Metrics Monthly | November 2020 | UK Edition

Digital delay Consumers lose patience with mortgage lenders who force them down analogue application routes, says David Wylie Digital is King as far as consumers are concerned. They really can’t get enough of it. shift as the end of ‘learned helpless- ness’ for the consumer. Why should they put up with a negative application experience, when they know there are much better ones out there?

be in exactly this position. They basical- ly know that they will have to revamp their application processes, but would rather do it later. They’ll get around to it, but not quite yet. They have largely failed to modernise. The danger though is that consumers, used to getting things on their mobiles, are migrating to digital application inter- faces in their droves. Increasingly, they do not have the patience for the appli- cation processes that some mortgage lenders present to them. A report out this month said that 69% of consumers had ditched a financial product applica - tion midway in 2020, up from 40% in 2019. The same report found that 69% thought mobile-first providers were superior to traditional operators. The early adopters in this space are moving further on and are focused on digitally ‘delighting the consumer’ with ease-of-use and time-to-decision being their mantra. They will admit that it is not them that is driving the change, but the consumer.

They are used to digital channels and prefer them - when booking a holiday, buying a car, selecting insurance, shop- ping for clothing or food. They like the easy interface of a phone or laptop screen, automated decisioning, and increasingly dislike analogue routes to these products. In our age of instant gratification, they want a seamless and rapid route from A to B. According to a recent report, more than 30% will abandon an online form if they are forced to supply information ‘out of channel’. They want intelligent interfaces that make the application process easy and which provide them with a definitive answer at the end. In most product areas, if they look they already have this, including the personal loan sector. Pundits are increasingly referring to this

So what is happening with mortgag- es? Of all financial service products, it is the least digital and most “old school”. It seems largely to be stuck in a timewarp. The mortgage application process is substantially still a relic of a bygone era - a drawn-out business of paper-based proofs, faxes, last-minute product adjustments, and, all in pursuit of a non-definitive decision-in-principal. The answer to why this is still happen- ing, is that like so many legacy systems that have gone before, lenders are reluc- tant to move with the times when they have procedures and infrastructures that work and have, until now, served them well. I have to say that from what I see the great majority of mortgage lenders can to a greater or lesser extent be said to

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November 2020 | UK Edition

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