One of the major banking trends in 2017 is removing friction from the customer journey. So says Jim Marous, top Fintech influencer and publisher of the Digital Banking Report. The latest report suggests banks must harness digital technology to address customer pain points, such as streamlining the user experience¹.  

This mirrors a trend in the digitization of the service industry in general. After all, you can carry out numerous transactions from your mobile device these days, from ordering a pizza to booking a hotel. By 2020, PricewaterhouseCoopers claims an entire generation, which they refer to as Generation C (for connected), will have grown up in what is essentially a digital world².

Consumers expect the same level of convenience when dealing with the financial sector. According to Accenture’s 2016 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey, 60% of respondents use online banking at least on a weekly basis, while 11% of those who switched banks moved to an online or virtual bank³.  

The survey also reveals that one of the most common reasons customers would look at switching banks would be to simplify the experience of buying a home⁴. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how much of the loan origination process is still time-consuming and manual, for example filling in forms and photocopying proof of identification. So if a financial institution can offer a more digital lending experience to borrowers, it stands a good chance of differentiating itself from the competition.

That’s where Finicity comes in.

Verification of Assets solution

Our Verification of Assets (VoA) solution completely transforms the experience of applying for a loan. It enables borrowers to permission access to accounts that in turn provides lenders with a complete picture of assets that could affect the loan decision.  And they can do it from a variety of account types and from multiple institutions.  For borrowers, it simplifies the process and delivers the digital experience they’ve come to expect from other aspects of their lives.

Finicity Connect

To further simplify the experience we have created Finicity Connect, a web app or widget that allows the borrower to easily control and permission secure access to the account data they want considered in the loan process. It’s basically a three-step experience of providing personal identification information, selecting from an extensive list of financial institutions and then choosing which accounts to be used.  And one of the best parts for the lender is that Finicity Connect and the Finicity reports can be integrated with, or pushed through the lender’s platform.

Broader loan availability

Prospective borrowers who are thin-file or no-file are at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for a loan. However, they may only have a poor credit score because they don’t use credit – such as credit cards or have very little credit history.  Going forward,  we believe our VoA solution and a more digitized experience will provide greater insights into financial wellness.  This will allow borrowers to use permissioned data that in turn helps lenders to make a decision based on a wider selection of financial data, giving otherwise qualified borrowers a better chance of securing a loan.   

Dispute management and resolution

One other thing we’ve done to improve the experience for borrowers is register Finicity as a Consumer Reporting Agency.  This provides more transparency, and a communication channel- our dispute and resolution platform-  which borrowers can use if they receive an adverse action.  We want to ensure the best experience as well as the best data.

If you’d like to offer your customers a loan origination process that’s quicker, simpler and more convenient, get in touch.  

¹ http://thefinanser.com/2017/01/top-10-retail-banking-trends-2017.html/

² http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/global/home/what-we-think/digitization/megatrend

³ https://www.accenture.com/t00010101T000000__w__/gb-en/_acnmedia/PDF-22/Accenture-2016-North-America-Consumer-Digital-Banking-Survey.pdf#zoom=50

⁴ https://www.accenture.com/t00010101T000000__w__/gb-en/_acnmedia/PDF-22/Accenture-2016-North-America-Consumer-Digital-Banking-Survey.pdf#zoom=50