Google takes another step into the mortgage sector

by Donald Horne25 Nov 2015
“Buying a home is a major financial decision,” states a blogpost on Google’s news site, “so when it comes to getting a mortgage, people want an easy way to understand and compare their options online.”

Google announced the expansion of its fleet of financial services this week earlier this week, a move that follows the launch of a mortgage calculator tool back in February of this year.

It is a natural extension of services that Google has already been offering across the Atlantic, available to U.K. homebuyers for several years now.

Living with the realities of online rate comparison sites have become the norm for brokers, with such companies as RateHub and RateSupermarket gaining in popularity.

A recent survey shows that younger bank customers are nearly twice as likely as older ones to consider switching to a branchless bank.

The 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey of 4,000 retail bank customers in the U.S. and Canada found that 39% of customers 18 to 34 years old would consider switching to a branchless bank, compared with 29% of customers 35 to 55 and 16% of customers over 55.

To attract and keep younger customers, community banks are swallowing the costs of offering products like free checking in exchange for the potential long-term gains that come with serving the generation’s mortgage, investing and eventually retirement needs, said Karin Bonding, a recently retired finance professor from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

The bet is on the future, said Judy Hicks, a vice president and consumer loan manager at Baker Boyer National Bank in Walla Walla, Washington.

“We have to stay competitive with products and services,” Hicks told MPA. “We want to bank that younger generation, because they’re going to get there someday.”