New digital tools bring efficiencies to lending

by Kate Gubbins13 Dec 2021

Kate Gubbins, CEO of mortgage finance platform provider Simpology, says digital innovations in 2022 will enrich loan origination activities with a close eye on intelligent secure connections, ‘source of truth’ data and better lender-broker and broker-consumer collaboration.

There are many things we can’t change when writing a mortgage: there’s no avoiding the fact that there will always be many stakeholders – the applicants, brokers, lenders and other service providers. And there are fundamental activities that must take place to ensure a compliant, accurate and suitable mortgage outcome. What can be changed is the experience of the stakeholders, and the ways in which these fundamental activities are executed.

Over the past few years, we have seen a bunch of innovations to submission and assessment processes that aim to create convenience, efficiencies and speed in mortgage origination. In the year ahead, we will continue to see further digitisation, a growing acceptance by consumers and brokers of digital tools, and continued lender investment in the digitisation of mortgage origination.

‘Source of truth’ connections

In mortgage origination we have a heavy reliance on data – but much of that data we rely on is not ‘source of truth’ data. Customer data is often declared, or supported by documents that are ‘copies of’ the original or source of truth digital data. Today’s maturing capabilities to connect digitally to source of truth data mean that CRM, lodgement and origination platforms can embed in workflows and journey integrations to source of truth data to provide more convenient experiences for applicants and brokers, while delivering already-verified data to lenders to speed up assessment workflows.

We all use these digital services to some extent today, and we’ve even seen that some lenders no longer require supporting docs where digital source of truth data is used. In 2022, we can expect to see many more tools and workflows incorporating connections, and traditional methodologies being replaced by digital means.

Another area that could benefit from source of truth data is lender data – lenders’ current products, manually re-engineered by aggregator and submissions platforms. This reliance on the manual update of lender products and serviceability data across many platforms often means that data is out of date, incorrectly configured, or even interpreted differently across the industry. With APIs and smart subscription methodologies, there is no reason why lenders’ source of truth data can’t be digitally connected to, and therefore digitally updating, external partner systems.

Lenders’ willingness to expose APIs into their business rules engines is growing, so it’s even possible to have a world in which aggregator systems are connected to lender-managed serviceability metrics and engines, meaning no more disconnected Excel serviceability calculations. This would lead to guaranteed compliance across the industry, extreme confidence in comparison and selection activities, and a whole lot of time saved across aggregators, brokers and BDMs.

A better way of managing MIRs

Even with many tools and integrations at point of sale to deliver better, verified data to lenders for assessment, there will always be Missing Information Requests. Current MIR practices are one of the main reasons for terrible turnaround times, and there is a huge opportunity to use digital capabilities to make MIR management much more efficient. With digital messaging capabilities, lenders should be able to trigger requests for information from their loan origination systems directly to brokers to be actioned on any device, and for brokers to deliver relevant information or documents straight back to the lender’s loan origination system.

Brokers should be able to take photos of supporting documents or upload on any device; pass on requests to relevant parties like the applicants themselves or admin staff; and control the return of the information to the lenders. With clever integrations and secure, non-email digital portals, we avoid business-email compromise and typical issues with managing email trails. All the stakeholders in an application would be able to work together, with brokers controlling visibility and inviting applicants to participate only when it makes most sense, in order to action lender requests quickly and get to a decision faster.

Consumer participation

The inclusion of the applicant in MIR management is only one of the ways that consumers should be able to participate in application workflows. Consumers are used to interacting with their trusted service providers online, and with today’s digital tools, brokers and lenders have an opportunity to provide applicants with branded, any-device journeys in order to engage with them to collect data, review and consent to applications, answer questions, and have them upload supporting docs.

Brokers and lenders who provide their applicants with this type of secure online experience can continue to communicate and deliver post-submission information such as status updates, approvals and even mortgage documents. In 2022 we should see more of this ‘window-in’ capability being extended to applicants as a highly satisfying and convenient way for them to participate and have constant understanding of their submission status, while delivering loads of efficiencies to brokers and lenders.

Kate Gubbins
CEO and founder, Simpology