"Over the past 12 to 24 months we've seen an intense focus on an enhanced user experience for the mortgage borrower,” Coon says. “This includes 'responsive design,' which provides easy-to-use mortgage applications."
Many technological features—such as mobile devices, paperless processing, and instant access to required mortgage application documentation—haven’t always been available in the mortgage industry, but are now making an impact, Hewins says.
"One element of that quickness is 'Day 1 Certainty,' where if you use certain verification services you can quickly acquire an applicant's financial information,” he says.
Automated income method—or AIM—is big, Dahleen agrees. It has the ability to gather all relevant documents, such as pay stubs, credit reports, current loans, and even identity verification.
‘The biggest recent tech development around mortgage lending is enhancing members’ experience.’
“It also has a built-in ACH capability so members can pay fees online, which accelerates the processing of their loans,” he says. “This considerably eases the process for borrowers."
"We are seeing the digitization of loan files, where it's possible to complete almost the entire process without the use of paper," Hewins says. Digitization also allows rules engines to gauge the likelihood of repayment, he adds.
“Current technology puts a human face to an otherwise automated process,” Hewins says. “We can use Skype to set up meetings that involve the real estate agent, family members, and other parties involved in the loan, as well as interpreters.
“In states that only require notaries to finish the application process, credit unions can offer 'roving notaries,' who will meet members at, say, a local Starbucks, to sign off on final documents," he continues.
Transparency also is vital to successful member interactions. Dahleen says Mortgage Hippo's loan dashboard was its "first foray into creating a transparent process for members who are applying for a mortgage loan. They can clearly see every step. It has also eliminated filling out long forms before even entering the origination process because it can quickly direct applicants to the best loan terms for their particular situation and need."
When developing digital mortgages, credit unions must take into consideration their strategic goals.
"When we asked [executives] at one of our credit union partners to tell us what they saw as the most important feature in a digital mortgage application, we received three different answers,” Dahleen says. “One said focus on the portal, another said focus on the closing, and a third said focus on every process in between."
He suggests considering three goals when designing a mortgage loan process:
"We're in the background," Coon says, "providing credit union clients with easy-to-use origination processes while also providing behind-the-scenes mortgage servicing.”
Next week: The ‘millennial effect’ and what’s next for mortgage software