Let’s bring lending into the 2020s
For most of history, lending was a face-to-face activity. The need to exchange physical money, and to establish personal trust, made lending a hands-on, eyeball to eyeball kind of business.
It seems a world away from today’s lending market.
Today, money and documents can be transmitted across the globe in the blink of an eye. We live in the high-tech, fast-moving digital age of virtual reality and cloud computing. It’s like something out of… well, The Matrix.
Did you realise The Matrix came out more than 20 years ago?
Technology is great, but I can’t be the only person in this business who sometimes feels a little frustrated at the slow pace of change. While it’s fantastic that Keanu Reeves will soon be able to have his senior citizen’s bus pass on his iPhone, most of the technology we use today would not have been out of place in the 1990s. Given that we’re always talking about how this or that industry is undergoing ‘digital transformation’, it’s surprising how little impact innovation has had on lending.
Maybe this is because there’s no need for innovation. Is the technology we currently use in the lending business simply as good as it can be? Have we achieved perfection? Well, no.
And here are three reasons why.
1. Email is so last century
These days, we all take email for granted. But might we be too at ease with it? It’s been great to move us off dependence on paper forms, and it’s pretty much instant. But is it secure? Not at all. And is it truly convenient? Not when you have a cluttered inbox and you can’t remember which of the multiple emails concerning a particular deal or transaction has the information you actually need. The fact is email was never built for regulated services and has numerous downsides.
2. Exciting things are on the horizon
The emergence of a whole fintech industry means some of the smartest minds on the planet are working on new and better ways of doing things. The most forward-looking brokers can now buy off-the-shelf applications – often on a Software-as-a-Service basis – rather than having to invest their own time and money. The future is a much more connected services landscape, and a better regulated one, which means standards will be raised in terms of security as well as convenience – and email likely consigned to the past as far as lending is concerned.
3. The next big thing is already here
Nivo’s own platform runs on the smart phones we all now carry in our pockets. Because in many ways, the technology teenagers use to chat and share memes is more secure than the systems most lenders still use to arrange mortgages. Think about that! It allows for secure, instant messaging and filesharing – and that’s basically all you need to arrange and manage loans and mortgages conveniently and with complete peace of mind. Secure instant messaging completely removes paper, post, and email from lending processes, which means it has enormous potential to improve our industry.
For Nivo, discovering the potential of messaging as a secure channel that removes the barriers traditional technology throws up between lenders, brokers and solicitors really has been a game changer. Who knows what other innovations will emerge when the lending business as a whole realises we don’t have to settle for the tech we’ve all got used to?