Aggregator head reveals what brokers can look forward to
According to AFG CEO David Bailey (pictured), the aggregator’s strategic partnership with Volt will serve as a call to action for all other lenders to continue to invest in technology. He told MPA that the challenge of extended turnaround times through the broker channel was one of many factors that played a part in the decision to invest in the digital lender, which is pushing unconditional approval in a matter of minutes once its new mortgage process is launched.
“When 70% of our brokers’ customers are coming from referrals, the broker’s keen for a good customer experience, whether it be with the broker or via the financial services company that the broker may recommended the customer to,” he said. “The onset of the pandemic was probably a watershed moment for a number of industries around adopting and embracing new technologies, and the expectations of customers, and this is a response to that.”
As part of the deal, Volt will fund white label lending through AFG, which is one of the biggest mortgage aggregators in the country. According to Bailey, there are three levels to the partnership.
“We had an opportunity to access a technology platform which is more customer direct and allows us to continue and focus our efforts on broker facing pieces,” he said. “We’re conscious we’ve got an increasing reliance from our brokers around making sure they are ready for technology changes and how customers are looking to interact with the broking community and access financial services, and the Volt piece allows us to do that via technology they have built or are using.”
The partnership will enable the aggregator to “piggy-back off the work Volt have done” in the development of personal finance managers and the credit decisioning for AFG’s own securities business.
“We can leverage some of that technology build rather than having to build it ourselves, and we can actually focus resources on where we have the best skill set,” he said. “From a Volt perspective they’ve proven their ability to attract deposits, now they need to get those deposits off to work. That requires distribution and we can provide that for them.”
The fact that Volt was not weighed down by legacy systems and could boast new technology stacks that offered something different to the market was another thing that appealed to AFG, as was the lender’s willingness to do a white label offering.
“It’s a purely digital offering to the customer and it was a response to increase demand from customers around faster decisions to ‘yes’ and the technology piece that was coming in behind,” he added.
He said AFG brokers can look forward to a broader range of products within the AFG staple, as well as a good customer and broker experience around credit decisioning times once the deal is finalised. He also said they could look forward to a new range of white label financial products.
The partnership will be in pilot mode over the next two to three months and is expected to be available to brokers in the second quarter of the 2022 financial year, with the full roll out anticipated in early January.