Posted by MeridianLink | August 15, 2019

Introducing Intelligent Automation for Digital Lending

In fields like manufacturing, automation has long been a concept that readily spooked workers. The threat of automated machines and processes taking over their jobs, and thus sending factory workers the way of the farrier after automobiles were popularized, has caused a lot of anxiety. But in lending, automation shouldn’t be perceived as a threat to the workforce. Instead, it brings job security by enabling greater customer satisfaction and therefore, accelerated growth

That’s because in lending, instead of focusing on artificial intelligence (AI), which would simply nudge underwriters and loan processors aside, we should be integrating the powerful tools offered by IA: Intelligent Automation.

What Is Intelligent Automation?

Intelligent automation is the act of digitizing manual processes so that they are executed in an automatic, systemized, sophisticated way. Intelligent automation tools allow you to:

  • Automatically execute if/then rules
  • Improve efficiency and accuracy
  • Deliver a superior customer experience

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Automatically Execute If/Then Rules

Fast application approval and quick account opening are imperative to creating a positive customer experience, but many financial institutions hesitate to implement automated approvals, assuming that automation is only for basic credit review. When intelligence drives the automation, however, an institution can implement more nuanced if/then rules into the automated credit analysis and maintain more sophisticated underwriting processes. If, for example, an applicant has a FICO score that falls into a specified range, IA automatically pulls alternative data to help improve decision-making.

Improving Efficiency & Accuracy

Manual data entry is an everyday reality for too many institutions. In addition to being burdensome to staff, it’s a sure recipe for mistakes, especially as growth increases. IA enables a financial institution to scale while effectively, accurately and compliantly meeting customer expectations simultaneously with single-sign-on and pre-populated application features.

IA further facilitates streamlining and efficiency by transmitting the loan offer and stipulation requirements to the merchant or borrower electronically. IA can then pre-populate the whole loan package with correct forms for the lending channel.

Delivering on Shifting Customer Expectations

There’s no question that managing and maintaining customer relationships should make up the heart of your growth strategy. One of the best ways to increase the number of loans you’re closing is to do business in a way that is customer focused. And you can’t say your business is focused on customers if you aren’t actually enabling them to apply when and how they want and making sure that process is as painless as possible. With its flexible application entry, eSignatures and stipulation uploads, that’s one place where IA really shines.

For example, leaving the house to apply for a loan? Forget about it. According to a 2015 poll conducted by consulting and accounting firm PWC, more than 50% of all baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials surveyed preferred to apply for a loan, submit documents and sign documents online, and they want a process that’s easy and intuitive. Intelligent automation can help you deliver by eliminating faxing and letting consumers take a picture of their license and have it pre-populate the application.[1]

You can’t give customers the frictionless borrowing experience they expect when you have a process that doesn’t meet them where they want to do business, uses multiple software products, and heavily leans on manual processes. Using one consumer loan origination system (LOS) that provides IA customization capabilities to streamline the front and back-end loan process gives your employees the resources they need to deliver a unique, tailor-made borrower experience.

[1] PWC’s guide, “Understanding Today’s Empowered Borrower”

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