By KIMBERLEY HAAS
The typical American spends between five and six hours a day on their mobile phone so mortgage companies are developing new technologies to help them meet customers where they are.
Brett Bivenour, Chief Technology Officer at Nationwide Mortgage Bankers in Melville, New York, explained during an interview with The Mortgage Note last week that for too long, the process seemed arduous for the average person.
Even prior to the pandemic, consumer expectations about what they could do online had shifted because of what was happening outside his industry, he said.
“As more and more aspects of people’s everyday lives were happening online, that certainly influenced their expectations of what it looks like to get a mortgage in today’s day and age. So, I think the industry has been kind of moving in that direction for a while,” Bivenour said.
Bivenour said it would have seemed strange to order food online five or ten years ago, but now it is a common occurrence in many people’s lives. The same can be true for financial matters.
It’s not just Millennials who are driving this change.
“For sure, Millennials and first-time buyers from a younger demographic are certainly approaching the process for the first time with that expectation. But one of the most interesting things that we found and I continue to point out to our sales teams and others is that as we’ve made the option available for people to conduct more of this process online, it’s not just younger borrowers who are opting to participate in that,” Bivenour said.
Bivenour said they see people using their online systems across all social demographics and for a variety of purposes.
FasterFi is backed by Nationwide Mortgage Bankers and can be used for home refinancing and debt consolidation. Bivenour said 70% of the people who use this technology are on their phones, while the other 30% are on laptops or desktops.
“Most of the online traffic we see in that digital experience happens after hours and on the weekends,” Bivenour said.
According to a press release issued in July, FasterFi is a technology and consumer-driven lending platform that empowers well-qualified buyers to get the best rates through a streamlined online experience.
The company’s mission is to be the premier online resource for mortgage lending, credit, and financial wellness, according to the release.
The mortgage industry is being revolutionized by financial technology, otherwise known as FinTech.
It is an emerging industry that uses technology to improve activities in finance. The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing, and borrowing are examples of how that applies to the average American’s life.
Since it is estimated that most mobile phone users check their phones up to 63 times a day, spending an average of up to five to six hours on their devices, both startups and established financial institutions are working to replace or enhance mortgage-related services.
This shift in expectations has affected realtors as well, as more people scroll through their phones in the hopes of finding a perfect house.
Even in 2019, the National Association of Realtors was reporting that about three-quarters of buyers reported finding their homes using their phones.
Within that group, 80% of Millennials began their search for a home on the phone.
78% of Gen Xers and 68% of Young Boomers started their search that way.
It is estimated there are over 294 million smartphone users in America.
Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., reports that 97% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind. Their research shows that 85% of that population has a smartphone.
Email story ideas to Editor Kimberley Haas: [email protected]