Digital lending aims to improve customer experience

Mortgage lenders are using innovative technology to improve convenience for customers and speed the mortgage approval process.

Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online mortgage lender, made a big splash earlier this year with the launch of Rocket Mortgage, an online digital lending application that has been featured on TV commercials.

Thanks to this innovative online tool, Quicken boasts that some customers have finished their loan application and received approval in as little as eight minutes. In addition, some customers who have used Rocket Mortgage have closed loans in as little as 23 days, instead of the usual 30 days, according to Greg Bartosch, public relations manager with Quicken Loans.

Regis Hadiaris, product lead for Rocket Mortgage, said customers can use a mobile app or laptop to start the loan process, and then decide whether they want to call in to talk with a loan officer or finish unassisted.


The program is attractive to tech-savvy millennials, Hadiaris said, but that’s not the only group. After four years of market research around consumer lending behavior, he said the company found customers were looking for something new.

“A lot of people were sitting on the sidelines,” Hadiaris said. “People who could refinance and should, or buy a home, were not. We saw 60% of folks not doing it. These are prospective customers who had every reason to buy or refi, yet chose the path of least resistance.

“They felt like the mortgage process was confusing and complicated and intimidating. So we decided to build something that really fits with people’s lives,” said Hadiaris, which led to the development of Rocket Mortgage.

The innovative lending tool brings speed, technology and convenience, and helps improve the overall customer experience, he said.

“We’ve received rave reviews regarding the simplicity and flexibility of the process,” Hadiaris said. “Many of our clients begin a Rocket Mortgage and then come back to complete the process when convenient or when they feel comfortable.”

Bartosch noted that customers can set their own pace, but still need to provide the necessary information if they expect an expeditious closing.

Technology vendors

Other lenders are looking for help from technology vendors to streamline the mortgage process for their customers.

Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company, doesn’t provide lending services or determine a customer’s lending worthiness, but partners with lenders who do. The company delivers the technology that makes digital mortgage lending possible for banks and other mortgage lenders, according to CEO Nima Ghamsari.

“We don’t have an operations center. We’re 100% focused on technology,” he said. “We build a technology platform and let the lenders do what they do best.”

The company relies on software developers, infrastructure engineers and data architects to help develop enterprisewide solutions capable of originating loans while keeping the user experience in mind, a skill set some bank lenders may lack.

Efficiencies like these, Ghamsari said, ultimately drive consumer prices down while speeding the closing. Traditional loan processing historically has involved going through mountains of paperwork.

“The old way was [the customer] providing documents,” he said. “Now we’re able to get the data directly from verified sources. We pull that data for you, it creates a profile, it’s all digital and it’s a beautiful customer experience.”

Protecting customer data

Innovative programs like the ones offered at Quicken, or developed by companies like Blend, not only improve customer experience, but also safeguard sensitive customer data, according to both Hadiaris and Ghamsari.

“Everything that’s done is over a bank-encrypted system with bank-level security,” Hadiaris said of Rocket Mortgage. “The data is automatically imported into our systems so there’s not that potential for human error, like paper traveling over FAX machines, or sitting on someone’s desk.”

Using innovative digital tools during the loan process significantly eliminates the need for paper, said Ghamsari, which can help increase security. For example, using FAX machines that leave a paper trail raises potential security issues and email has its own inherent risks.

“Email is probably one of the least secure transmission mechanisms for documents,” he said.

Ghamsari said that’s why it’s better to use systems that allow customers to securely upload documents, the kind of solutions his company develops.

“We’ve built our products and platform with the concept that security comes first, privacy comes first,” Ghamsari said. “All the data is encrypted in transit and at rest.”


Freelance writer Elise Oberliesen contributed to the writing and research of this article.

By |2019-11-25T08:05:39-06:00August 25th, 2016|Financial Services|0 Comments

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