Digital Mortgage Nirvana: Cheaper, Better, Faster

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9 March 2017



Shouldn't borrowers expect the same level of ease, empowerment, and transparency they enjoy in their more trivial purchases?

Why do mortgage lenders think that customers are willing to wait patiently for a month or more to learn whether they will be able to finance perhaps the most significant purchase of their lives? Mobile food-delivery apps offer multiple status alerts when we order a $10 pizza. Shipping companies let us not only see every step in a $40 package’s journey but reschedule delivery or redirect the package mid-route. Amazon’s “Mayday” button lets us instantly connect with a live support agent when we can’t figure out how to rent a $2.99 movie. Shouldn’t borrowers expect the same level of ease, empowerment, and transparency they enjoy in their more trivial purchases?

Until recently, lenders could plausibly argue that the question was unfair — they couldn’t offer better consumer experience because of the regulations that govern them, the documents they must review, the complexity of the decisions they make, and the thin profit margins they earn. Today, however, customers have had a taste of the digital mortgage experience through providers such as Quicken.

In this Point of View the authors explore the digital capabilities they believe will quickly become table stakes for mortgage lenders, especially as third-party providers emerge to offer solutions for the required capabilities and as investors and guarantors accept and encourage their use. Given today’s increasing level of competition, they anticipate that digital offerings will quickly evolve to take advantage of already-available technologies in addressing hassles in the application process.

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