At a recent event, we exhibited our iPad app for mortgage application capture, calculation and work-flow. Staying true to one of GLiNTECH’s main values of making technical solutions demonstrable, we found a way of turning the traditional and cumbersome mortgage process into a digital and paperless one. Hence, the Mobile Mortgage Application for iPad.
From a business perspective, we expected the product to appeal to mobile lenders and brokers by making their job easier, while on the customer side we saw it as an innovative way of making an application process faster and more straight-forward. This is particularly beneficial for targeting Gen Y consumers who prefer digital processes over paper means. Additionally, according to Gen X and baby boomers who attended the event, institutions are finding it difficult to recruit Gen Y into the kinds of roles where the technology and processes are outdated.
An iPad app for Mortgage Processing. Really?
Essentially, instead of applying for a mortgage using traditional methods - filling in paper forms and going back-and-forth to the broker or lender - an applicant can use a mobile device, like an iPad, to just enter their information and upload photos of all the supporting documents. While that in itself is a simple idea - albeit difficult to execute - our end to end solution required more than just the iPad app.
Our team scripted everything to feed back into the IBM BPM system to illustrate the back-end work-flow for Bank users. The BPM system shows the imported information from the mobile application and triggers events depending on certain calculations and validations. The work-flow includes requests for valuations, credit checks and internal CRM customer look-ups. We use ReadSoft software for reading and validating the documents without the need for paper. The ReadSoft software is clever enough to validate, for example, whether the address on the photo of a person’s licence matches their address on the application, or if something received later in the process via email matches the applicant’s information.
The value to the business is that the customer gets their mortgage approved quickly. There are fewer data entry errors, less toing and froing between parties, and less time wasted waiting for documents. Without the need for paper handling, it’s basically faster and easier for applicants, brokers, aggregators, valuers and lenders - which is pretty much everyone in the mortgage process chain.
Tablet = work tool of the future
According to an IBM white paper entitled Mobility is moving fast: To stay in control you have to prepare for change (December 2011), large companies are likely to use tablets more and more in the workplace;
“It is clear that smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices are in the enterprise to stay. In the 2011 Information Week survey, 82 percent of respondents looking ahead two years said they expected smartphones to play a “critical role” in business productivity. Tablets weren’t far behind, with 79 percent of respondents calling them critical to productivity—a significant increase over the 36 percent of the previous year. By contrast, only 36 percent deemed laptops critical to productivity, down from the previous year’s 53 percent.”
Tablets make mobility easier for your front-line, allowing for better engagement with your distribution channels. Their size, display and the increasing development standards means they have the potential of becoming the most used work tool. Furthermore, the uptake of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) within organisations and better telco networks means the worker/consumer division is no longer limited by access to technology, nor hours in the day.
Let’s face it, smart phones are on the way in and paper is on the way out. Google say 25% of Australian consumers have used their smart phone to research or purchase a product. This week at IBM Pulse 2012 (Las Vegas), Danny Sabbah stated that 40% of the total number of devices consuming data were mobile. Why not change the way people interact with business to accommodate these trends?
A report released this week from eMarketingConnected entitled Mobile Banking Experience looked into the big four banks in Australia and another six smaller institutions and what offerings they have on mobile apps. It highlights that banks have focused on providing only the basics for mobile users and suggests that “the proliferation of smart phones and tablet devices will only continue and the expectations of users will only increase” and concludes by stating that “in all cases, a detailed understanding of the types of tasks that users are now performing or want to perform on their mobile devices should drive the future feature set of mobile banking websites and apps.”
Mobile apps needn’t be just cool tools you download, use and then discard
Choosing to model a mortgage application was deliberate. We chose a difficult, often customised process mainly to demonstrate the true potential of a mobile app and how the workforce can use it but also, when applied within a Banking institution’s mobile offering, to illustrate a new way of reaching the customer at the beginning of their buying life-cycle.
We exhibited our product to banking and financial industry experts at the IQPC Mortgage Processing 2012 conference in Sydney last week. It certainly made our presence stand out as the conference was about appealing to Gen Y, bridging the gap between lenders and brokers and charting how small banks can compete with bigger institutions.
We think mobile app development has a lot of potential beyond just mortgage applications and we’ll be looking to roll out similar demos to any industries that are keen to automate their processes. If you know any companies that might be interested in a demonstration, feel free to let our sales team know.