A slate of digital upgrades being implemented by banks and lenders could streamline the way consumers access banking, mortgages and finance services as processes move online faster than ever before.
While the technology is being rolled out as a necessary response to consumer demand, the implementation of new digital platforms could continue to change the way we use bank services going forward, and make traditional services and processes redundant.
Existing technologies have forced banking institutions to stay relevant through digitisation, with digital payment platforms like Afterpay, Apple Pay and Google Pay outgrowing stale bank offerings like BPay and PayPal. Neobanks, banking institutions operating exclusively online and without any physical presence, are similarly leading the way in high-quality mobile banking apps with seamless interfaces, and proving increasingly popular with a younger demographic.
While all banks generally have some online presence many are moving to roll out additional technology, such as mobile apps or improved web interface. Bank of Queensland, a historically brick-and-mortar bank, recently revealed plans to digitise their product offering and services by establishing a digital bank through their Virgin Money brand. The dissemination of a cloud-based platform for customers is hoped to drive up share prices.
Aside from their online presence, banks are also looking to digitise aspects of their services, including parts of the lending process. The digitisation of identity verification, for example, could streamline lending applications, providing consistency and decreasing the need for physical capital such as branches.
Technology services provider NextGen revealed in December a new digital service to validate identification documents against government databases. The software, integrated into the company’s ApplyOnline application, is capable of immediately comparing a customer’s identity information against records from 22 government databases, eliminating lending wait times and digitising brokerage services.
Next Gen chief customer officer Tony Carn said that this new technology allowed lenders and brokers to reassess and update their in-person policies and ID check procedures.
“The big benefit for brokers is that they don’t need to source copies of these documents, and for lenders it means when they receive the loan, these documents don’t need to validated in-person,” he said*.
Is open banking next big thing in Australian lending?
Open banking is set to be the next big change in Australian banking. Open banking has already started in Australia and will allow consumers to request their data to be shared with other banks, financial institutions and authorised organisations. The Big Fours banks, which are CommBank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ, were asked to participate in open banking beta testing in August 2019.
Through open banking consumers can elect to share product data, customer data, account data and transaction data between institutions. This type of data sharing will make it easier for consumers to sign up for new products at a competing bank, or to feed data to budgeting software to help them categorise their money.
Open banking can allow consumers to make better and more informed choices about their financial needs and products, as well as increasing competition within the financial industry to drive the development of better products.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has pushed back the launch of open banking in Australia to July 2020, five months after it’s scheduled release.
Banking trends of the future
In their recent Bank of 2030: Transform Boldly research report, Deloitte outlined a set of key trends they predict will shape the future of the banking industry.
These trends include cyber risk and financial crime, data integrity and analytics, digital and emerging technologies, embracing digital transformation, enterprise agility, integration of human and digital workforce, leveraging of platforms and monetizing data, and deliberate ecosystem strategy.
According to Deloitte banks of the future will need to look to these key trends to integrate emerging technologies, remain flexible to adopt evolving business models, and keep customers at the centre of strategy to remain successful.
Real estate and technology
The real estate industry has similarly had to adapt in recent times to keep up with technological change. Leah Calnan, president of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, said that agencies were already investing in and trialling online platforms for property auctions**.
Similar technology can also be used to participate in remote property tours. While the emergence of PropTech (property technology) is underway, innovative real estate agents are already harnessing online streaming platforms such as Facebook Live and Facetime to conduct remote property inspections with prospective buyers. PropTech services such as RESO, an online sales platform, and Openn Negotiation, an online auction tool, are also streamlining the sales processes and allowing for real estate transactions to be conducted completely remotely.
Property technology is also proving effective at eliminating the need for physical paperwork and interactions. RealTime Agent is a digitised platform that allows real estate agents to obtain the authority of sale and share a contract of sale without the need for a physical document.
Words by Danielle Austin
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