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Mortgage Apps Use AI, Crowd Sourcing Other Tech

Mortgage News

Mobile applications for banks and mortgage companies have ascended to new heights thanks to other technologies like crowd sourcing, digital concierge services and artificial intelligence. Lots of recent mobile research has been published.

Mobile Research
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission issued a report recommending that phone manufacturers do more to provide security updates faster. They should also communicate how long they will provide support for the devices.

The FTC determined its findings from information provided by eight mobile device manufacturers including Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Samsung Electronics America.

A survey of 500 consumers and more than 350 sales people by Ellie Mae Inc. found that while texting to customers can be useful, sales efforts can also be hurt by the wrong texting. Among the wrong reasons to text clients are sales promotions or special programs, wishing them a happy birthday, or just texting to say ‘hello.’

Ellie also found that as text communication rises, email communication diminishes.

Ellie’s findings were revealed just a few days after it announced a redesigned SMS texting functionality for its Velocify LeadManager. That service promises to help ensure sent texts are highly relevant, reach the right person and arrive at the right time. The bulk message feature for promotional messages seems to contradict Ellie’s survey findings.

Mobile Mortgage Applications
Digital Mortgage Experience was launched in April by Bank of America Corp. to guide prospective borrowers through the origination process. According to the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm, customers applying for a mortgage through the app will have many of the fields auto-populated.

A mobile operating system is being developed for loan originators by Movement Mortgage LLC through a crowd sourcing campaign, a June 14 statement said. Fort Mill, South Carolina-based Movement noted that 10 diverse technology firms were invited to participate in the eight-week project. The competitors presented prototypes at a event held last month. A spokesman said the judges’ decision will be announced next week.

Movement reported $13 billion in 2017 production and projects about the same level of originations for this year.

Also utilizing crowd sourcing is CMG Financial, which said its recently launched its HomeFundMe mobile application enables users to share updates and post pictures and videos from their phones, making down payment crowd funding more accessible and easier. CMG says that since it October 2017 launch, the program has generated more than $750,000 in down payment help.

A recent announcement from Mr. Cooper, the operating unit of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., unveiled its new mobile application, Home Intelligence. The app reportedly provides customers with insight into their  home’s value and the local market, promotes debt consolidation cashout loans and discusses how to payoff loans early.

“Mr. Cooper is excited to offer an industry-first digital solution that puts the home, rather than the loan, at the center and helps homeowners better understand how to use their home as an asset to strengthen their personal balance sheets,” Nationstar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Bray said in the statement. “The new Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence app is more than just a new mobile experience; it is a game changer for homeowners looking to get out of high-cost debt.”

Nationstar’s mobile app reportedly saw thousands of positive reviews during its first month. But an article from Thinknum Media questioned whether the reviews were organically generated.

“It’s unclear whether the mortgage services provider paid for the recent flurry of positive app reviews — the company couldn’t be reached for comment for this story — but the upward trend seems to suggest so,” the story states.

A mobile platform launched earlier this year by Caliber Home Loans Inc. is targeted at three user groups: borrowers, Caliber sales people and business associates. Caliber said one of three apps will provide real estate agents and builder sales agents with real-time statuses.

Loan servicer BSI Financial Services recently released a new mortgage app for borrowers to manage their accounts.

A $2 million round of seed capital financing was secured earlier this year by Streamloan. The San Francisco-based firm noted that while in-house mobile platforms are too complicated, costly and time consuming for all but the largest lenders — it’s technology will provide a white-label solution that can be up and running within 30 days.

Mobile Banking Applications
A survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers by Citigroup Inc. found that mobile banking applications were the most-used app with a 31 percent share. Banking apps only lagged social media (55 percent) and weather (33 percent) applications. The survey looked at participants’ two top-ranked responses.

Citi, which says its own customers’ mobile usage in North America soared 25 percent over the past year, said industry-wide mobile usage increased over the past year among 46 percent of those surveyed.

Wells Fargo & Co. said earlier this year that its mobile banking deposit process has been improved by a predictive banking feature. The technology gives customers a heads up about potential upcoming actions to their accounts.

Canada’s TD Bank Group, which is the parent of U.S. subsidiary TD Bank, said last month that it has added a mortgage concierge service to its mobile application.

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