Meet Them Where They Are: Mobile Mortgage Automation

1213_OrcuttQuick — using only the contents of your pocket – what’s the fastest, easiest way for you to communicate with a company?

But wait. You must also be able to engage this organization — let’s call it a financial institution — via voice, photos and the written word.

Those of us without superpowers will point to our mobile device. And even if we’re given the option to use a PC, fax machine, scanner or (gulp) snail mail, mobile is clearly the preferred channel for most.

Now reverse the scenario. In the Age of the Customer, where the power has shifted to data-enabled consumers like you and me, how much longer do you think financial institutions will be able to force their borrowers to use not-so-preferred, often hated channels? Place your bets now.

Today, finance lenders are responding to the pressure to engage borrowers directly on mobile devices, enabling customers to interact closely with the loan-origination process. Who’s winning out among these lenders? It’s the organizations implementing mobile mortgage automation solutions.

When loans are not in good order and trailing documents are required, mobile mortgage automation solutions engage customers, providing them multiple channels to accelerate and supply the complex underwriting process. (While mobile is the preferred channel for the masses, a multiple-channel approach using Web, email or fax is often taken.) Additionally, as supporting documents are processed, analytics technology provides real-time dashboards and visibility across channels of customer engagement and adoption — highlighting patterns, trends, bottlenecks and efficiencies that serve to further inform and benefit customers.

So more and more financial institutions are reaching out to their capture providers — the companies already processing their mortgages and helping with their loan-origination systems — asking them to extend these services directly to their mobile-centric customers. The first step in accomplishing this is taking an online banking app to the next level and making it a slick mobile on-ramp to the loan-origination process. The overall goal is to engage prospects and customers via their preferred channel, doing so by leveraging the contents of their pockets (devices and identification) to quickly onboard them. The process should begin quickly and easily — with no more than a few taps and a photo or two.

It’s about right-channeling the customer — engaging them with the correct information — where they are, how they want and when they want. Mobility is undoubtedly the driving force behind this transformation.

Laura and Bank Right: A match made in mobile heaven

Meet Laura. Her home loan is in the underwriting process at Bank Right. She’s selective and is willing to shop around. She likes immediacy, accuracy, simplicity and convenience. She uses her smartphone a lot; she even used it to start the loan-origination process on Bank Right’s mobile app. Just a few taps on the screen and a photo or two of her ID was all it took. Call her demanding, but Laura also likes to be kept in the loop when it comes to the largest investment she’ll ever make in her life.

Now meet Bank Right, an institution that has implemented mobile mortgage automation capabilities as part of its application strategy and is using analytics in its back office to gain real-time visibility on Laura’s data. The platform is feeding the bank’s business rules, extraction engines and decision services related to Laura’s mortgage.

A smooth engagement

A short engagement and long marriage is better than a long engagement and short marriage. That being said, Bank Right quickly and efficiently engages Laura on her device throughout the process. All data she submits on the mobile platform is classified on the device, optimized, extracted, run against bank business rules and fed downstream to other processes.

Let’s say Laura accidentally submitted an old W-2 form when Bank Right asked for her most current W-2. All is quickly forgiven with a few taps on the screen. Laura is notified of this minor mishap via the Bank Right mobile app, so she hovers her device over her current W-2, captures a photo of it, and the system confirms its quick and successful submission. If more supporting documents are needed down the road, she’ll be engaged in this same preferred manner.

Analytics: Cultivating the relationship

As Laura’s supporting documents are processed, the back office at Bank Right is busy using analytics technology to provide real-time dashboards and visibility across channels of customer engagement and adoption. Patterns, trends, bottlenecks and efficiencies for right-channeling customers like Laura are highlighted. If improvement is needed, the bank can react quickly.

As information comes in, Bank Right gets a real-time look at the cost for all customer transactions. How much money does the mobile channel save versus fax or email? How much is the loan time being accelerated? It’s all visible.

  • Bank Right’s “average loan time per channel” is 20 days for mobile, 27 days for Web and 44 days for branch visits.
  • Bank Right’s “expense per document per channel” is 10 cents for mobile, 19 cents for Web and $4.25 for branch visits.
  • Since the bank’s most common document request is proof of ID, Bank Right is well aware that it spends $20,000 per day to process this particular document from customers; the bank can also see how much it costs to process this document from each channel.

Happily ever after

Laura’s entire home-purchasing transaction is now complete. As she relaxes in her new home, she reflects on how easy the borrowing process was compared to past loans. She was engaged via her preferred channel and remained informed throughout the entire loan-origination and onboarding process. As a result, her customer experience was exceptional.

As for Bank Right? Mobile platform capabilities gave the institution visibility, actionable data and a deep knowledge of all expenses. Thanks to such a high level of insight, bottlenecks and latency were avoided with its cherished borrower. And thanks to mobile mortgage automation, the institution completed the loan approval process 40 percent faster than before.

Mobile automation like this can be applied in any industry where the end-user customer wants to have insight, access and control of the workflow process.

This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Workflow.