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Innovating The Mortgage Process

As the story goes, when Matt Hansen developed the mobile mortgage app that would become the catalyst for SimpleNexus, he wasn’t thinking about starting a company. He was trying to help solve a problem for his brother-in-law, a mortgage loan originator, who was tired of constantly having to recalculate customer loan payments by hand.

As Matt added features, customers followed, fueled exclusively by user referrals. It soon became obvious that what he created was much more than a passion project for evenings and weekends. It was something that filled a real market void. So, in 2014, joined by a handful of colleagues in the software industry, Matt turned SimpleNexus into his full-time business—and has never looked back.

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Today, SimpleNexus is a 75-person organization, signed with 15 of the top 25 lenders, over 180 mortgage company customers, and more than 18,000 users nationwide. More importantly, it’s a company that’s making a difference. Our Editor talked with Ben Miller, President/COO at SimpleNexus, to get his take on the mortgage industry.

Q: Why has the role of the loan officer been a primary focus at SimpleNexus from the beginning?

BEN MILLER: Our CEO, Matt Hansen, built the first version of the app at the request of his brother-in-law who was a mortgage loan originator tired of constantly recalculating customer loan payments by hand. Matt developed a simple solution over the weekend for him that garnered significant interest from additional originators in the ensuing weeks. The early focus at SimpleNexus was on creating a tool for the loan originator to support the vital role they play in the loan process. We still believe in loan officer’s role today and recognize the value their human touch plays in the loan transaction. SimpleNexus enables loan officers to close loans more quickly, increase Realtor referrals, and gain a competitive advantage. The platform turns loan originators into mobile originators, allowing them to stay productive and take action on a loan anytime, anywhere. We have built our platform around enhancing, rather than replacing, the loan officer’ role and have witnessed an industry wide embrace. We have 18,000 plus loan officers and over 180 enterprise mortgage companies now using our platform!

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Q: How has listening to customers guided the evolution of your platform?

BEN MILLER: In August we were named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. We have grown 1,405% in the last three years alone. That’s an achievement that we attribute directly to our lenders’ success using our platform. We value their ongoing feedback of what they want out of our platform and have repeatedly made those requests a priority as we further develop our digital mortgage technology. Listening to our customers has made our product better and our company successful. One specific example is when one of our customers came to us regarding handling appraisals. They explained they had and AMC but their loan officers were having issue with the appraisal since the needed info was being filtered through three different people and took a week to get to them. We took that feedback and went to work developing a direct integration with the AMC. We were able to remove steps in communication process and increase efficiency of the appraisal process to enable the loan officer to take action immediately.

Q: How should lenders vet technology partners to better support their digital mortgage strategy?

BEN MILLER: We at SimpleNexus think that lenders should ask the following questions:

What LOS, applications and software can the digital mortgage platform integrate with? Look for a platform that integrates as much of your existing technology and third-party provider applications as possible. If it can’t integrate with your LOS, pricing and credit systems, and critical third-party applications, then move on.

Can the user access all of these systems with a single sign-on? The idea is to streamline access to everything your users need to do their jobs.

Is there both a web-based and mobile element to the digital mortgage platform? Mobility is critical for giving loan officers access to the information they need to quickly respond to borrower and Realtor requests from anywhere, without circling back to the office.

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Can the digital mortgage platform be used with referral partners and borrowers? Many platforms and applications are borrower-centric. Although the customer experience is paramount, the opportunity to create stickiness with Realtors, builders, and other referral partners will add to the value of the platform.

Does the digital mortgage platform give loan officers borrower insight? While it is essential to give borrowers and Realtor’s transparency into loan status, to maximize value, the platform should also provide a way for loan officers to monitor borrowers’ engagement levels.

Is it easy to use? If you add a platform or introduce an application that’s just “one more thing to learn,” you won’t get the return on your investment. Loan officer adoption is everything, which means the platform has to be intuitive and easy for your originators to use, without a lot of training.

Finally, talk to other lenders that use the product, particularly those that use the same LOS and third-party providers. Ask about their experience with the implementation, their loan officers’ reaction and their return on investment, as well as the level of service they’ve received post-sale. Most importantly, don’t stop with one phone call. Speak to as many different companies as possible to get the user perspective of the platform.

Q: How is your approach to integrations unique and what kind of value does it deliver to your users?

BEN MILLER: Our goal in each integration we develop is how we can provide more value to our customers. We look for partners who share the desire to co-develop technologies that create value for the end user. It’s typical in the industry to adopt a revenue-sharing model to cover the costs of building the integration. The issue with this model is it actually increases the cost to originate. At SimpleNexus we choose to take a different approach to integration partnerships. We want to create value for our customers by creating integrations that reduce costs to lenders and in turn borrowers. The partners we choose to work with on integrations have the same desire of creating this type of value.

Q: Your platform also touts the deep connection it makes between loan officer, Realtors and borrowers. Can you explain why this is an important differentiator?

BEN MILLER: It’s common for new technology within the mortgage industry to focus solely on the customer. The borrower experience is vital but a true digital mortgage strategy also needs the technology to address the loan officer experience in addition to bringing the Realtor into the platform for maximum efficiency and ROI. SimpleNexus unites all three parties into a single platform so they stay connected as they exchange data, documents, and communicate throughout the loan lifecycle. Our lenders are reporting faster closing times, more online loan application submissions, increased referral business, and world-class NPS and customer satisfaction.

Q: Can you explain how connecting loan officers, Realtors and borrowers improves communication?

BEN MILLER: The SimpleNexus platform gives unprecedented visibility to the loan officer, Realtor and borrower during the entire loan process. Delivering transparency and data when and at the time the desired party needs the information. This solves the pain point that each party feels when they are uncertain about loan status and have to email or call to find out.  This saves everyone time while delivering a dynamic customer experience.

SimpleNexus’ enhanced communication features work together to improve the borrower experience, which means better reviews and more referrals for loan officers and their Realtor partners.

Q: Why does SimpleNexus emphasize bringing Realtors into a lender’s digital mortgage strategy?

BEN MILLER: Realtors have a more extensive network of valuable connections needing loan services and it’s no secret that a borrowers first point of contact for purchasing a home often starts with a real estate agent. Our digital mortgage platform includes the Realtor component for several reasons. First, real estate partners are the most productive source of referrals for a loan officer. By giving Realtor partners an easy-to-use app they can share with their borrowers, you increase your referral opportunities significantly. Second, our platform is whitelabled and can easily be co-branded for each individual Realtor partner. They can add their own custom links such as customer reviews and a home search and becomes a value add to the partnership. Finally, the app provides a smooth borrower experience, which the Realtor will appreciate. Borrowers can easily upload documents, use the convenient communication features and know next steps – all while the Realtor stays informed with transparent loan status updates of where their borrowers are in the process.

Q: How does a platform like SimpleNexus help as a recruiting tool for lenders when looking to attract top loan officers?

BEN MILLER: It is important to find a technology solution that empowers your loan officers. The tool should help originators close loans faster, so they can sell more and make more money, without putting in additional hours of work.

After finding the right solution lenders need to demo the tools for their prospective employees (i.e. loan officers), show them how it will make their lives easier. SimpleNexus clients have found success in recruiting meetings by showing their prospective employees how the platform works, how the app can be custom branded to each individual LO and co-branded for Realtor partners.

Technology demos during recruitment can go a long way in showing how the company is invested in helping loan originators work more efficiently, earn more, and have a better quality of life. With SimpleNexus, LOs don’t need to spend their nights and weekends catching up at the office; they can close more and spend their off time with family and friends.

Top producing loan officers are in high demand, so providing them with tools to make their job easier and more productive is critical to attracting and retaining them. The ability to use the SimpleNexus platform on mobile devices gives loan officers the freedom to work with borrowers from anywhere with a few keystrokes. The platform sends a file back to the LOS automatically, so compliance is also assured. Being able to take quick action keeps borrowers satisfied, which builds trust with referring partners.

Q: How does SimpleNexus increase efficiency for the borrower?

BEN MILLER: One of the most frustrating aspects of applying for a mortgage is the collecting of documents by the borrower, trying to email or mail the documents to the lender and keeping track of all of the documents that were provided. The SimpleNexus platform lets borrowers use their mobile device to upload documents or photos of documents in a one-step process that ends the paper chase. This significantly improves the borrower experience while reducing friction points in the application process.

Q: You have mentioned a single branded platform numerous times.  Why is that so important for lenders?

BEN MILLER: Traditionally, processing a mortgage loan isn’t a one-system, one-click sort of job. It’s a complicated process, requiring access to your LOS, to your CRM, and also to credit bureaus, pricing engines, and other third-party providers to make things happen.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a mobile app that brought all of these resources together in one, convenient hub—along with fast access to your Realtors and borrowers?

SimpleNexus makes this vision a reality.

Our easy-to-use mobile app connects lenders with everything and everyone that is needed during the mortgage process, right from the loan officer’s mobile device.  That means loan officers work more efficiently, spend less time in transit, and more time actually getting things done.

Keeping the lender and their loan officers name front and center is easy with SimpleNexus. The app is white labeled, so instead of promoting our company, it promotes yours. You can brand the app with your information and offer your Realtors their own co-branded versions, for that one-two marketing punch. Every interaction keeps your name at the forefront, building your brand as you build your client base.

No matter the device you use, a seamless, omni-channel experience awaits.  Providing a great borrower experience means making that experience consistent, across all channels, and points of contact. With SimpleNexus, information flows seamlessly between web, phone, and tablet. So, if your borrower starts a mortgage application on the website, they can pick up where they left off on any mobile device. The origination process is identical across all channels, and only requires a single user login and password.

If your prospects or Realtors are in a rush, they don’t have to waste valuable time searching the app store to download SimpleNexus. Instead, you can text the app to them—either from your phone or originator dashboard. And, if you want to scan documents with the app, but not assign these to a specific borrower file, no problem. When you’re ready, the documents will be waiting on your originator dashboard.

INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS

Ben Miller Thinks:

1.) Personal touch and experiences for borrowers will continue to set companies apart from their competition.

2.) Companies with better technology supporting their loan officers will recruit and retain the best talent.

3.) The industry will continue turning to technology to drive backend process efficiency for managing cost in a raising rate environment.

INSIDER PROFILE

Ben Miller is President/COO at SimpleNexus. Ben joined SimpleNexus in 2014 as one of its original employees. Today, as COO, Ben runs the operations side of the house, which ranges from setting up strategic partnerships to managing implementations, to developing employee benefits programs. His mission is keeping the company efficient as it scales, expanding partnerships and bringing the right mix of people onboard.  Just seeing the impact that SimpleNexus is making on the industry is his motivator to constantly do more.

Equity National Title Launches Transaction Management Application

Equity National Title, a national settlement services provider, has launched a transaction management application which allows all parties to monitor the status of a real estate transaction in real time. Equity National Title partnered with Salem, Massachusetts-based Easy Mortgage Apps in the design and production of the new app. It is believed to be among the first to allow REALTORS, loan officers and consumers to securely monitor their transactions from the moment they enter Equity National Title’s workflow until the real estate closing.  

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The app will allow users to place orders; generate quotes; receive and share status updates and even determine whether an eClosing is permissible and, if so, in what form. All functions are available to the user 24/7 and any authorized user with Internet access can access the information. Users can also upload documents (such as missing identification; buyer authorizations and the like) and see scheduled closings, including the location (and map directions) and parties expected to attend. The app also sets forth the process in a series of timelines, including important dates and milestones, as well as current status.  The app is available for Apple devices.

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“The industry has talked for decades about an easier way for REALTORs, loan officers and borrowers to know where the transaction stands without having to call the title company,” said James K. O’Donnell, Esq., President of Equity National Title. “It has historically been one of the chokepoints of the transaction. With the Equity National Title app, authorized users simply have to log in—at any time of the day—to see exactly where their deals are. No voice mails. No waiting. No miscommunication.”

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According to O’Donnell, the app came about after a series of anonymous surveys Equity National Title conducted among mortgage lenders and REALTORS. The consensus finding in the surveys was that loan officers and REALTORS alike sought, above all else, responsiveness and clear communication from their title and settlement services partners.  Easy Mortgage Apps President, Michael Kelleher, agreed. “The idea of using an app to cut unnecessary waiting and uncertainty from the process was past due for the industry, and we were delighted to partner with Equity National Title to make it reality. In fact, we went from concept to launch in about 90 days.  Both partners were on the same page with the same focus:  eliminating as much wasted time and needless delay from the title transaction as possible.”

O’Donnell continued, “As important as compliance and service are, we’ve been told repeatedly that our lender and REALTOR partners want, above all else, to know exactly where the transaction is at all times…and not have to wait or dial into a website to chase that information.  The app will save users an enormous amount of time and help improve the L.O.’s ability to serve her own clients as well as the clients’ real estate agents.

O’Donnell is quick to confirm that security is not compromised for convenience with the Equity National Title app. Users must undergo a three-step authentication process, including an initial authorization which identifies (and later confirms) the device being used by the authorized party. The access to the production system is also not direct, but instead, routed through an intermediate server designed to prevent unauthorized access to the platform.  The app has no connection to or access to NPPI whatsoever.

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.

A New Era Of Lending Emerges

According to recent data from TransUnion, the size of the personal lending market has more than doubled over the last five years. The reasons for this staggering growth can be attributed to a number of factors, but most notably, it has been a result of higher total employment coupled with rising household incomes. Megabanks, fintechs and alternative lenders have dominated this increase in personal lending, and as a competitive reaction, TransUnion predicts that we will likely see more personal lending activity from community banks and credit unions. The challenge for them, however, will be how they differentiate their lending experience.

Interest Rates & Speed No Longer Enough to Attract Borrowers

Historically, loan products have all looked the same, leaving community financial institutions with little to compete on. In fact, most institutions have focused on rate and speed of application process, which is necessary to staying competitive based on what consumers have indicated as primary drivers of choice, but these are not the only factors driving their decisions. We know that rate ranks among the most important, with minimum monthly payment following close behind. Application experience and fast lending decisions are also important, but they are not what drives a consumer to choose one institution over another.

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In a recent report, “Reinventing Consumer Loans: How Community Based FIs Can Win the Millennial Lending Market,” released by Cornerstone Advisors, Ron Shevlin, Director of Research, emphasizes the need for community financial institutions (FIs) to find new strategies to better compete with large banks in the lending markets. While many mid-size FIs believe they have superior rates and service, millennials, for instance, are often selecting the megabanks and large regional banks they already bank with for their borrowing needs.

If community-based FIs can no longer differentiate themselves based on price, and borrowers are finding less value in application ease or speed of approval, how should FIs attract borrowers? The answer, as Cornerstone discovered, is that community FIs can compete by offering loan features that improve the borrower’s experience during the life cycle of the loan.

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New Take-Back Concept The Key to Differentiate Loan Products

Cornerstone outlines three tactics in its report, which include providing flexible credit terms, bundling accounts and offering access to future funds – a new concept called a take-back loan. A take-back loan allows borrowers to pay ahead to reduce debt, but take that extra back if they need it, eliminating the fear of parting with ‘extra money’ while also enabling the borrower to make better financial decisions like paying down debt faster.

Access to a borrower’s own extra payments or take-backs is important, but actually seeing the impact of those changes is critical. Combining this concept with a sleek, mobile dashboard allows borrowers to manage debt by showing the loan’s status instantly. One step further – borrowers can also see the impact of payment changes before making them, giving them even more control and enabling them to make better financial decisions.

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For the FI, the take-back functionality coupled with a mobile user interface not only provides a competitive advantage during a time when lending becomes more competitive (rising rates), but it also reduces the risk of delinquency because the consumer is able to make better financial decisions – better for FIs, better for consumers, better for the economy.

Consumers Love This Concept

According to a recent consumer study conducted by Kasasa, nine out of ten consumers prefer a loan where you can take extra payments back over comparably prices loans. Moreover, 98 percent of consumers say they would refinance existing debt at the same rate to get the take-back functionality. Consumers also say they are willing to put more money into a loan and willing to pay more for the ability to take back extra payments if needed. Clearly, rate, minimum monthly payments and speed are not the only factors consumers are considering when shopping for loans.

Megabanks and alternative lenders do not offer take-back loans at all, giving traditional lenders a true competitive edge. Instead of talking to prospective borrowers about having the cheapest rates, now they can talk about something completely new and unique.

As the personal lending market continues to get more competitive, offering a lending experience that allows borrowers to take back extra payments and then see the impact – something megabanks and other lending competitors do not offer – is a game-changer that will only fuel greater growth.

About The Author

John Waupsh

John Waupsh is Chief Innovation Officer of Kasasa, an award-winning financial technology and marketing technology provider. For more information on Kasasa, visit www.kasasa.com, or visit them on Twitter @Kasasa, @KasasaNews, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Vendor Gets $20 Million Capital Investment

SimpleNexus, a vendor known for bringing the home mortgage process to mobile devices through their digital mortgage platform, raised $20 million in growth capital from Insight Venture Partners to accelerate continued growth and expansion.

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SimpleNexus provides a private-label digital mortgage platform and mobile app that connects mortgage lenders with borrowers and real estate agents, allowing all parties to easily exchange data and documents through the lifecycle of a mortgage loan. The online application is custom branded to the lending institution and includes individual pages for each loan officer to share.

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“Our unprecedented growth clearly demonstrates the leading role SimpleNexus occupies in the digital mortgage movement and an industry wide embrace of our mobile-first technology that is making the mortgage process more efficient,” stated Matt Hansen, SimpleNexus founder & CEO. Matt added, “As we historically have been self-funded, we know that this new partnership with Insight Venture Partners will catalyze our growth, and provide our executive team with the additional resources to drive market expansion.”

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SimpleNexus now has 15 of the top 25 retail mortgage lenders in the US using its enterprise digital mortgage platform.  Over $100 billion in transactions have flowed through the platform, and over 450,000 borrowers have used the SimpleNexus app.

“In the mortgage industry – and across financial services more broadly – we continue to see acute needs for improving the customer experience, empowering agents on the front line, and streamlining processes to reduce costs on the back end,” said Paul Szurek, Vice President, Insight Venture Partners. “The impressive traction that SimpleNexus has gained in this marketplace is a testament to the immediate and lasting value their mobile tools deliver for loan originators and borrowers alike. We look forward to welcoming them to our portfolio and driving further growth for their best-in-class solutions.”

With SimpleNexus, a loan officer becomes a Mobile Originator™. Through its smartphone app, loan officers are able to view new loan applications instantly, pull and view credit reports, run live pricing scenarios via Optimal Blue, see a live CRM feed and send pre-approval letters—all of this from the palm of their hand, as the app connects real-time with their LOS.

“Rather than replace the role of the loan officer, our custom digital solutions improve the borrower experience by cultivating the human to human interaction, which remains a core focus of SimpleNexus as we develop technology to support loan officers,” said Joe Wilson, SimpleNexus Chief Marketing Officer.

About The Author

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.

The Impact Of Mobile Technology

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William Mills Agency has released its 14th annual financial services industry research report, Bankers As Buyers 2017. Key trends in this year’s report include the continued evolution of payments technology, increased adoption of self-service and innovative branch automation technology, and further enhancements to mobile banking – all converging as part of an overlying strategy to improve the customer experience.

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Leading industry analysts, consultants, bankers and financial technology professionals share commentary as well as insights on trends for the year. The report also includes research and articles about what technology, solutions and services U.S. bankers will likely purchase in 2017. Some findings include:

>>Jimmy Sawyers, co-founder of Sawyers & Jacobs LLC predicts that social media will become commoditized in 2017 and that Twitter will peak, then slowly die in 2020;

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>>Ron Shevlin, director of research at Cornerstone Advisors, shared that they are expecting to see a renewed focus on CRM systems, which have been largely ignored by financial institutions over the last several years;

>>One-third of consumers surveyed recently by NTT Data expect mobile money to dominate payments within the decade; and

>>According to the Safe Systems’ 2017 Community Bank Information Technology Outlook Study, more than 80% of survey respondents have been affected by debit card fraud and email phishing attempts in the last 18 months, and due to these threats, more than 77% increased their IT security spending in the last 18 months.

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“While investments in financial technology and fintech companies remain strong, it’s clear that in 2017 the industry will encounter change in where financial institutions are spending their money,” said Scott Mills, APR, president of William Mills Agency. “What we are seeing is that the quality of the customer experience is top-of-mind for bankers and vendors alike. Having technology that enables employees to better serve customers and having the right people and business partners in place is key to a meaningful digital transformation.”

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Integration Offers Borrowers A Digital Application Process

Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. is working with Lender Price to offer a consumer-facing interface that will deliver a digital loan application process. Through Black Knight’s integration with Lender Price’s advanced digital user interface and other capabilities, Black Knight’s LoanSphere Empower loan origination system (LOS) clients can now offer their customers the ability to apply for a loan online from virtually any mobile device.

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“Black Knight is a true partner in innovation that shares our ideals to provide lenders the technologies needed to meet the evolving needs of today’s home buying market, while staying both competitive and compliant,” said Dawar Alimi, Lender Price co-founder and CEO.

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“Black Knight looked at several options, and we believe Lender Price was the very best choice to support our clients’ needs and advance our solutions,” said Jerry Halbrook, president of Black Knight’s Origination Technologies and Enterprise Business Intelligence divisions.

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Lender Price’s digital loan application interface, which can be custom-branded and configured to each lender’s specific requirements, is integrated with Black Knight’s Empower LOS to support a dynamic, accessible loan origination process. The digital interface helps lenders:

>>Offer consumers the ability to complete a digital loan application using their mobile device, which is fully integrated with the Empower LOS platform.

>>Offer a voice-enabled loan application solution that can ask consumers questions in multiple languages.

>>Deliver real-time product eligibility, interest rates and fees.

>>Secure verification of credit, income and assets through a combination of Black Knight’s LoanSphere Exchange technology and proprietary integrations provided by Lender Price.

>>Verify property and tax details using Black Knight’s vast public records database or by leveraging Black Knight’s Data Hub, which gathers, aggregates and links Black Knight application and proprietary industry data to provide a holistic view of a client’s loans.

>>Obtain property valuations using a Black Knight automated valuation model (AVM), tested for accuracy and reliability.

>>Upload documents from any mobile device using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, and index those documents in the Empower LOS.

“The addition of a powerful, consumer-facing digital user interface is a tremendous breakthrough in advancing our digital strategies and creating more competitive advantages for our clients,” said Halbrook.  “Combining the comprehensive technology capabilities of Black Knight’s Empower system with Lender Price’s advanced digital capabilities will increase the speed to market for our clients that are aggressively expanding into the digital marketplace and transform the user experience for their consumers.”

The integration of Black Knight’s and Lender Price’s capabilities can also support lead generation with existing customers. Linking a client’s property and borrower information from Black Knight’s Data Hub with a Black Knight AVM and Lender Price’s Product, Pricing & Eligibility Engine can help clients identify high-quality refinance candidates from their loan portfolios. Details about current loan-to-value ratio, recommended products and interest rates can be provided to help the loan officer present the benefits of refinancing to the borrower at the point of sale.

Empower’s seamless integration with Black Knight’s LoanSphere MSP servicing platform will offer clients true end-to-end digital capabilities and loan support, from origination to servicing and default. The MSP system is used to service more than 30 million active loans for many of the nation’s largest financial institutions and is scalable to any size portfolio.

About The Author

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.

Here’s What You Need To Know About Mobile Tech …

The California Mortgage Bankers Association’s (California MBA) Mortgage Technology & Marketing Committee (MTAM) is hosting a free webinar on April 18th at 11 am (PDT) featuring a dynamic presentation by Sam Mallikarjunan, Marketing Fellow with HubSpot. The presentation is entitled “How to Win on Mobile…Or Be Ready to Lose Your Audience” and will cover the following topics:

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>> Why does mobile matter?

>> What’s included in a mobile strategy?

>> How do you measure the success of a mobile strategy?

“Companies who do not embrace a mobile-first world will not survive the coming years. The brand experience has been decentralized from the brick-and-mortar, telephone, and website,” said Mallikarjunan. “Consumers now expect a cohesive, value-added relationship in whatever channel and at whatever time is convenient for them. Consumers take the path of least resistance and most value, and will flow to whoever delivers.”

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“Lenders and companies in the real estate finance space need to understand that mobile web browsing has overtaken desktop,” said John Seroka, Principal with Seroka Brand Development, and the committee’s co-chairman. “This means that if we are going to meet the needs of consumers, we need to think deeply about the mobile experience throughout the entire buyer path from driving initial awareness through conversion and beyond.”

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The webinar is free and open to all mortgage industry professionals, and registration information is available at www.CMBA.com/mtam, or by clicking here. For more information, please call (916) 446-7100.

About The Author

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.

Partnership Provides Mobile Loyalty And Payments To Underbanked

Sionic Mobile and Customer Engagement Technologies (CET) have launched a partnership to provide mobile loyalty and instant universal rewards to the underbanked. PaySwag, amobile app by CET that works on improving the payment experience for the underbanked, is integrating Sionic Mobile’s ION Commerce EngineT (ICE) to enable the loading of cash into a mobile wallet, allowing app users to pay for purchases with their phones and instantly earn rewards via the Mobile Rewards Marketplacewhich includes more than 100,000 retail locations.  Additionally, the PaySwag-ICE integration will utilize credit and debit card processing through J.P. Morgan Chase.

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“We are pleased to partner with Sionic Mobile to provide the underbanked with a universal, user-friendly rewards program,” said Max Haynes, CEO of Customer Engagement Technologies. “The underbanked are also under-rewarded and until now there really haven’t been any mobile loyalty or incentive programs. The Mobile Rewards Marketplace is unique in that there are no cumbersome requirements and restrictions on when and how the rewards can be used, no expiration dates and most importantly, users can earn and spend rewards at any of the retail locations in the Marketplace, nationwide. Like Sionic Mobile, we designed PaySwag with the user experience first and foremost and integrating with the Marketplace boosts the value we are able to offer app users.”

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Customer Engagement Technologies’ mobile application simplifies the collections process for underbanked consumers, businesses and governments by allowing cash or card payments and offering reward, education and feedback engines. PaySwag is integrated with more than 17,000 retail locations accepting cash payments for debts such as auto payments, medical bills and government fines. By combining mobile access and alternative payment technology, the CET platform gives people the tools they need to make on-time payments and rewards them for doing so. Using mobile gamification to transform how the underbanked interact with lenders, municipalities and healthcare, PaySwag makes payments more accessible, rewarding, consistent and likely.

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“Our Mobile Rewards Marketplace is simple in design making it easy to navigate, but built on proven technology, delivering powerful results,” said Ron Herman, CEO of Sionic Mobile. “By providing instant rewards to app users, the Marketplace helps drive adoption and usage of apps like PaySwag, better engages current customers and helps attract new users. We are pleased to work with the Customer Engagement Technologies team to fill a void in the market by offering a feature-rich rewards program to a large and typically underserved market.”

The Mobile Rewards Marketplace is comprised of large chain retailers and small businesses alike. It uses a secure cloud-based service on mobile devices or a merchant’s existing POS system, eliminating the need for new equipment. The Marketplace works alongside existing, standalone rewards programs.  Marketplace merchants accept mobile payments that are safe, secure and processed by J.P. Morgan Chase.

Lenders Are Looking To Improve The Customer’s Experience Big Time

Everywhere you look you will see that lenders are trying new things to improve the customer’s experience. To this I say: It’s about time. To help in this cause, technologists are stepping up with some clever tools. For example, HomDNA’s mobile technology offering is now integrated with the LoanSphere Expedite platform from Black Knight Financial Services. HomDNA, which delivers mobile technology and workflow solutions that span the borrower-to-homeowner experience, has integrated with Expedite to help mortgage lenders optimize the lending experience, increase borrower loyalty and extend customer value.

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HomDNA is a mobile application offering many benefits to homeowners while generating data-driven insights for personalized, relevant consumer engagement. With a pipeline of homeowners who are typically first engaged during a home purchase or refinancing, HomDNA uniquely parses and correlates data from each homeowner’s appraisal, user behavior and interests to help identify and grow long-term, trusted and profitable relationships.

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Available to lending customers through Black Knight’s Expedite platform, HomDNA is a suite of services that enables data and documents to be electronically accessible to consumers during mortgage origination. The integration with Expedite offers several benefits to lenders:

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>> Creates a value-based connection after loan closing: Because HomDNA’s data, outreach and communications are based on individual preferences and user activities, reliable “indicators of interest” support relevant, segmented and welcome engagement with homeowners for years beyond closing. Expedite’s ability to enhance the borrower experience by consolidating various loan documents in a single dashboard view helps reinforce a positive relationship with the borrower.

“Proactively communicating and identifying homeowners likely to refinance or repurchase is imperative to stay top of mind and cultivate the most viable customer relationships,” said Brian Gehl, CEO and co-founder of HomDNA. “Because HomDNA offers value to the homeowner throughout the typical 10 to 13 years in a home, we’re in a unique position to provide relevancy and reliable data lenders and others can capitalize on.”

>> Enhances appraisal delivery: For many lenders, it is challenging and expensive to meet deadlines and track appraisal emails, attachments and physical mailings. In addition, many borrowers find appraisals confusing and difficult to understand. On behalf of the lender, HomDNA will manage the mobile appraisal delivery via Expedite, offering a value-add of an appraisal summary featuring the most pertinent information parsed from the full appraisal. Each appraisal communication is tracked, personalized and lender-branded, and contains the full appraisal along with a link to the summary.

“By giving mobile access to the information that borrowers want most from their appraisal, we simultaneously elevate the customer experience and turn a typically mundane communication into one that drives additional value and customer dialogue,” added Gehl.

“The integration of HomDNA with the Expedite platform provides mortgage lenders with a comprehensive solution to help improve the loan closing process and provide a better overall experience for the borrower,” said Andy Crisenbery, executive vice president, Lending Solutions, Black Knight’s Origination Technologies division.

“In today’s mortgage market, it takes a different type of customer engagement to keep borrowers loyal,” Gehl said. “By working closely with Black Knight, we can offer a comprehensive solution that will enable mortgage lenders to provide today’s borrowers with an enhanced experience that will help solidify relationships.”

About The Author

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 To Drive A Better Consumer Experience

Ohio-based mortgage banker, Concord Mortgage Group, a division of NOIC, Inc., in partnership with Blend, a Silicon Valley-based technology firm, has released the Ready App, offering borrowers an elegant online portal to submit their applications, documents, and follow-ups in a secure, compliant manner. Borrowers of all ages applaud Ready App, giving it an average customer satisfaction rating of 9.1 out of 10.

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“Our capability allows us to speed up the loan process and reduce borrowers’ anxiety by providing transparency and a smooth process to quickly achieve their dreams of owning a home,” says Philson Lescott, NOIC, Inc. COO and chief digital officer. Lescott is a former business-technology executive of Fannie Mae. “We are focused on enhancing the mortgage experience for our customers by utilizing the most talented people and the best technology in our business.”

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Ready App is designed to take the friction out of applying for a mortgage by delivering a delightful and transparent experience, on any device, through simple conversational prompts and seamless direct connection to over 10,000 high-fidelity asset, payroll, and tax data sources.

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“At Blend, we’re building technology that reinvents home lending from the ground up,” said Nima Ghamsari, CEO & co-founder of Blend. “Built on a platform that integrates with existing systems, we’re thrilled to work with pioneering mortgage providers like Concord to deliver a digital mortgage experience and enable fast, simple and satisfying lending experiences to both lenders and borrowers alike.”

Ready App was launched as a pilot in October 2016, with a full company deployment in December 2016.  Feedback from customers and loan officers has been overwhelmingly positive: “Very easy. Questions were simple. Able to automatically import financial data” and “It was self-explanatory and hassle-free.”

Concord Mortgage Group’s core values and culture are relentlessly focused on helping people realize their dreams of homeownership, and with Ready App, Concord is well positioned to deliver a superior digital mortgage experience guaranteed to satisfy its borrowers’ needs.