‘Digital Mortgage Adviser’ launches

Ryan Bembridge

September 12, 2016

Tech startup Habito is launching Digital Mortgage Adviser, which claims to be the world’s first artificially intelligent mortgage advice service.

The firm, which has a partnership with Legal & General Mortgage Club, is able to analyse a customer’s employment, salary and personal life plans with hundreds of real-time mortgage rates to pick what it says is the most suitable mortgage type for the client in 10 minutes on average.

Habito promises the service, which uses an automated chatbox, to provide an “unbiased, conversational experience”.

While Habito is publicising the service as human-free brokers are still used at the end of the advice process, either over the phone or with a chatbox to give applications the green light.

Daniel Hegarty, chief executive and founder of Habito, who has a background at controversial payday lender Wonga, said: “Finding the right mortgage product in the UK is like finding a needle in a haystack.

“Britons are crying out for some innovation and clarity in an outdated and overwhelming mortgage market.

“Our digital mortgage adviser is a huge step forward in making mortgage advice accessible for consumers in the way they need it most: unbiased, always available and most importantly free.”

When designing the system Habito analysed hundreds of advice interviews in order to understand what consumers needed and what formed the basis of informative advice.

It said the product was developed as a response to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Advice Market Review report, which called for advice to be made more accessible to consumers.

In the next few months the firm will add mortgage alerts to the system, where clients are emailed saying when they can remortgage onto a new product and save money.

Digital Mortgage Adviser is directly authorised and has been in development for one year. The firm is currently relying on referral business and advertising on Facebook to attract new business.

Between 2007 and 2014 Habito’s CEO Hegarty was Wonga’s head of decision science and then head of strategy and new ventures.

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