Our POINT Of View: Do You Need An iPad?

*Do You Need An iPad?*
**By Ted Hicks**

***Everyone is talking about the latest iPad. Is it cool? Yes. Is it a technological advance? Yes. Is mobile computing here to stay? Yes. But can this technology really help lenders in the mortgage market today? I can see the practical application for iPads, for sure. I think tablets could be the future of mobile technology. The one issue is content creation. However, for reviewing or viewing content, tablets are what you need. Here’s how mobile will reshape origination in the years to come:

****First, as mortgage applicants grow up in the tablet world, you will see people craft ways to build content on the tablet. However, laptops didn’t kill off the computer, neither will tablets. Nonetheless, if you want to enter basic data like contact info, loan data, etc., you can and should do that on a tablet.

****Second, the iPad can be used as a way to enhance both communication and visibility into the organization. You can look to have a mobile app that allows you to interact with your LOs. It’s one thing to use a Web-based interface, but when you think about it, users don’t want to go to the Web, they want a physical application.

****Why? The application was developed by the vendor that they use regularly and it’s familiar to them. As advanced as HTML 5 is for web-based interfaces, it still lacks the functional flexibility of a real mobile application.  The reality of a web-based interface is decidedly clunky when compared to traditional applications.  What you see right now is a lot of adoption around smart phones because of mobile applications. More people have turned to mobile apps on a tablet or a smart phone for use on the go.

****However, over time tablets won’t just be for people on the go. Everyone will be using them for everything. I have three product managers that have iPads and they bring them to meetings to type notes. As that type of behavior becomes more common, there is little that apps can’t do.

****For example, we already see an appetite for apps from our clients to use our technology to process loans in their pipeline.  So then we would expect the consumer to be able to use mobile technology to initiate the loan request. You’ll see apps for smart phones in particular start popping up in the mortgage space this year and soon afterward, apps for iPads will appear. The bottom line is that the technology is out there and there is demand for it that is only going to grow. Technology vendors have to satisfy that demand.