- Business Rules
Automation & Technology
[Guest Post] Are You Offering The Best Digital Mortgage Service Possible?
Author: Arvind Jagannath, Director of Product Management, AI Foundry
“Push Button. Get Mortgage.” Those four simple words, beamed out to over 110 million people during the Superbowl in 2016 sparked a revolution in the lending industry that is still being felt today. That was the tagline for a commercial from Quicken Loans about their Rocket Mortgage. And while it may be a bit of an exaggeration, it was the paradigm shift that the industry needed to embrace technology and begin to deliver more digital-friendly products.
Today, consumers are demanding change. They’re looking for convenience, personalization, and speed. The Digital One Office from AI Foundry is taking the next logical step in the evolution of the digital mortgage; delivering a product, and a system, that manages to integrate back-end and front-end processes in ways that make getting a mortgage faster, more secure, and simpler than ever before.
With the Digital One Office, lenders are able to transform their existing business processes from end-to-end, and in the process cut costs, provide better customer service, and become a truly digital organization.
Understanding the History
When the 2008 financial crisis hit, the mortgage industry was in the eye of the storm. It’s not an exaggeration to say that subprime loans, reckless lending practices, and an overheated housing market were key contributors to the crisis that rocked the globe. Naturally, there was a strong backlash to the industry, and many new stringent regulations were put in place to make sure that loans were not given to people who could not pay them back.
At almost the same time, in other spheres of business, the digital revolution began gathering pace. The first iPhone was launched, the awesome potential of cloud computing grew exponentially, and the power of big data analytics spread like wildfire, all changing the way companies do business. But in all this growth, the financial sector lagged behind, burdened by new laws and still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis.
It was only around 2016 that banks, financial institutions, and FinTech startups really began to disrupt the ways the financial sector worked. Progress has been quick and wide-scale adoption of digital-first practices are happening on a wide scale.
Digital Is an Ongoing Process
According to the 2018 Digital Lending Trends study, in 2017 30% of consumers who applied for a new mortgage enjoyed an entirely digital application experience, up from 24% in 2016.
It’s important to realize that going digital is not a “one and done” effort for lenders. Instead, it requires new ways of thinking, new processes, and an openness to adapt to new technologies as they appear, in order to find the best way to serve emerging consumers who grew up with a “digital-first” outlook.
Originating a mortgage digitally is now quite common, and the next frontier for lenders is to develop reliable software for digital closing. Too often, the process is streamlined and successful until the final step, where the lenders and borrowers must gather to “dot the i’s and cross the t’s’ on a physical contract. But the remote close is gaining ground, laws are changing to allow notaries to communicate via Skype, and it seems to be only a matter of time before the entire process can be done online.
The MVP of Digital Mortgages? Data.
No one factor has been more important to the digital mortgage than data. When lenders have access to large volumes of data, that is well managed, and analyzed correctly, then it takes the guesswork out of the lending process and helps them to make better decisions.
According to a report from Accenture, “82% of executives responding to the consulting firm’s Technology Vision survey report that their organizations are increasingly using data to drive critical and automated decision making.” At the same time, almost everyone (97% of those surveyed) are worried about the quality of data that they are getting. That’s unacceptably high, and one of the main reasons that AI Foundry is working so closely with lenders to improve the ways that they process and store their data.
The risk of poor data veracity is unacceptably high. It’s important for companies like AI Foundry to help their clients build confidence in their mortgage origination process with three key data-focused tenets:
- Provenance, or verifying the history of data from its origin throughout the mortgage application process
- Ensuring that there is context, or consideration for the circumstances around its use
- Integrity, or securing and maintaining mortgage application data.
Most of the problems that we associate with the existing mortgage process are as a result of old-fashioned, manual processes. When consumers are forced to enter their personal information into a number of forms by hand, when staff have to “stare-and-compare” the information on various sheets of paper, when scanning technology delivers unwieldy PDF…..these are all areas where errors creep into the process and undermine the value of the data.
By developing the Digital One Office, AI Foundry has managed to leverage the best of machine-learning and artificial intelligence to develop software that ensures the quality of data, and the processes where the data is used, are reliable, fast and up-to-date.
This end-to-end automated approach manages the entire loan process from:
- Ingesting required loan documents
- Processing and underwriting
- Mortgage post-closing, selling, and servicing
- Efficiently connecting the front and back office operations for a superior customer experience
The Digital One Office Playbook outlines 10 key principles that consumers are demanding that will help lenders stay competitive and thrive in this new digital paradigm. The playbook unpacks concepts like “flexible workflows” and “leveraging robotic software agent automation” in simple language that helps lenders not only achieve true digital transformation but provide a streamlined customer experience.
Download the Digital One Office Playbook for a clear and concise guide to this breakthrough new technology from AI Foundry.