Time for the mortgage industry to make it easier for the customer

For the lending and mortgage industry (and a few others), this revolution has been a long time coming!

It was a simple chat between two Dads at the school playground that led to a revolution for the mortgage industry.  

Why had no-one made it easy for customers to provide all the documents needed to support a mortgage application?

One Dad was a mortgage broker. The other Dad was a software developer who had applied for a mortgage and couldn’t understand why it was not made easier for him to provide the documents required. “That’s just the way it has always been done” was the answer, “and no-one is happy about it”.

From that single conversation ezidox™ was born.

This powerful yet simple platform allows lenders and brokers (“Collectors”) to specify exactly what documents they need from customers (“Senders”), including identification, bank statements and employment history, and allows customers to capture, provide and track exactly what is required in order to speed up the application process. By making it easy for the customer to understand what is required and track their progress, lenders and brokers are saving 50-90% of the time it used to take to collect the documents, check them, correct them, and chase the customer for any missing items.  What’s more, the customer is reporting a much better experience and everything is fully tracked for compliance and audit purposes.

The totally customisable customizable ezidox™ platform can be used for any other transaction that requires the collection of supporting documents from 3rd parties, including visa applications, employee on-boarding and HR management, annual compliance reporting, and customer complaints and claims to name a few.  It can be downloaded as a simple stand-alone app or fully integrated and branded with the look and feel of the Collector’s business.

We had a chat with ezidox™ CEO Geoff Kendall about why this product has been so ground breaking for the mortgage industry and beyond.

“Once we had the basic idea for ezidox™ we contacted the industry body (the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia) to get their view of whether it was something the industry needed. They acknowledged document collection was a widespread problem and helped us understand the way the industry worked so we could refine the solution.” said Geoff.

The big problem for lenders and brokers

“Traditionally, the list of documents required to support a loan application was specified from the top down. The banks told the aggregators what they required, and they told the brokers who then told the customers (who had no-one else to tell!). This put all the responsibility of gathering and supplying the documents on the customer, who usually just received an initial email with a long list of documents. It was all confusing and time consuming, with the usual result being that customers supplied documents in several chunks – some in paper form, others via mail and some shared in online folders.  It was just a mess.”

The net result was that the lenders and brokers then had to spend considerable time and effort checking, renaming and filing all this information so that it conformed with the original requirements. Following up clients for missing documents was a case of telephone or email tag and neither party was very happy about it.

Some brokers rely on Dropbox or other cloud document sharing tools to gather documents” says Geoff, “but these tools have no tracking or other process attached to them and, contrary to Australian regulations, store the customer’s confidential financial and other private documents on servers outside of Australia, which can be a major privacy concern.  It’s just a clunky process that doesn’t really make it easy for the customer to know exactly what is required by when.”

What makes ezidox™ so sought after?

“If you think about industry disruption, it usually occurs when the customer is offered a better solution through the use of technology. As in the case of Uber, once the customer was offered a better alternative to taxis via their smartphone, they started using it and punished the taxi industry for failing to put the customer first” says Geoff.

“The beauty of ezidox™ is that not only are you making it easier for the customer, you are getting the customer to do most of the work for the lender or broker,” explains Geoff, “and what’s more… they’re happy to do it!”.  The old adage of many hands make light work applies, so the lender/broker can now use the saved time to generate more business, or spend more time doing what they enjoy outside of work.

Those who already use ezidox™ are reporting savings of between 50-90% of the time previously taken to verify and process supporting documents. “If each mortgage application takes around 8 hours, that means 4 hours can be recovered.  That’s massive.  The old way of doing things is incredibly inefficient”, says Geoff, “and we are scratching our heads wondering why nobody solved this problem earlier.”

“Anyone who has to collect multiple documents from a 3rd party can really save time with ezidox™ by using templates to specify the documents they require, set when it is needed by and then sit back and wait for them to arrive.  ezidox™ can also push documents out to customers, such as terms & conditions and contracts that need signing.”

Geoff points out one more feature of ezidox™ that puts it head and shoulders above other document upload and delivery solutions. “The platform converts documents and photos into pdf scans, encrypts them for security, and stores them on a secure cloud server to give both parties 24/7 access with total transparency. What’s more, the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) function can be trained to find specific information and extract it digitally. We are constantly training it to become even more intuitive to save even more time and avoid double data entry.”

An award-winning platform

Being awarded Most Innovative Productivity Solution by Citi in its 2015 APAC Mobile Challenge against 2,000 other entrants was early validation for ezidox™ so the team knew that they were on the right track. In fact, it identified many other uses for ezidox™ beyond the mortgage industry.

“ezidox™ has very broad application across many industries and functions” explains Geoff, “it can easily be adapted to gather documents for employee onboarding, customer complaints, compliance, subcontractor management and by the wider professional services industry.”

“We started off focusing on the mortgage industry as a mortgage is a complex transaction that generates demand for a lot of documents. Since then we have discovered that there is a wider opportunity to simplify and speed up document collection as well as provide secure document storage.”

“Consider what would happen if a broker was asked to revisit a client transaction from several years ago,” says Geoff, “they would have to dig through their emails and filing cabinet and search for documents and correspondence from clients, guarantors, employers and other 3rd parties. Using ezidox™ keeps everything centralised and co-ordinated so showing exactly what was sent by who and when is very simple.”

Everybody wins

“Clients are happier thanks to the simplicity and support of ezidox™”, finishes Geoff, “Brokers are happier as they can save a lot of time and frustration as well as protect themselves in the case of an audit…and lenders are happier as they receive better quality documents that can speed up the approval process and increase their margins. That’s a Win/Win/Win for a few dollars per application”.

Want to know more! Visit www.ezidox.com

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