Speaking to Mortgage Business, Clive Kirkpatrick, the general manager of Vow Financial, emphasised how the aggregation business had been focusing on its new customer relationship management (CRM) system, Vownet, powered by Salestrekker.
The system, which launched in pilot phase in 2017 and officially launched this year, forms a key part of not only improving efficiencies in the mortgage writing process but also improving transparency and compliance, he said.
Mr Kirkpatrick said that the aggregator had worked with Salestrekker to “heavily customise” the CRM system by building automated workflows into the process. These include the capability for compliance documents to prefill at the “right time in the sales process”, and the ability for customers to upload their ID through the portal, which pulls through to the fact find.
Further, the GM said that the system had 24 subsets for expenses to ensure that lenders were given “more information around living expenses” and that it was working on building in a measure against the Household Expenditure Measure (HEM) “so we can actually flag before the application is lodged if it is below or at HEM, and then the broker will need to provide details why”.
“So, we are actually testing a fair amount of time to actually provide more information than is required,” he said.
Noting the lenders’ focus on compliance, given the ongoing royal commission, Mr Kirkpatrick said that the system has the capability of allowing brokers to record and lodge client phone calls and video calls, which could help brokers demonstrate ongoing work.
“I think, over time, where the broker will probably need to demonstrate the actions they have taken to earn the trail, and I think by making use of video calls and texts and emails and holding them in the customer library, that will save a heap of time.
“You can have the whole compliance process streamlined and digitised so we know that the customers are receiving the right documents at the right time. Plus, the partner portal allows referral partners to see the status of the loan and send through key documents on behalf of clients. So, that links in with key pieces of the sales process and improves transparency," he said.
Mr Kirkpatrick added: “Overall, Vownet is cutting down the processing time by 3.5 to 4 hours per deal on average. So, when you incorporate [the collection of] supporting docs, it is amazingly efficient. If it’s going to take that many hours out of the process (and we all know that the process of applying for loans is just getting longer and longer), if you can automate the process as much as possible and cut a whole bunch of time out, then there is more time for brokers to talk with more customers.”
According to the GM, the aggregator is working on upgrades to the system for before the Christmas break, including new brokers tools, a document library and a new serviceability calculator. He revealed that the company is also trialling an equipment finance module and will be launching a commercial finance module in the first six months of 2019.
Mr Kirkpatrick concluded that he expected to see a fully digitised mortgage process, supported by brokers, within the next five years.
“I do think we will get to a digital mortgage. It’s not just the mortgage though, it’s the whole process to settlement… I think as security improves, so will the process.
“And I think it would be in the next five years. If you think about the inefficiencies there are in actually attending settlement.
“I think the banks are going to be forced to take costs out of the business and part of that will be through process – so I think we will see [a digital mortgage] in less than 10 years – more like five.”
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.