Borrowers may be able to view their equity release balance on an app, Stuart Wilson, channel marketing director at more 2 life has predicted.
He said technology has already come far in the equity release market, reducing the time for applications to complete from 43 to 45 working days when he joined in 2014, to now an average of five. More 2 life’s quickest turnaround is seven and a half working hours.
Wilson said: “We’ve come a long way, all down to the investment in technology, but we have to get better and customers who take out a loan will expect to be able to use an app to check their policy, their current balance and do drawdowns online.
“They won’t expect to pick up the phone. They’ll expect to be able to do it all online like with online banking. It’s not the norm in this market yet but it will need to be for tomorrow’s generation of borrowers.”
Just over two years ago, more 2 life invested in technology to build a portal and bring in end-to-end processing.
Wilson added that three or four years ago the equity release sector was only using paper whereas the process for residential mortgages has been signatureless for years.
And he highlighted there’s still some lenders relying on paper applications to valuers and that this, along with legals and conveyancers, is slowing the process down.
Wilson said: “We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with our portal. Technology is vitally important. What struck me coming into this market is how old fashioned it is compared to the residential market.
“The equity release market was a constant loop of paper going around and it still has a long way to go. If they can do it, we can do it.”
“Customers don’t want to have to wait long, especially those facing a problem with debt like a lender knocking on the door wanting them to pay back interest-only mortgages. These borrowers need the funds quickly so we need to find a faster way of processing loans.”