Posted by MeridianLink | December 2, 2021

Digitize Fast or Die Slow: A Digital Lending Tragedy

In a digital economy, financial institutions (FIs) cannot afford to stay in the slow lane when it comes to offering comprehensive digital lending and account opening. The competition is fierce as digital-first lenders, non-banks, and other fintech companies target digital natives and other consumers with high expectations for digital experiences.

With less than half of banks and credit unions allowing end-to-end loan applications on a mobile device, now is the time to refocus and commit to improving digital service before your competitors beat you to it.

A Customer, Lost: How Digital Accessibility Drives Loyalty

We’ve reached the end of our journey with Diane, who wanted nothing more than an easy way to interact with her bank, open accounts, and apply for loans. Unfortunately, her experience with Big Little Bank to date has been lackluster and disappointing.

After jumping through all the hoops Big Little Bank had laid out — filling out a cumbersome application, printing it out, signing it, and emailing the signed copy back — Diane was still waiting for approval on her loan. After days of waiting on the response from the bank, she started exploring other options for her financial needs.

Diane also had accrued debt that she wanted to learn about consolidation options. Knowing that she would be taking out a personal loan, she wanted to see if there might be an easier, faster way to get from point A to point B. She felt lost and had no patience to sit through another lengthy application while also waiting to hear back about her first application.

She met her brother for lunch to learn more about his financial institution.

“Once they have you in the system, opening new accounts or applying for new loans is a breeze,” he said. “They use information they already have on hand to make the process super simple. The best part? You get an instant decision. I got approved for my personal loan immediately. I do all my banking with them now.”

It all seemed too good to be true. Anxious to see how quickly she could open a new account, Diane was about to excuse herself to go home and get started.

“Why don’t you just give it a try from your phone?” her brother insisted.

Within ten minutes, Diane was able to open a new checking account. All she ever wanted was a way to accelerate her life’s most important financial moments. This was it. She was sold.

Smarter Qualification. Faster Processing. Better Experiences.

Market expectations are shifting rapidly. FI customers and members expect truly comprehensive mobile experiences and the ability to engage with their financial institutions anytime, anywhere, on any device. It is no longer enough to support end-to-end functionality superficially; a company must provide its customers with a fully integrated, customized, and flexible experience—or risk losing them to the competition.

Financial institutions have reached a breaking point. New, digital-first entrants are gaining traction by putting the customer experience first and building a tech stack that serves this priority. Traditional banks and credit unions that do not address the following problems are at an immediate disadvantage:

  • Lack of transparency into the member profile
  • Inefficient loan application process
  • Silos within the loan departments leading to a lack of flexibility and staff that are underutilized
  • Ineffective cross-sell processes

MeridianLink One

This is where the MeridianLink One platform comes into play. It’s an all-in-one digital lending and deposit account opening platform that spans mortgage and consumer engagement and is powered by our breakthrough debt optimization technology.  

What does this mean in real terms? It means customers and members only have to interact with one system throughout the process. Our debt optimization feature makes it easy to present your customers with a lending specialist that can help them navigate between mortgage and consumer loans.

The process is streamlined on the back-end regardless of the loan or account opening type. Processing times are shortened and workflows are automated—from application acceptance through the disbursement of the loan and booking. System administration is seamless, freeing up resources to focus on other mission-critical tasks.

With MeridianLink One, you gain access to third-party vendors that help expedite processes and broaden your reach to additional customers. The result is more satisfied customers, more flexibility in cross-selling, and increased volumes.

With MeridianLink One, you can:

  • Purchase products separately or connect them to improve the overall buyer and loan officer experience
  • Empower your loan officers with the ease of viewing all member loans and applications
  • Boost your cross-sell opportunities by accessing all consumer and mortgage options available
  • Deepen your relationship with members by offering better rates and payment terms
  • Increase the speed to process a loan by accessing the largest network of third-party integrations
  • Easily access data across products using SSO between MeridianLink Consumer and MeridianLink Mortgage

Credit Union Testimonial

Don’t take our word for it. Here’s what one customer had to say:

Pathways has been making strategic changes to its overall management setup in order to better leverage the solutions coming from MeridianLink. We see the integration of the MeridianLink Consumer and MeridianLink Mortgage products as a game-changer to provide a holistic approach to lending and account opening for our memberships. We are expecting to have an improved member experience from start to finish with the ability for a member to do a mortgage, consumer, or a new account opening all at one time. The benefit to Pathways is that we will see increased share of wallet for each member as well as higher yields and better overall loan production. We see this as a win for us because we can generate more volume and increase our overall loan production in the 21st century.

–Pathways Federal Credit Union

Diane’s Journey Ends – What about Yours?

There are hundreds or thousands of people like Diane in your database. The question is whether or not they are having the Big Little Bank experience or a truly digital, truly exceptional customer experience. If you haven’t yet digitized your customer journey, what are you waiting for?

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