We break down the shifts

The legacy of COVID-19 will be the digitisation of business. It has forced us all to accelerate our digital plans and to look at ways of operating remotely. So, let’s see how this changes the way we might work together in a post-COVID world: 

1. Digitalisation is here to stay.

We will continue to move away from paper and to online systems and processes. Interviews will move online, clients will enter data directly into online systems and clients will sign electronically.

Lenders are moving fast looking at solutions that would have been years away were it not for COVID including digital signatures on documents, electronic verification of identity and automated analysis of a client’s living expenses.

This transformation will create better customer experiences, better compliance with legislation and more efficiency.

2. Australians will stop using cash.

The longer this crisis goes on the less likely it is that we will return to paper. That means that automated bank statement analysis becomes more accurate, as too will be the systems that are being designed by aggregators to ensure I can comply with responsible lending. This should produce better compliance, more transparency for regulators and better outcomes for clients.

3. Clients will want ‘digitally assisted mortgages’ not ‘digital mortgages’.

Whilst I’m sure good online businesses will grow – there is no doubt that more clients will want to deal with a local expert who has access to great technology like I do. As technology is further adopted throughout the industry the real differentiator will be knowledge, experience and customer service. Technology won’t replace what I do – it will just enable me to do it faster and more efficiently, so I can spend more time helping customers.

4. Turnaround times will improve for digitally-enabled brokers like me.

COVID-19 has highlighted that legacy technologies and policies are significant inhibitors for lenders when processing home loans. With multiple handoffs and significant human input required, the speed of approving a loan has changed little over the last decade. Whilst lenders are already looking at transforming this space, the necessity to expedite this is apparent, particularly with the emergence of several neo-banks.

5. The government will make it easier for brokers and customers to work together online.

There still needs to be some government legislation to support this shift – already we have seen the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) allow electronic VOI. The government in QLD, WA, NT and the ACT will do away with the need to get mortgage documents witnessed as has happened in SA, VIC and now NSW.