Mortgage tech must be fit for purpose

Neal Jannels

May 15, 2019

Neal Jannels (pictured) is managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS)

We are constantly bombarded with ways to watch, listen, learn and interact. Speed, ease of use and time saving tools are major selling points for technological innovation, but they can also backfire if the providers are not careful.

Samsung recently appeared to steal the thunder from its competitors when it rolled out its new folding Smartphone. However, as I’m sure many of you will have noted, after sending the device to several major media outlets, serious technical deficits were highlighted across numerous multi-media platforms.

The level of negative media attention which followed proved to be a significant setback in wowing the world with what, at first glance, was a highly impressive feat of engineering. And this is not the only example.

Even tech giants such as Google can get it wrong. Back in 2013 its attempt at wearable tech generated huge amounts of worldwide attention. Although revolutionary at the time, its Google Glass – a brand of smart glasses – also came with privacy issues and such a high price point that they were largely ignored by the masses. In 2015 Google announced that they were putting a halt to this costly experiment.

Tesla is also a good example of how technology can split opinion. Some people believe the brand to be a shining light in autonomous driving. Then there are others who see self-driving vehicles as being an impossible path, and that Tesla is merely a brand which could be bluffing its way into being a true tech leader.

For what it’s worth, this part of the tech world goes way above my head but what is does further outline is that delivery remains far more important than concept

This also applies to technology in the mortgage market. Conversations are taking place every day between lenders, their IT departments and specialist tech firms on ways to improve the mortgage journey for distributors, intermediary partners and the end consumer.

Some of these conversations will revolve around smaller enhancements that can be integrated without too much fanfare. Others focus on larger projects which – due to how fast technology evolves – can often end up totally different to how they started out. And many will simply never come to fruition due to the complexities attached and changes in the market.

We have referenced some of the world’s largest and most well-known brands in this article but when it comes to utilising technology in the modern mortgage market a tag line from a brand with a slightly lesser profile comes to mind.

Systems and solutions should not come to market with promises of what they will do but what they can already do. In a Ronseal style – they should do exactly what it says on the tin. Intermediaries need to see through empty promises and rely on tech which is fit for purpose now, and realise exactly how it can help support or grow their business.

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