Residential Magazine

Password Fatigue Is More than a Minor Hassle

A growing number of apps, often with separate logins, complicates everyday tasks

By Amit Ghole

A scammer recently called an elderly woman and said he had all her passwords. She quickly ran to her office, grabbed a pen and paper and told the scammer — “Thank God, what are they?”

The test to become a mortgage originator is extremely hard. It is so challenging that on the first attempt just 56% pass the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System exam. At a minimum, one must have a good memory and understand how to apply the information.

As soon as you overcome this obstacle and secure a job, you are provided with a collection of software programs to do your work. You are given a login, hopefully just one, but probably not because it takes many different technologies in 2024 to be competitive in the mortgage industry.

Some companies employ single sign-on, an authentication method that enables users to securely use multiple-related applications and websites by employing just one set of credentials. Many mortgage originators are forced to remember a lot of logins and passwords.

The average desk worker last year used 11 applications to complete tasks, up from six in 2019, according to a 2023 Gartner report. You can bet that mortgage originators average more than a baker’s dozen. Because of the sensitive nature of the managed information, the passwords usually need to be reset monthly or quarterly. This is beyond simply annoying. It is almost impossible to track.

Technological barrier

All of this makes one wonder if the login may be one of the most significant barriers to adopting technology. Sixty percent of workers said new software had occasionally or frequently frustrated them within the past 24 months, according to an earlier Gartner survey.

That explains new technology, but what about the current technology that mortgage professionals are already using? Customer relationship management or loan origination software are essential tools for any mortgage originator but are often underutilized. Could it be because logging in is too great an obstacle? Surely this isn’t the sole reason, but just in case — let’s go over three ways to remove this barrier and improve technology adoption in the mortgage industry.

First, there is single sign-on. Many mortgage lenders may use this, but many do not. This is a way to authenticate users on multiple technologies or platforms using the same credentials. Many technologies offer single sign-on, but it isn’t being utilized. Check with your vendors to see if they offer this service or if they plan to provide it soon. If you are not using it, discuss how this method can be implemented across your company to create convenience for the staff that must sign onto multiple technologies daily to complete their jobs.

Another way of handling passwords is what is called low login software. Technology and software companies are becoming more sophisticated in their approach to logging into their applications. Individuals may use Google or some password-saving technology to keep up with all the required passwords and usernames, but some technologies use alternative methods to gain access.

There is a big difference between retrieving information from software and the software serving the information. Many technologies can provide their service outside of their application without traditionally logging in. This is done through Google applications, mobile applications, widgets, email and several other delivery methods. Discussing the access strategy with your current and future technology providers is important to understand the workflow and how they analyze its usability.

Last is an end-to-end solution. The term end-to-end in the mortgage industry can cover many different areas of workflows. Technology companies are working to provide solutions with every feature that a mortgage lender would need to run their business, including point of sale or loan origination software and customer relationship management software.

In addition, technology companies often acquire other technology companies to provide more solutions within their primary functionality. The idea is that originators would function inside a single portal that allows them to manage their prospects and active loans going through the process. Ultimately, this would provide considerable convenience and increased efficiencies for originators, and it may reduce technology needs and overall costs.

Potential reset

“Password” is still a very popular password, ranking No. 4 on a list, according to mobile security company Lookout. (The most popular was “123456” followed by “123456789” and then “Qwerty.”) Technology adoption is a challenge in the mortgage industry.

Many believe technology is the future, and Generation Z is the most technologically astute demographic in the history of the world. There are likely many more considerations to make before technology adoption is completely optimized in the mortgage industry. Still, the little things do matter. They sometimes stop people from doing important things that could improve their lives.

Another 90 days will pass, and mortgage originators will all be forced to reset their passwords again. To do so, these originators must remember their old ones. If the staff is flipping through their notebooks, or your IT guy is on overdrive helping everyone get logged into their software, maybe it’s worth exploring further. ●


  • Amit Ghole

    Amit Ghole serves as CEO of Inflooens, a pioneering end-to-end digital mortgage framework centered around customer and employee experience. Built on the Salesforce platform, Inflooens delivers a unified, single-pane user interface for seamless collaboration across the loan origination process. Ghole live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Prior to founding Inflooens, he held leadership roles in heading Salesforce business units at major global IT service providers, catering to Fortune 500 clients. Reach Ghole at (678) 983-6602.

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