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New LOS Aims To Increase Efficiency

Fiserv has launched LoanLaunch,  formerly known as Common Origination Platform. LoanLaunch from Fiserv provides the framework for enterprise loan originations on a single platform. The solution supports consumer, business, mortgage and equity loans, giving lenders a holistic view of borrowers across all channels and products. This exclusive capability enables  greater transparency across departments, customers and business processes and allows lenders to originate and close more loans with fewer resources.

“LoanLaunch reflects our deep commitment to technology to address the credit needs of today’s borrowers, as well as our vision of delivering the next-generation lending experience,” said Kevin Collins, president, Lending Solutions, Fiserv. “LoanLaunch is a powerful solution that offers financial institutions greater control over their lending decisions, more flexibility to address product, policy and regulatory changes, and support that meets changing consumer expectations of customer service.”

As the new name suggests, the solution allows lenders to respond to continually changing business needs and easily “launch” new opportunities within the organization to address increasingly diverse borrower segmentation. With LoanLaunch, the power is in the hands of the lender through its optimized control over virtually all retail and business origination operations.

“As the complexities of lending evolve, LoanLaunch will give financial institutions the breadth and depth they need to respond to the needs of their customers, backed by Fiserv associates who are passionate about providing value to our clients’ businesses,” said Collins. “Fiserv continues to invest in a development strategy that focuses on supporting every step in the lending process. LoanLaunch is a key component in our plans to expand interactive customer relationships via broader, more digital product delivery and communications channels.”

Whatever the size or make-up of a financial institution’s loan portfolios, Fiserv provides solutions that allow lenders to react more quickly to changing markets and consumer expectations. Fiserv is the only company that offers a suite of products that support the full spectrum of lending: mortgage, home equity, consumer, business, direct auto, and indirect auto.

The LOS Of The Future

You Can Download This Entire Article As A PDF HERE

As other loan origination systems struggle to be all things to all people, Fiserv thinks that it has truly achieved that goal with its Common Origination Platform (COP). The system provides an end-to-end LOS solution that goes well beyond being just a document preparation system. The software is highly configurable and is built with open architecture that delivers efficiencies across business channels. COP supports the origination of mortgage, consumer, home equity and business loans on a single platform. With this solution, lenders can establish their own business standards, including operating procedures, conditions and limits, automating virtually every transaction and promoting consist processes. Lenders also can set compliance requirements and perform regulatory updates en masse without duplicating tasks or keystrokes, which frees up valuable time and resources. How does this compare with other LOS systems? And what does COP have in store for the future to remain cutting edge?Mark Deese, Product Manager for Lending Solutions, Fiserv, answered these and other pressing questions.

Q: How has the LOS space changed over the past five years?

MARK DEESE: The LOS has changed in a lot of different ways. Competition is disappearing due to some vendors closing up shop and others getting acquired. Regulatory items are also taking over as the No. 1 priority. Road maps, regardless of who you are as a vendor, have drastically changed. You have a little less sizzle, in a sense, and more emphasis on regulatory support. I’ve seen is a lot of User Interface changes. The idea that custom or homegrown systems are better is becoming an idea of the past, as well. A lot has changed in the LOS space.

Q: What do you expect the LOS space to look like five years from now?

MARK DEESE: All of the vendors have streamlined. Everyone in the industry is kind of on the same page with what the LOS can do. The look and feel might be a little different, however. The differentiators between LOS players is going to be very different in five years. As I see it the ability to offer a top-quality customer experience is going to set the best LOS players apart. If you think about it there aren’t many different ways to process a loan, and with new regulation, that’s forcing more best practices to the forefront. So, the lender that can offer the customer a better experience and better educate the customer will be the successful lenders. The best technology players will support lenders in this movement.

Q: On a separate, but related note, there have been a lot of LOS mergers and acquisitions. Do you expect that to continue and how do you think it’s impacting the space?

MARK DEESE: My first thought would be to say that mergers and acquisitions will continue, but then I take a step back and think about the lenders themselves. In my view, there were a lot of mergers going on in 2008 and 2009, but that has started to slow down, especially when it comes to the bigger names. So, I would anticipate that mergers and acquisitions might slow down. I don’t think it’ll ever stop, but you won’t see it in the news every couple of weeks.

Q: How critical is keeping compliant and having a good forms /doc strategy to providing a world-class solution these days?

MARK DEESE: I was at a conference recently, and someone was talking about regulations in 2020. Part of me thought that was so far away, but things are moving so fast. The LOS won’t be around in five years if they don’t keep up with compliance and regulations and having that proper document provider in place. It’s great to have the sizzle, the special enhancement, but if you don’t have the underlying compliance and rules in place to manage that system and manage your loans, as great as it looks, if there’s not an engine under the hood of that car, in a sense, you’re not going anywhere.

Q: Rules changes are happening at a staggering pace. How does COP stay ahead of these changes?

MARK DEESE: When we were at MBA Annual last year we were hearing that some vendors were saying that they would not have a solution for their clients ready in the next 30 days to deal with the January changes. That was a scary thought to me. For us, compliance is always at the top of our roadmap. We are always ready. Not only is compliance always going to be at the top of our roadmap, we’ve also started discovery function to look at future regulations. Complying with a new rule can happen in several different ways, but we at Fiserv want it to happen just one way. We want to incorporate best practices, not one-off practices. We always have a plan well in advance and we communicate that to our clients.

Q: What is COP’s biggest differentiator as you see it?

MARK DEESE: COP is one system that can handle a variety of loan types, that’s our value proposition. We offer one system that handles all of lending. When there’s a mortgage update to COP, that update goes across all of a lender’s channels. They don’t have to wait for the home equity update. Everything is in one system of record.

Q: Looking ahead, what technology does every LOS have to incorporate into the core system to stand out?

MARK DEESE: We are always looking to provide the best customer experience. We want to help our lender clients retain their current customer base by offering them other products that they might need. At the same time, we want to provide our lenders the right tools to expand their customer base, as well. You might have gotten a mortgage one place, but a car loan somewhere else. Why? Your mortgage lender should be able to offer you that car loan and it should be a really simple process. As a result, the lenders gets more business from the same customer and that customer leaves happy, which prompts him or her to tell others about their lender.

Q: When lenders ask about the ROI associated with migrating to COP, what do you tell them?

MARK DEESE: It’s one system to manage and maintain. Why is that important? You’re reducing your IT costs out of the gate. We’re finalizing a project on our side with some of our live customers that did a comparison of their prior LOS to COP. We are asking them: Where’s your time and cost savings? What systems did you eliminate that you were using prior? We’re hoping to have those results before the end of the year. So far the results early on have been astronomical. It’s unbelievable to be able to share that real ROI with the industry.

Q: As lenders look to get more purchase business, how can COP help them capture that business?

MARK DEESE: When we think of cross sales, a lot of times the lender is focused in on that one opportunity, but COP gives the users the ability to add on top of that, to add that second loan on top of a first, or maybe a home-equity loan, or a line of credit on top of a mortgage, or whatever. So, COP helps expand on any lender’s current portfolio. In the end, the system turns shoppers into buyers. And we’re not just talking about expanding a lender’s purchase business, we’re talking about expanding every business channel that lender has.

Q: How would you define an innovative LOS?

MARK DEESE: You have to be able to take things like maintenance, support and configuration and make it easy. A system that is able to be aligned with the lender’s business unit, but at the same time breaks down those walls within most financial institutions is innovative. If you are looking for a loan and you already have a mortgage with that company, you should get a streamlined process and the person you’re dealing with should know you. Innovative technology helps lenders achieve this type of process. When you get instantly approved for a home equity loan from your existing lender and they tell you once you apply, “Hello Mr. Smith, thank you for coming back to us. You’ve been approved and we can close immediately” that turns your bank into your hero.

Q: Why would you say that COP represents the LOS of the future?

MARK DEESE: In strategic business development here at Lending Solutions our goal is to look to the future, and we are on the leading edge with COP. Clients are asking for one system to manage and maintain. That’s what COP is. Other LOS players may be able to provide a fancy document talking about their system, but when a bank or financial institution gets into the weeds, they see that COP is truly one system of record. No other system can show the same results. Other vendors may be talking about providing one system and they may even be in development, but while that system may be out in four, five or six years, COP is already there.

Industry Predictions

Mark Deese thinks:

1.) We are going to see eight or more final rulings on different regulation changes in the next year or so.

2.) Lenders and vendors will become more comfortable with dealing with a lot of regulatory change.

3.) The way to earn new business will change. Ease of use, ease of maintenance and user experience will drive technology investment.

Insider Profile

Mark Deese is Product Manager for Lending Solutions, Fiserv. He has 10 years of experience working with loan originations and as a lender. He is the Product Manager for the Common Origination Platform in Lending Solutions from Fiserv and demonstrates to others how to replicate best in practice methods in loan origination. Mark has extensive experience; from small community lenders to top ten institutions in the country. Beyond lending, he has a vast understanding of financial institution environments and what is required, day in and day out, in the loan originations market.

Are You Keeping Score?

*Are You Keeping Score?*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***Let’s face it, every lender needs to be as efficient as possible. Earlier in the year the MBA reported that the cost to originate is at a historic high. And with rates rising and volume falling, that just makes matters even worse. As a result, at the Third Annual PROGRESS in Lending ENGAGE Event Fiserv announced new enhancements to the Common Origination Platform that can help lenders reverse this trend.

****Many small banks and credit unions are seeing that automated scorecard analysis in loan origination is a necessary tool to maintain their competitive edge in this industry. Automated scorecard analysis speeds up the underwriting process enabling greater efficiency when moving a loan from application to closing. In a time where “now” is not fast enough, scorecards and decision engines make it possible for financial institutions to originate more loans, ultimately providing a more efficient consumer lending experience.

****Now this scorecarding technology will be available through Fiserv’s The Common Origination Platform. The Common Origination Platform from Fiserv provides lenders with loan origination software tools to engage with borrowers. Using one lending software platform, lenders have access to a single customer view across business channels, including mortgage, consumer or small business. With data about the lending customers in one place, regardless of the point of origination or loan type, the lender can reduce risk, gain processing efficiencies and use information more effectively across the enterprise.

****Further, automated scorecard analysis is a tool used in loan origination that allows financial institutions to configure borrower attributes based on their defined parameters. Financial institutions select their target market and create custom scorecards to best fit their client base. The attributes in the scorecard tool contribute a certain amount of points to the total score allowing the financial institution to yield higher scores for good borrowers, or alternatively configure good attributes to yield no points. Therefore, lower scores being indicative of good borrowers.

****Financial institutions and lending organizations are already seeing that automated scorecard analysis in loan origination is a necessary tool to maintain their competitive edge in this industry. Automated scorecard analysis now available through Fiserv’s The Common Origination Platform speeds up the underwriting process, enabling greater efficiency when moving a loan from application to closing. In a time where now is not fast enough, scorecards and decision engines make it possible for financial institutions to originate more loans, ultimately providing a more efficient consumer lending experience.

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Lender Looks For Total Visibility

*Lender Looks For Total Visibility*
**Chooses A New LOS**

searching***Old Point National Bank (OPNB), a subsidiary of Old Point Financial Corporation based in Hampton, Va., has selected the Common Origination Platform to meet its consumer and business lending needs. Common Origination Platform from Fiserv is a single-platform solution that gives lenders a holistic view of their borrowers across all lending channels and products, regardless of the point of origination or loan type. By aggregating all of this information in one place, OPNB gets a more comprehensive view of its borrowers, enabling them to better serve those borrowers, a key initiative for the bank.

****With $845.3 million in assets, OPNB offers a broad range of banking services to retail and commercial customers. The bank cited the robust and customizable document generation of Common Origination Platform and its ability to be integrated into other Fiserv solutions as reasons for its selection. As a user of the Signature bank platform from Fiserv, the bank chose the hosted deployment option so that it could take advantage of the sophisticated infrastructure capabilities available through Fiserv.

****“Fiserv has been a partner of ours for a number of years and we trust their expertise in the financial services industry. Common Origination Platform is another example of how they are using their expertise to enhance the industry,” said Tyler White, SVP, Information Technology, OPNB. “Lending is important to our customers and, as such, it is important to our institution. With Common Origination Platform and its integration with other Fiserv solutions, we will be able to deliver efficiencies and provide even better service to our customers.”

****OPNB has been a Fiserv client since 1996. In addition to Common Origination Platform, the bank utilizes the Signature bank platform, Nautilus enterprise content management system, EnAct enterprise sales management system and the Fraud Detection System from Fiserv.

****“Common Origination Platform has the capabilities financial institutions need to modernize their lending operation,” said Kevin Collins, president, Lending Solutions, Fiserv. “As an enterprise lending solution, Common Origination Platform is designed to enable lenders to establish their own process rules to automate virtually every origination transaction based on their institution’s specific needs. Defining these operating procedures, conditions and limits, will help OPNB build customer loyalty and provide products and services that keep pace with the rapidly evolving industry.”

****Common Origination Platform from Fiserv is designed to originate consumer, business, mortgage and other real estate-backed loans.

It’s Not Just About Mortgages

*It’s Not Just About Mortgages*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***As rates rise and volume dips, lenders need growth opportunities. One strategy is to expand to other forms of lending. And technology exists today to make this transition easier. For example, The First National Bank of Long Island (FNBLI), located in Glen Head, N.Y., has implemented Fiserv’s Common Origination Platform to meet its consumer, business and mortgage lending needs. Common Origination Platform from Fiserv is a single-platform solution that gives lenders a holistic view of their borrowers across all lending channels and products, aggregating data in one place regardless of the point of origination or loan type. FNBLI selected an ASP delivery model for Common Origination Platform.

****FNBLI, the largest independent commercial bank headquartered on Long Island, is known for operational excellence. Several financial firms, such as Raymond James, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Sandler O’Neill, have reported FNBLI as one of the strongest and best operating banks in the country within its peer group. A Fiserv client since 1987, FNBLI utilizes a host of Fiserv solutions including the Signature account processing platform. Through Common Origination Platform, the bank will not only have the ability to originate all types of loans but will benefit from the planned integration of the lending system into its account processing platform. The functionality will help the bank to increase efficiencies and minimize time needed for employee training.

****“We run a lean operation which means that every member of our staff is responsible for all types of lending. By implementing Common Origination Platform from Fiserv, we are giving our staff the best tools available as we provide our customers with the levels of service they have come to expect,” said Rich Kick, executive vice president, FNBLI. “Our time-tested relationship with Fiserv makes us confident that they will continue to invest in technologies like Common Origination Platform and product integrations that make them a strategic partner in our success.”

****“Common Origination Platform has the capabilities financial institutions need as they adjust to the current loan origination landscape. Fiserv will help First National Bank of Long Island to drive down operational costs, reduce redundant processes and comply with increasing regulatory demands,” said Kevin Collins, division president, Lending Solutions, Fiserv.

****FNBLI relies on a host of Fiserv solutions in addition to Common Origination Platform and Signature. These solutions include CheckFree RXP, CheckFree Small Business, ConvergeIT, Risk Office, UChoose Rewards, Debit Processing, PEP+ and the Accel payments network, among others.

****Common Origination Platform is an enterprise lending solution designed to originate consumer, business, mortgage and other real estate-backed loans. With data about lending customers all in one place, financial institutions can reduce risk, gain processing efficiencies and use information more effectively. Additionally, lenders can establish their own business standards including operating procedures, conditions and limits to automate virtually every origination transaction, an important feature for a community bank where employees often have a wide array of responsibilities.

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Someone Is Getting It Right

*Someone Is Getting It Right*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***With several big acquisitions behind us geared at offering mortgage lenders an end-to-end system, and a lot of new regulations ahead of us, the loan origination space is very competitive. The Holy Grail in terms of being able to provide the best LOS on the market is about offering a fully integrated, data-driven system that is super nimble. We’ve been talking about the need for a system like this for years, but few if any have been able to deliver. Well, today I can safely report that someone in the LOS space is getting it right. Here’s what I mean:

****I recently had a demo of Fiserv’s Common Origination Platform, and it was very impressive. To be clear, I am not endorsing Fiserv’s offering. I haven’t seen every LOS on the market to be able to make an apples-to-apples comparison, but I have seen a few of them first hand and I can say that Fiserv gets what the mortgage industry needs and delivers.

****Why do I say this? The Common Origination Platform is just that, it enables lenders to originate all types of loans on a single/common platform. That’s important because it gives lenders an opportunity to cross-sell their credit card customers into a mortgage, or a boat loan, or another financing vehicle. By the same token, if the user is purely a mortgage lender, this technology allows them to easily expand into offering offer types of loans without having to use multiple systems.

****As I was taken through the screens, they literally looked and acted the same regardless of it we were in a mortgage loan or a commercial loan. Also, the end user saw data, not forms. The lending industry is becoming super regulated. So, lenders need to be agile. In the demo Fiserv touted, among other things, its integration with Compliance Systems (CSi). Mark Deese, Product Manager, Lending Solutions at Fiserv, literally told me that because of Fiserv’s relationship with CSi, lenders don’t need a traditional doc prep at all.

****The CSi technology manages data on a transactional level, eliminating the need to set up and maintain numerous templates and packages. How does this approach benefit the lender? As an example, a leading southeast bank realized some unexpected benefits after implementing CSi’s compliance solution. The solution, purchased to compliantly document financial transactions and mitigate risk, also reduced transaction processing time from 15 minutes to less than five minutes.

****In addition, bank employees spent less time inputting information and rendering documents as they would with a traditional doc prep, which allowed them more time with the customers generating interest in additional lending products. This improved customer interaction and resulted in a significant increase in sales at every branch. Generally speaking, it has been estimated that lenders can literally reduce the number of documents in their library by as much as 70% by using CSi’s data-driven technology.

****Beyond the benefits of fully integrating to a compliance vendor like CSi and offering a system that can originate any type of loan, the Fiserv offering is also fully integrated to LoanServ, Fiserv’s servicing system. The integration improves efficiency for all users by sharing data points and eliminating potential errors caused by manual data entry.

****With an increasing number of financial institutions supporting both production and servicing operations, the integration of the Fiserv solutions provides a consolidated view of each customer as well as a single view of risk for their loan portfolios. The integration eliminates duplication within processes and the business management of the systems.

****Regulatory requirements impact the need for greater standardization during the origination process and how data is presented to borrowers. On the servicing side, monthly statements also are becoming more standardized. The seamless integration of Common Origination Platform and LoanServ will eliminate duplication within processes and the business management of the systems, as well as reduce the number of touch points that may obscure an organization’s total relationship with its lending customers.

****The big picture that I got out of the demo was that Fiserv is now offering a system that is truly data driven from start to finish. Why is that important? When you’re operating in an intensely regulated environment you need a technology offering that can both comply and change on a dime, which is something you can only achieve when you have a fully integrated, data-driven solution.

****I asked Mark Deese during the demo what he thought the major industry advance/industry value proposition behind this new technology was and he put it this way:

****“If you’re originating a commercial loan, the screens look identical to when you’re originating a mortgage on the system. It looks and acts like the same system regardless of what lending vertical you’re working in. It’s one database so you only enter data once and you only have to do one update when there’s a regulatory or process change. Everyone is concerned about the regulatory changes coming in January 2014, but we at Fiserv have total control over the situation because we make literally one change and every lending vertical is compliant. It’s that easy for us and our lenders.”

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Life-Cycle Lending:Technology Advances

*Technology Advances*
**By Harvey Foster**

***There is no question that technology advances such as multi-vertical origination software have enabled financial institutions to implement customer-centric business models. Lenders certainly need to be nimble when it comes to product and process. But it does not stop there. Financial institutions need to add a new word to their lexicon: transparency. This term is becoming foundational to how the loan operation relates to regulators, borrowers and other departments within the institution. Transparency is not only being able to provide insight into origination processes and practices, but it also means being able to pass along transactional data to those who request it, when they request it and in the format they request it.

****Looking back as far as a decade, some astute financial institutions began to realize that their loan origination systems were becoming outdated and were based on technology that was increasingly more difficult to maintain. But the influx of new loans suppressed system upgrade projects. As a result, the current technology landscape is rife with redundant, inefficient, and incompatible systems that are increasingly costly to maintain. The long-term result of this uncoordinated growth was a focus on vertically segregated products and a business-line approach to managing customers.

****Many institutions have grown accustomed to having one system for first-lien mortgages, another system for second liens, a third for lines of credit secured by real estate, and possibly even a fourth system to accommodate other consumer installment products. In such a stratified operating environment you may also find deployment of separate systems to help manage collections and investor accounting in an attempt to bring cohesion to disparate servicing systems. Aging components and a mixed bag of interfaces jeopardize the entire lending infrastructure. The risk of failure increases and the cost to maintain status quo escalates rapidly. Cost and risk pressures prevent some institutions from installing upgrades that are critical to their business.

****The future of origination technology resides with multifunction, multi-vertical solutions. New systems, such as Common Origination Platform from Fiserv, will be used to support multiple loan products, both secured and unsecured. To keep operations nimble, these solutions will have embedded rules and other controls to empower lenders. They will also be real time to ensure immediate awareness of transactions across the enterprise.

****Common Origination Platform and other systems like it combine intelligent processing automation with next-generation, sophisticated technology architecture. With customer data housed in one database, lenders can effectively reduce risk, gain processing efficiencies, take advantage of cross-sell opportunities and use information more effectively across the enterprise.

****Process Automation

****Offering process improvements and greater levels of automation, single platform environments such as Common Origination Platform enable financial institutions to originate all consumer, business and mortgage loans utilizing the same tools (including all processes, workflows and business rules management performed) and skill sets. Defining or modifying actions, behaviors and workflows within this environment is easily accomplished by manipulating the built-in business rules, giving an organization much greater control over its own specific processes. Streamlining in this fashion can open up new avenues for cost management strategies and greater profitability.

****Single System IT Support

****Operational efficiency is built into an integrated platform. Having just one system means that any updates, changes or modifications are applied enterprise-wide, saving resources and money. Systems such as Common Origination Platform that can handle multiple loan types across multiple channels enable the organization to devote IT resources to maintaining and supporting just that system. A common platform also eliminates the need to train separate technical staff or users to handle different technology applications.

Harvey Foster joined Fiserv in September 2011 as Product Manager for Common Origination Platform, the flagship origination solution offered by Fiserv. He has more than 35 years of experience in the banking and software solutions industries holding positions as client services manager, conversion support manager, education manager, and senior product analyst for commercial and consumer loan products.

Life-Cycle Lending: Talking Operational Efficiency

*Talking Operational Efficiency*
**By Harvey Foster**

***Today I want to discuss operational efficiency from three different but equally important perspectives, each with strong implications for lenders. Fiserv is pleased to offer this information to enable you to be more knowledgeable in your evaluation of adopting a common loan origination platform and the strategy’s potential in terms of the borrower experience, your staff resources and your IT/hardware costs. Here’s what you should think about:

****The Customer Perspective

****In terms of both profitability from cross-sell opportunities and enhancing the borrower experience, lenders must consider the customer-centric perspective as critical for growing the organization’s loan portfolio.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – In this scenario, a borrower currently has a mortgage loan and a boat loan with the financial institution. Because the two original loans were processed on two separate platforms, customer data is stored in two places. More often than not, the platforms do not communicate with each other, so customer data-sharing is minimal, if not impossible. Gathering loan product scenarios from multiple origination systems is extremely complex and time consuming. Each application produces its own loan product information and the lender must then try to synchronize and deliver that data in real time to the consumer for true comparison. This not only curtails the lender’s ability to serve the customer but also inhibits the ability to spot product trends and cross-sell opportunities. If the customer now needs to finance an equipment purchase for a small business, he or she may have to start from the beginning in terms of completing the application, since the system used to originate business loans cannot access data from the previous loan transactions. This results in repetitive data entry, hinders timely and wise credit decisioning and increases the possibility for errors. In addition, it limits cross-sell opportunities because there is not one true snapshot of the borrower’s total relationship with the financial institution.

****>> The single-platform scenario – In this scenario, the lender utilizes a common platform to handle all processing for the borrower’s three loan originations. Borrower information is stored on one system, eliminating the need to share data between different platforms. When the borrower comes to the lender for another loan, virtually all financial information is already available to the lender through a search capability, simplifying the origination process for both borrower and lender. Data integrity issues are eliminated, and the borrower experience is a positive one. And, as cross-sell opportunities come about, the financial institution has a holistic snapshot of the borrower’s entire portfolio so it can make the most prudent – and potentially most profitable – product offers.

****The User Perspective

****Operational efficiency is directly tied to how internal staff is able to utilize technology resources.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – For lenders utilizing different platforms for different loan products, there is no common look and feel between systems. The Consumer Loan Department may have to learn one platform for equity loans and another for mortgage loans. The user experience suffers because staff members must create “work-arounds” or use manual processes to manage all accounts. Production personnel also have to be trained on multiple systems in order to support more than one type of portfolio. Origination volume suffers because of the extra time required to work with different systems and in different departments.

****>> The single-platform scenario – One platform means one look and feel. Multiple loan products are processed from the same system, so staff is trained once and empowered to work efficiently between lending verticals. The financial institution is able to standardize processes and procedures, and staff feels more comfortable and capable of contributing across loan departments. The single-platform approach leverages operational efficiency. Business users can set up processes across channels, users, departments and products with the requisite controls and history tracking to safely implement changes, and individual users can enjoy a streamlined productivity tool. The business rules management incorporated in a common system increases flexibility by letting lenders establish security and processes according to the needs of their business, and deploy capabilities and functions according to user roles and responsibilities.

****The Technology Perspective

****Technology that separates loans into distinct functional silos can be a barrier to driving down operational, implementation and support costs. With the fierce competition in today’s lending markets, implementing an efficient software deployment strategy can mean the difference between growing the portfolio and just surviving.

****>> The multi-platform scenario – Using multiple platforms makes managing the enterprise lending operation much more complex. Each distinct platform runs on a different operating system and database. The consumer platform may run a .NET Application, Oracle Database and a Citrix Server configuration, while the commercial system runs an AIX-based Java Application, IBM DB2 Database and an Internet Explorer deployment. The mortgage system may run on a C++ platform. As a result, IT resources must be staffed to support all three hardware platforms and their existing operating system applications. Just maintaining the three diverse systems for updates, compliance/regulatory demands and ongoing integration hampers the lender’s ability to keep up with market changes and conditions. In addition, staffing, training, operational cost, processing efficiency and the overall borrower experience are adversely affected.

****>> The single-platform scenario – Having one platform typically simplifies processing automation by providing tools designed to respond to industry and business changes quickly and efficiently. Usually, system tools allow the lender to establish security and create rules to ensure process consistency. Reducing disparate technology systems and redundant interfaces creates efficiencies because the same processes are applied to all loans. For instance, when compliance initiatives require updates, it is a one-time process. All testing to verify compliance with the new requirements is also performed only once. IT staff supports one platform, one operating system, and one database. Seamless data transfer assures consistent and accurate customer data throughout the origination process, regardless of loan type.

Harvey Foster joined Fiserv in September 2011 as Product Manager for Common Origination Platform, the flagship origination solution offered by Fiserv. He has more than 35 years of experience in the banking and software solutions industries holding positions as client services manager, conversion support manager, education manager, and senior product analyst for commercial and consumer loan products.