Equity Release Supermarket (ERS) has launched its smartER digital platform, an intelligent search engine tool.
The smartER platform works by presenting a shortlist of equity release plans following completion of a short user questionnaire.
According to ERS, this aims to combat the fact that consumers are unable to research their later life lending options and find a shortlist of plans based upon their personal circumstances.
Mark Gregory, founder and chief executive at Equity Release Supermarket, said: “Our customers are at the centre of all we do. We have always made it our mission to be as open and transparent as possible, whilst also providing the digital tools they need to understand how equity release and later life lending could give them the financial freedom they deserve.
“We also strive to empower our customers so that when they do speak with one of our advisers, they have the confidence they need and the reassurance that equity release is the right solution for them.
“The current equity release landscape simply doesn’t cater for consumers who are hungry for knowledge and want to research their options in their own time.
“It is as if the equity release industry believes that consumers shouldn’t be given the opportunity to develop their own understanding, which we know from our research is a huge frustration and a reason why some are sceptical about equity release.
“At Equity Release Supermarket, we already offer the most comprehensive, free to use range of calculators on the market as well as allowing consumers to search current plans from across the whole of the market, but until smartER there wasn’t a solution that brought both of these tools together and enhanced the experience through personalisation.
“We wanted to resolve this and have spent the last three years developing the technology to build a digital platform that gives consumers not only more control, but more in-depth information, a better understanding of the plans out there and greater insight to match their requirements.”
Jim Boyd, chief executive of the Equity Release Council, added: “The pandemic has accelerated the role of technology in the equity release sector and it is encouraging to see firms investing in innovations to support the essential step of seeking regulated financial advice that is personalised to people’s circumstances.
“Vibrant competition means today’s market offers older homeowners an unprecedented choice of products that provide secure, flexible finance. Helping consumers to understand the modern market can open more eyes to the potential benefits of accessing property wealth in later life.”