Posted by MeridianLink | January 6, 2020

Meet Your Borrowers Where They Are with an Omnichannel Experience

Go to any mall parking lot in the days before a major holiday and you’ll quickly realize that retail isn’t quite dead. Although we’ve been warned about retail’s imminent demise for some time, the truth is that there are some occasions for which shoppers prefer to conduct business in person rather than online.

This is also true in lending. According to a 2016 study by Nielsen, 45% of North American consumers used a mobile device to check on a balance or transaction, but only 23% had used a mobile device to deposit a check.[1]

Need more proof that brick-and-mortar branches are still popular? A McKinsey survey from 2017 shows that 56% of U.S. banking customers were willing to purchase a product digitally, yet only 13% of them had done so in the past two years.[2]

Retail banking isn’t dead. Digital banking is popular. Both of these statements are true—and that means financial institutions need to start evaluating the quality of their omnichannel presence.

Summarizing the Ideal Omnichannel Experience

When you take a borrower-focused approach to developing your omnichannel platforms, it means that you deliver a frictionless borrower experience, allowing users to seamlessly merge through devices and locations to complete a single transaction. The ideal omnichannel experience allows a borrower to start a credit application on their tablet, upload pictures of stips from their cell phone, and finish their application in a local branch—all without a hitch.

Ultimately, the ideal omnichannel experience is about complete personalization and engagement over multiple channels, devices and times. How can you provide all this? By using a loan origination system (LOS) that can automatically access core system and third-party data, eliminate silos and integrate data throughout each aspect of a transaction. Without an omnichannel LOS, you cannot always meet borrowers where they want to do business.

How Your LOS Can Help

The foundation of a customer-focused omnichannel experience is found in an LOS that’s been designed from the ground up to support a multichannel process. Some of the many ways an LOS can specifically cultivate a frictionless omnichannel experience include:

  • Enabling your institution to do business anywhere and anytime. An omnichannel LOS enables you do meet tech-savvy customers online, while also enabling traditional borrowers to enter the branch to fill out an application.
  • Connecting with your core and partners: To get streamlined features such as prefilled applications, your LOS needs to be capable of a real-time connection to your institution’s core system. It also needs to immediately access third-party partners for fraud prevention, risk mitigation, scoring models and more.
  • Facilitating a digital branch: Your LOS should enable you to have a branded digital branch that helps fulfill high customer expectations across all channels and should also feature responsive designs that adjust to all screen sizes and devices.
  • Letting you control changes: If you have to wait for IT to adjust processes and rules or to add third-party connections, then there’s no way the experience can be frictionless. An LOS with an open API and full configurability without IT resources ensures you’re ready to connect to any third party and respond to trends as they become apparent.

Lending institutions that want to stay relevant need to cater to the preferences of a broad swath of borrowers. It’s not enough to have great digital access and no brick-and-mortar branches. Yet it’s also not acceptable to only have a brick-and-mortar option for borrowers and no online or mobile presence. If you want to meet your borrowers where they are, you have to at least show up in the right places—and that means you need an LOS that can fully support your omnichannel approach.

[1] Nielsen Mobile Money Guide

[2] McKinsey’s guide, “Rewriting the rules: Succeeding in the new retail banking landscape”

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