Expert discusses the advancement of tech in recent years
The development of technology in the mortgage sector has steadily advanced over the last few years since a surge in interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, which technological advancements have truly benefited the mortgage space in recent times?
Mortgage tech – the advancements making a difference
Benjamin Wells (pictured), head of product and development at Advise Wise, said there have been a few technological developments in the mortgage sector recently, in particular in the later life lending market, that really add value to advisers and simplify their day-to-day activity.
“First of all, API integrations, which connect systems of different companies, allowing them to communicate easily between one another in order to facilitate processes and avoid the duplication of actions,” he said.
For example, Wells pointed to API integrations with lenders’ systems enabling the user to download an instant quote PDF within seconds without leaving the sourcing platform, instead of having to log into a lender’s portal and rekey all details.
Additionally, he said online applications can be submitted in just one click, directly from the sourcing platform, streamlining and speeding up the process even further.
“Integrations with a solicitor firm enable advisers to instruct a specialist solicitor with a click, transmitting the case details from the client case on the sourcing platform directly to the legal firm within seconds,” he said.
The diffusion of granular pricing among providers, Wells added, is another important step that helps advisers reach better customer outcomes through bespoke pricing, based on the client’s circumstances beyond their age and the loan-to-value (LTV).
“Moreover, the integration of workflow documents into the sourcing system itself, such as integrated Fact Find and Suitability Letter templates, is another advancement genuinely benefiting the space,” he said.
Integrated documents facilitate and simplify completions as they are pre-filled with client and case data that does not need to be retyped again, Wells said, leaving the adviser with more time to focus on other parts of their job.
Which tech developments need improvement?
Wells would like to see all lenders embracing API integrations to streamline product sourcing across the whole market.
“Not all providers have come onboard with this yet, and this means that until they develop the technology at their end, we cannot implement integrations on our platform,” he said.
Another development that would benefit the entire market, Wells added, is the adoption of granular pricing from all providers, allowing clients to opt for plans more tailored to their circumstances.
Similarly, he said that if all providers adopted medical underwriting for their later life lending ranges, it would make a real difference for the final client.
“Not to mention the endless possibilities to improve and develop tools to assist advisers with more complex calculations such as rebroking, debt consolidation and vulnerability assessments,” Wells added.
Meanwhile, he said at the back end, there is still much more that can be done for the clients to give them greater visibility across the entire process.
“This ranges from the development of customer self-service portals to manage their plan that only a few providers offer, to accessibility improvements,” Wells said.
What further tech developments would you like to see?
All industry players, Wells believes, should collaborate to improve advisers’ best practices across the market, supporting and guiding brokers from their first steps into the sector.
“Adviser qualifications would need a periodical review to ensure they are up-to-date with clients’ needs; CPD training and additional qualifications could be made mandatory to provide advisers with all the tools they need to support their clients,” he said.
Becoming a member of important industry bodies such as the Equity Release Council, Wells said, would help in this sense too, in order to ensure high standards of conduct and practice are embraced.
“The future of digital transformation in the financial sectors could likely bring us the spread of robo-advice,” he added.
Of course the human element is still very much needed in the advice process, Wells said, but more and more steps are being simplified by technology and artificial intelligence.
How do you believe technology has advanced in the mortgage space in recent years? Let us know in the comment section below.