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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   February 2013

Mortgages Go Mobile

Can information-capture technology increase your business?

When remote bank deposits first appeared, they revolutionized retail banking. Today, mobile devices are poised to do the same for the mortgage industry. More and more customers are demanding engagement from their financial institutions through their smartphones and tablet computers. Mortgage bankers and brokers who recognize this trend early have an opportunity to use these pocket-sized devices to transform the way in which they interact with customers and employees.

Of particular note is what’s called “mobile information capture” — the ability to use cameras in mobile devices to capture and perfect images of documents. Critical information is automatically extracted from images and then passed into enterprise applications and repositories. This streamlining process can afford employees more time to focus on higher-value tasks such as customer service and education.

In a survey performed by the Association for Image and Information Management, 14 percent of respondents said that they considered mobile capture to be a “game changer” and 32 percent called it “very valuable.” When information is captured from a user as early as possible — at the point of origination — it enters an organization accurately and starts relevant processes faster, which allows companies to provide better customer service and close more business.

As one of the most document- intensive processes in financial services, the approval of a mortgage loan can increase overheard costs in terms of personnel hours and document handling. Costs can increase even more because of complications resulting from trailing documents that, if collected after the approval process has already begun, can slow some processes even further.

Advances in mortgage-processing automation now may provide a solution for many of these problems, as this technology can use information capture to take manual input and human error out of the process. With touchless processing, overhead costs and time delays often drop significantly. Lenders historically have invited applicants to visit a branch location to have supporting documentation scanned and captured. Now, however, mobile devices have put the power to capture documents and initiate a process right in the applicant’s pocket.

What does this mean for mortgage professionals? Mobile information capture enables lenders, brokers and borrowers to use cameras in smartphones and tablet computers to capture, perfect and extract relevant information from supporting documents and deliver it directly into the appropriate loan processes. For example, a borrower could capture an image of their driver’s license, W-2, pay stub and other supporting documents, and then that borrower can easily submit those forms to a lender through a mobile phone. For brokers, this technology means that they could visit the home of a senior couple who may not own a scanner and use mobile capture to initiate a reverse mortgage.

Mobile-capture apps can recognize and validate whether or not the document captured was in fact the one requested, saving even more processing time. Many of these applications offer a secure channel directly from the user to the lending process, which provides the transaction with a sense of visibility and chain of custody, eliminating security risks. Perhaps even more significantly, organizations can leverage the same devices already being used by customers and employees to integrate with existing infrastructures.

Many successful mortgage banks and brokerages already have invested in proven information-capture solutions that are hard at work increasing efficiency and lowering costs. Mobile capture simply extends that investment to engage the customer earlier and more effectively. Customer service becomes more responsive, processes are accelerated, exceptions are resolved faster and closing volumes increase — all to better grow your business.


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