashly announces multiple partnerships with advisory firms
Advisers at these firms will be able to alert their clients of new mortgage rates using the Dashly platform. This aims to help borrowers save money, taking into account early repayment charges and fees.
This comes following the appointment of senior sales development manager, Peter Harte, formerly of Mortgage Brain, to further establish Dashly within the intermediary community.
Martin Myers, managing director at Goldwyns Financial, said: “At a time when the property market is booming, we want to give our clients the best possible service – but we know that to beat our competitors we need to embrace the technology that will give us the edge.”
James Green, founder of Green and Green Mortgage Protection, said being able to use Dashly’s technology would allow the firm to give its clients a “truly personalised service”.
Tom Mullarkey, managing director of MortgageFinda said the function would help his firm have an : “exemplary relationship” with its clients.
Ross Boyd (pictured) CEO of Dashly, added: “Borrowers are matched with the most suitable deals, advisers can add genuine value to all client interactions, and now – with our recently launched Lending Labs offering – lenders too can take advantage of Dashly by designing mortgage products that appeal to the kind of customers they want.”
Last month, Dashly launched the product design platform Lending Labs to work with lenders to develop personalised home loans for segments of the market such as the police and armed forces.
It uses data collected from Dashly’s customer base to design bespoke mortgages for lenders. Once the loans have been designed, Dashly said one distribution option would be to target customers signed up to its switching service by notifying them and their broker that new deals that fit their circumstances are available.
Harte joins Dashly’s sales division to build network partnerships
Harte’s move to Dashly follows an 11-year period as sales development manager at software solutions firm Mortgage Brain.
For advisers, Dashly is a communications and marketing tool logging clients into an ‘always on’ algorithm constantly checking their mortgage deal against the market. When better deal flags are raised, advisers can choose to re-approach clients while maintaining regular communications to culture loyalty.
Iain Swatton, head of intermediaries at Dashly, said: “Peter’s prowess within our industry, unrivalled network relationships, and bespoke approach to sales gives us even more confidence that our clients can have the best possible experience when they choose Dashly.
“We look forward to developing new relationships across the sector with advisers and lenders alike so that we can transform the mortgage market for everyone involved in it, and Peter will be crucial to making that happen.”
The software firm confirmed it already has relationships with advice firms MMD, Paradigm, Oakwood, Primis and Quilter.
Last week, Dashly launched Lending Labs, a predictive analytics and insights engine that uses data to help lenders design and deploy specific products for customers, such as in this instance the police or armed forces, expected to launch before the end of the year.
The technology company confirmed Barclays and a number of building societies were ‘in talks’ about the service. Dashly said one distribution option would be to specifically target customers signed up to its switching service by notifying the customer and their broker that new deals fitting their circumstances are available.
Peter Harte, senior sales development manager at Dashly, said: “After over 25 years in mortgages, my instinct was that the product should fit the person.
“Dashly is the only firm offering this kind of holistic service while championing the importance of human advice, and I relish the opportunity to persuade even more firms that embracing its sophisticated technology can help them retain valued customers, and get ahead of the competition.”
Harte was also part of the industry-wide team that developed the Blood Bank initiative, a blood donation drive that aims to increase awareness to boost NHS blood supplies at a time when the service is under enormous pressure.
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Dashly readies launch of personalised mortgages with lenders on board
Dashly says it already has Barclays and a number of building societies interested in its service, which the firm calls Lending Labs.
Lending Labs is a newly set up platform that uses data collected from Dashly’s customer base to design bespoke mortgages for lenders. Once the loans have been designed, Dashly said one distribution option would be to specifically target customers signed up to its switching service by notifying them and their broker that new deals that fit their circumstances are available.
Dashly says two types of personalised mortgages are currently under development and will be available to borrowers before the end of the year. The first is a mortgage designed for police and armed forces personnel.
Features including enhanced affordability criteria to take into account the rapid rise in police officers’ salaries during the first five years of their career, and leniency towards some missed bill payments for borrowers in the armed forces, can be built into the deals and reflected in the interest rate.
A green mortgage aimed at encouraging reduced carbon emissions is the second deal under development.
Writing for Mortgage Solutions, Dashly’s chief executive Ross Boyd (pictured) said the recent wave of green mortgages was “little more than greenwashing” with lenders offering deals that rewarded people for buying more energy efficient homes.
To improve the impact that green mortgages can make, Boyd said Dashly is working with a number of lenders on a “decarbonisation mortgage” whereby homeowners who live in D-rated properties and below have access to exclusive deals that come with benefits such as free insulation.
On the launch of Lending Labs, Boyd said: “The future of mortgages is not robo-advice it’s creating personalised mortgage products designed for particular groups of people and advertised and distributed specifically to them.”
Banks offering low rates to energy efficient homes “is little more than greenwashing” – Boyd
It’s impossible to ignore.
Green initiatives are omnipresent; targets for net-zero emissions were announced by all major political parties at the last election – some more ambitious than others. When Amazon founded The Climate Pledge, to encourage companies to publicly commit to meet the Paris Climate Agreement in 2040, 10 years before the agreement’s official 2050 goal, the world listened.
The plastic bag charge has been rightly lauded as an example of positive behaviour change in people doing their bit for the planet, and there is certainly an appetite within society to take action to protect the environment – thanks in particular to David Attenborough’s Blue Planet – a real watershed moment.
Now, many companies are doing their bit for nature. This includes the newly-established initiative ‘Finance For Good’ which encourages best practice in financial services. It specifically asks firms to maximise the role financial services plays in reaching the UK’s net-zero 2030 target.
But many won’t know that among the many changes they can make in their personal lives to do their bit for the environment is via their mortgage.
Green mortgages have been on the horizon for some time. But many consumers and advisers who have been rushed off their feet with a booming property market are yet to get to grips with the advantages of these products that more and more lenders are offering.
And yet, what lenders are offering if we’re really honest is little more than greenwashing. Taking a low interest mortgage and calling it green does not an environmentally-sound product make.
Nor does it have any impact on the UK’s emissions.
Put simply, the recent wave of ‘green’ mortgages are those that are specifically designed to reward people for buying more energy efficient homes.
According to Ipsos Mori, 52 percent of people care deeply about climate change. But the uptake of green mortgages so far has been negligible.
Until people had to pay for a plastic bag at the supermarket, very few chose to use bags for life. Similarly, before Elon Musk created a vehicle with a ludicrous mode, very few people wanted an electric car.
Until a green mortgage means your energy bills are lower, why would we expect anyone to choose this option?
It’s for this reason that we are working with a cohort of big name lenders to create exactly that; a new, personalised ‘decarbonisation’ mortgage whereby those with D-rated properties and below have access to exclusive deals that come with benefits such as free insulation.
This could reduce a property’s annual carbon emissions from four tonnes to two tonnes, for example, and for existing highly efficient or well-insulated properties, unlock some of the equity to subsidise and fund more radical things like ground source heat pumps, reducing our addiction to natural gas.
This work can increase the value of a property exponentially. This would mean no erosion to the over £7tn pounds of equity in the UK’s housing stock, the equity remains.
Mortgages offer the perfect vehicle to accelerate the green housing agenda. But in order for that to happen the industry must turn its focus to the over 50 percent of homes rated D or below, rather than rewarding the 0.5 percent of properties already rated A.
What’s without doubt, is that the financial services sector has an enormous role to play if the UK is to meet its carbon targets, and there’s no better time than now for the sector to take action and play its part.
Why fintech is changing the mortgage industry for good – Boyd
Mortgages are no different. According to Infosys, 80 per cent of borrowers want a fully online mortgage application, and mortgage calculators and comparison sites can automate much of the process.
But many customers will be unaware that the best deal on a comparison site may not be the best deal for their specific circumstances. Customers are either overwhelmed with digital information, or apathetic towards new deals because they expect technology to find savings for them automatically.
And just as borrowers have new tools at their disposal, so do property professionals. AI, open banking and front-end fact-finding technology can all help brokers build detailed profiles of customers, and estate agents can use tech to automatically process and store information to match buyers with properties. AI can even underwrite mortgage applications by making real-time decisions, quickly crunching numbers, and eradicating fraudulent activity.
Technology combined with human advice
Building more accurate profiles of clients using technology means being able to better predict their behaviours. Open banking can show a broker or lender two people who earn the same salary, but who may have radically different spending habits, or even that someone who earns a higher wage isn’t as good a candidate for a mortgage as someone earning less.
So arguably, human advice is more important than ever. In getting to grips with tech, brokers can more easily analyse and compare mortgage rates, thus being able to help their customers find the best deal. Better deals mean more frequent and more meaningful customer interactions, and this contributes to a broker’s bottom line. Symbiosis at its best – broker and buyer in perfect harmony.
In my own organisation, we know that a tailored, properly analysed mortgage deal can only come from a broker with years of experience. Without it, the tech is almost redundant, and it doesn’t serve the ultimate goal of helping people buy their dream home.
Just as QuickBooks and Xero are now ubiquitous in accountancy, brokers are finding that by working with technology, their customers are more satisfied with the new, streamlined mortgage application process – as we know from our successful pilot scheme and now partnership with Paradigm and its members.
Fintech is gaining ground
And there’s no better time: the market is booming. Brokers will have a backlog of work thanks to the stamp duty holiday, and tech is at the heart of easing the load. We’ll also start to see the personalisation of mortgage products and innovation, with new challenges for the industry such as manufacturing and distributing green mortgages, for example, as the mechanics of the market change.
Although paper-based processes are still very prevalent – despite the pandemic forcing a move to more digital processes – anything that saves customers money and speeds up the lending process can only be a good thing. Fintech, it seems, is here for good.
Tenet & You advisers use Dashly to offer mortgage advice as employee perk
Dashly is a switching tool that users sign up to that sends notifications telling them when they can switch to another mortgage deal that will save them money.
The three-way tie with Personal Group means that employees of firms that use the group’s personnel benefits, and who have signed up to use Dashly, will be passed through to a Tenet & You broker to receive mortgage advice. If the mortgage switch is worthwhile, the broker will process the transaction.
Personal Group provides employee benefit services to large companies such as DHL and Royal Mail as well as small and medium sized businesses.
More than one million employees are members of Personal Group. The company supplies employees with an app called Hapi that allows them to access employee benefits such as discounts and gym memberships. Dashly’s mortgage monitor, also located in the app, is being rolled out to employees in phases with a target of 50,000 employees in phase one.
Speaking to Mortgage Solutions, Tenet Group chief executive Mark Scanlon (pictured) said: “We have leading-edge technology from Dashly, the Tenet & You advisers and then you have the source of business from Personal Group, which is breathing life into this endeavour and the product. We acted as the lynch pin in bringing those elements together.”
Eye on expansion
Given the potential number of leads this could generate, Scanlon has an eye on the expansion of Tenet & You.
Tenet & You is Tenet’s own advice division. Former Tenet Lime MD Simon Broadley was placed in charge of one of Tenet’s own mortgage advice firms, Tenet Mortgage Solutions, which sits within the Tenet & You arm. Tenet Mortgage Solutions was the result of the acquisition of Police Mutual’s mortgage advice arm.
Around 30 advisers work within Tenet & You. Scanlon thinks there is the capability to expand the business to 100 advisers in the next 12 months.
The roll out of Dashly among Personal Group users will be controlled and slow so Scanlon said there is time to grow Tenet & You in the same way.
Scanlon said there were three growth opportunities: approach firms outside the Tenet Connect network, acquire appointed representative firms from within the network that are interested in a change of ownership, and strike up new trading relationships with companies like Personal.
“We have one mortgage firm under consideration at the moment to buy into the business,” added Scanlon.
Tenet is also interested in other opportunities to use Dashly’s software in its business.
“If we look beyond where this has begun, there is no reason why the mortgage monitor wouldn’t be a consumer product. Being inside that app with Hapi is a key enabler, that’s our first real venture into consumer-facing digital activity, but if we were to take the app which it lives in and just turn it towards the general customer base then there is an opportunity specifically for Dashly and for mortgage monitoring, and of course it could go wider than that into wealth management and all the other things we could do.”
As well as Tenet & You, Dashly has also been working with MMD and mortgage club Paradigm Mortgage Services.
Dashly runs ITV broker ads to boost sales platform roll out
The software firm’s first advert aired at 09.30 this morning targeting consumers, following a partnership with ITV AdVentures Ignite, which offered strategy and planning support on the campaign.
ITV viewers will see the advert during programmes such as Good Morning Britain and Coronation Street and is projected to reach just over 3.25m viewers in total within the Anglia region, according to the channel’s figures.
We would expect the campaign to reach between 3,250,000 – 3,408,000 viewers in total, within the Anglia region. And those viewers would see the ad an average of 7/8 times across the campaign.
This is between 39-43% of all people in the Anglia area
The mortgage switching fintech Dashly has finished a pilot and been working closely with mortgage advice firms Tenet Group, MMD and mortgage club Paradigm Mortgage Services.
Dashly’s broker roll-out programme combines expert, human advice and search, fact find and marketing communications technology offering a consumer-facing dashboard to boost sales.
Bob Hunt, chief executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services, said: “It’s no secret that we’re ambitious, and our focus over the last few years has been growth – for ourselves and for our members. And after a successful pilot, we’re delighted to be rolling this technology out to more of our firms.
“Dashly’s proposition, in many ways, has been tailor-made for Paradigm and its brokers: it allows firms to retain a strong brand identity while also taking advantage of highly-specialised technology to get the best deals for its clients, which in turn promotes loyalty and trust and, ultimately, increased earnings.”
Paradigm is encouraging all of its 1,612 DA member firms or roughly 3,000 advisers to sign up to the dashboard and Dashly continues to increase its team to onboard brokers more quickly, it said.
Dashly said research found more than 80 per cent of customers would prefer a fully online mortgage application process, many of whom are unaware of how crucial it is to secure the kind of tailored deal that can only come from a broker.
Ross Boyd, CEO of Dashly, said: “In a world of tech, human advice is more important than ever. Complexity, uncertainty, and increased competition in the market mean customers are overwhelmed trying to navigate comparison sites which don’t offer the kind of bespoke deals a broker would for each individual’s circumstances.”
James Keable, financial services director at privately-owned, estate agency-driven South East-based Mortgage Matters Direct (MMD), said: “Our high-performing mortgage team already excelled at retention thanks to our in house support team,” but added: “We’ve seen unprecedented levels of sales in recent months, and it’s nice to know no matter how busy we are with new business, we are still able to maintain the best possible service levels to our existing customers and clients with the assistance of Dashly.”
Mark Scanlon, CEO of Tenet Group, added: “Our advisers can feel confident that they’re giving clients best in class bespoke mortgage advice. This in turn means better customer interactions, and client retention for years to come.”
Dashly hires ex-Connells sales director
Ex-investment banker Salma Kalisvaart has also been hired, joining the business from JP Morgan as chief operating officer.
Swatton spent more than two decades at Countrywide, latterly as its financial services director, before the company was taken over by Connells.
Kalisvaart worked at JP Morgan in its merger and acquisitions and equity capital market divisions.
After following Dashley’s chair, Mike Harris, to Monument Partners she worked for private equity fund Aquiline Capital.
“For years, the financial services industry was not fit for purpose but for consumers fintech has been a game changer,” Kalisvaart said.
Dashly’s admirable commitment to make the mortgage market work better for everyone involved, its bright and inclusive team, and potential to be highly scalable were immediate differentiators and is perfectly aligned with my passion for businesses with purpose.”
Ross Boyd, chief executive of Dashly, said: “In welcoming Salma and Iain to the team, we have the backing of two highly-respected individuals from the worlds of fintech and mortgages.
“Their expertise will allow us to grow at pace, and further realise our ambition to combine the very best of people and technology to make mortgages work for all.”
Dashly launches fridge magnet to provide mortgage switching updates
Once borrowers have added their data into the account the Blink lighthouse-shaped magnet is connected to Dashly’s mortgage switching technology which compares existing deals against those available on the market every day.
If the Blink lighthouse flashes pink instead of the normal green it means a cheaper deal has been found – this even includes being in a fixed rate with early redemption charges applying.
The app also warns when a fixed-term is set to expire.
Borrowers can then be directed to one of the firm’s advisers if they wish to proceed.
In one example, Dashly switched a borrower halfway through a five-year fix saving £5,717 over the remaining two years and five months of the mortgage — after the borrower paid an early repayment charge of £4,978 and all other set-up, legal and arrangement fees.
It had identified the value of the borrower’s home had increased and that his personal circumstances had also changed since taking out the loan. This meant he would now be eligible for a lower loan to value.
CEO Ross Boyd said: “It’s a bit of fun, of course, but there’s a serious message to it all, too: your mortgage shouldn’t be forgotten about but should be compared against the market daily to ensure you’re always on the best deal.”
Boyd added that the vast majority of Brits only think about their mortgages only every two, three or five years.
“This is because we’ve been trained to believe that paying an early redemption charge means it’s impossible to save money during a fixed rate mortgage, but that’s no longer the case given the new technologies available,” he said.
Mortgage tech firms innovating through coronavirus as brokers turn digital
The coronavirus outbreak and social distancing restrictions knocked the property and mortgage market sideways.
But out of the disruption, brokers are transforming processes and finding tech solutions to streamline business.
Time to take stock of technology
In recent years, there has been a spate of companies offering solutions for home working, customer engagement, client bank management and faster case applications and submissions.
Take-up has slowly been filtering through to the market.
But the downtime enforced by Covid-19 has meant a rush of advisers are now exploring these services for the first time.
And many technology companies have reported an increased demand for products, as a result.
Conor Murphy, chief executive of Smartr365, said: “There has been a clear acceleration in the adoption of technology, from remote working tools, to CRM platforms and digital ID verification.
“We’ve seen growth in both engagement and sales figures as brokers embrace the technology available to support their business and clients through the lockdown.”
New tech here to stay
Many advisers are realising now is the time to make the digital changes that will keep them relevant with customers, not just now, but into the future.
Practices adopted at this time will continue after coronavirus, according to Mark Lofthouse, chief executive of Mortgage Brain.
He told Mortgage Solutions: “We have experienced an increase in demand for us to build new websites for advisers and sourcing plug-ins for those who have a website, which enables customers to self-service and then contact the adviser to progress.
“About 24 per cent of advisers don’t have a website, and the effect of coronavirus is that we’re seeing more advisers embrace the digital channel.”
And the brokers who are using this time to build their digital expertise will find themselves better placed to ride out the Covid crisis and come out in good shape.
Rameez Zafar, chief executive at Eligible, which offers software to manage client databases, said: “Many business owners and managers lived through 2008 and know in these types of markets you need to be decisive and embrace what’s changed.”
Maria Harris, financial services consultant and founder of Digital Cat Consultancy, said: “Now that we’re starting to see the first tentative lock-down exit plans, it feels like social distancing and reduced office-based working is going to be here in some format for the foreseeable future.
“For brokers and lenders to survive and find a way through the long-term impacts of Covid, embracing digital technology and being able to adapt quickly to new solutions and potentially a different shape of market is going to be key.”
Security barriers overcome
In the past, security concerns over technology have prevented wider adoption, with some areas of the market distrustful of wider digital services.
A constant stream of data hacks and the increase in fraudsters plays into these fears.
However, technology has fought back against these threats.
Harris continued: “The biggest industry barrier previously to using digital channels was security and managing risk, so we’ve seen a corresponding uptake in tools for electronic identity and verification, anti-money laundering etc, which has helped mitigate any concerns around impersonation or identity fraud.
“These solutions have been around for a while and some came directly from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sandbox so it’s encouraging to see them now getting the traction and credit they deserve.”
For example United Trust Bank, of which Harris is a non-executive director, has recently extended the use of its facial recognition ID verification tool, removing the need for customers to meet face to face with solicitors to prove their identity.
The changes will ultimately benefit the customer who will stop having to perform the same checks multiple times, Harris added.
Innovation on steroids
Out of the current crisis, we can expect a spate of innovation and reinvention, as start-ups and innovators work to create solutions for the new normal.
Existing system providers have been rolling out new functionality and tweaking offerings to help better support the industry with working.
At the same time, banks, lenders and providers have been quickly working to improve desktop and automatic valuation models that don’t require physical visits to properties.
Ross Boyd, founder of mortgage comparison site Dashly, said: “Times of economic disruption are almost always followed by innovation and businesses generally being more open to new models and technologies.
“We saw that after the global financial crisis when countless new platforms emerged, and it will almost certainly happen again this time round.
“In fact, we could see innovation on steroids such is the magnitude of the current economic crisis.”
He added: “What we’re also now seeing is larger, more established firms that previously hoped to build these tools in their own roadmaps becoming more open to working with smaller technology partners to utilise the technologies far more quickly.”
Tech firm mergers
James Tucker, chief executive of Twenty7Tec, said he has seen the current environment as an opportunity, with more time to work through and find solutions with his team, as they ask “what can we deliver on really quickly that will add value to the market at the moment?”.
The market will be forever changed by the Covid crisis, according to Tucker.
He said: “Processes and experiences that are not great from the customer point of view are going to be replaced by slicker tech with brokers who want to embrace that.
“There’s no way customers are going to want to fill-in papers, they are going to want to do it online.”
However, it could also be a time where a lot of consolidation of tech firms takes place, as some smaller firms struggle to access funding in the current climate.
Tucker said we could see some small firms potentially go out of business but added that Twenty7Tec is “very much in the market for acquiring businesses”.