Nick Jones

The benefits of technology in specialist finance

In the bridging market, the speed at which a lender can provide funding is crucial.

And while not the be-all and end-all, technology can certainly help lenders such as Together deliver a high-quality user experience by providing brokers with a platform that allows them to process cases at a much faster rate. It also provides integration with many external data providers and so removes the need for them to have to laboriously key in reams of data. 

At a high level, we use industry-standard Microsoft technologies to build our solutions and integrate with third-party APIs such as Land Registry, Equifax and Hometrack. These are becoming a crucial factor in improving customer journeys from initial enquires through to making a lending decision as the market, and society, demands quicker and faster finance.  

We have also seen several of our own packaging partners investing heavily into their own CRM and processing technology to make these journeys slicker. All Types of Mortgages (AToM) and TFC Homeloans are certainly pioneers in this area, as their one mortgage system (OMS) and 1APP mortgage systems are helping their introducers to source, process and complete mortgages quicker and more easily by working closer with lenders.

In the bridging and wider markets, there has been significant technology innovation in the past couple of years. The introduction of open ecosystems such as Open Banking and the development of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms has – more than ever – allowed the industry to integrate disparate processes to provide a more personalised service. 

It’s true that this kind of technology can help us automate many of the repetitive, mundane tasks, allowing the underwriter to concentrate their expert skills where they are most needed: to turn decisions around faster. Technology is absolutely a differentiator and we are investing heavily in our platforms to provide a frictionless journey for our brokers. 

However, I don’t believe that these enhancements to the application process – as helpful as they undoubtedly are – will come to replace knowledgeable underwriters in the future, even as we see the continued march of technology. Expert underwriters will always be key to our business because – as a specialist lender – we need to delve into the finer details of a customer’s case, assessing their background and individual situation, so that we can make the best lending decision we can. Combining our skills and expertise with technology advancements will be the key to this success.

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