by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Connexus : Issue 42
ADVERTORIAL Customer Channel Preference -- Are you ready for the seismic shi ? By Martyn Beer, Sandstone We might yearn for the days when consumers used to pick up the phone or walk into a branch to research, compare and 'purchase' nancial products, because at least we had a chance to convert them at the touch point. Now they can easily and far more efciently browse the internet to fnd and, now more than ever before, purchase a nancial product that suits their needs. With nancial institutions now o ering similar products and with promotional material able to be accessed by consumers at a click of a button, converting website browsers into customers is both a signi cant challenge and real-time opportunity for nancial institutions. There is a catch though: you have less than ten seconds' remaining attention span. So, if there is a difculty associated with di erentiating your product from your competitor, how can you win the battle for conversion? Providing a seamless transition to an online application process as part of the product ofering via your website would seem to be an answer. Why risk losing browsers to your competitors when you can simply take them o the market while they are in your web space? In a matter of minutes we can book an overseas holiday, do our weekly shopping, complete our tax return or locate our next home online. If that home came with a mortgage 'attached' and a simple click- through to an online application, why wouldn’t you spend the extra 10 minutes? If that application efort produced a real ‘Approval Subject To Verifcation’, why wouldn't you just keep going, especially if the nancier o ered to take the pain of changing lenders away from you? What prevents this from happening right now? Online loan applications are mostly like online deposit applications – forms-based. Hence many financial institutions are yet to be convinced that they should offer consumers a facility to apply for loan and deposit products via their website. Nobody can prove conclusively that consumers will organise their mortgages via the web. Twenty years ago, nobody thought mortgage margins would reduce below 3.75% or that brokers would account for 40% of mortgage business either, until some enterprising types did it. Those enterprising types with first mover advantage are now an integral part of the competitive landscape. Another question being asked is why has it taken so long for consumers to be convinced that applying for financial products online is as seamless and straight forward as other internet-based activities? At Sandstone we would contend that filling out a web form requesting every possible combination of data that an assessor needs to make an informed conditional offer after three days might just have something to do with it. If it takes a consumer about an hour to research, plan and book a multi- country overseas holiday, why would they spend hours applying for a loan with no immediate result? Our research tells us that they simply won't. In short, it’s a catch 22. Bankers see no evidence of it working and borrowers think the experience is rubbish. However, with the arrival of sophisticated electronic verifcation of ID, addresses and asset values, it’s entirely possible to deliver signifcant customer experience improvements while managing acquisition in a risk-controlled environment satisfying even the most conservative risk metrics. Even more exciting for lenders is the ability right now to provide direct-to- consumer access to the entire lending value chain, integrating with loan origination processes inside banks, which now makes the case for investing in direct-to-consumer mechanisms to sell lending products over the internet a compelling one. With signi cant cost reductions (you only deal with 100% qualifed borrowers), customer service improvements and approval time reductions on o er (the customer controls their own experience), it’s only a matter of time before online application facilities are as commonplace as internet banking solutions. I would urge lenders to consider the position of those previously mentioned frst movers – can you aford not to be one? Tedious, cumbersome and unintuitive online application processes leading to high abandonment rates and a rubbish customer experience are now a thing of the past. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, your direct to consumer channel needs to: • Be intuitive, guided and relevant – only ask for what you need! • Be interactive and provide instant feedback to users. • Enable electronic identifcation verifcation, addresses and asset values. • Provide appropriate levels of approval (‘Conditional’, ‘Subject to’ and ‘Full’). • Put the customer in control of their process. • Verify as much as possible in real-time. • Provide tools for customer choice and comply with NCCP. For more information on Sandstone's online banking and lending automation solutions, please visit www.sandstone.com.au 40 Connexus