Overcoming Fintech Hurdles

Earlier this month at the CMBA Mortgage Innovators Conference, held in San Diego, Mortgage Media spoke with many industry leaders and visionaries about a wide range of topics related to fintech and innovation.

Here’s what some of them had to say about the biggest challenges to implementing fintech and overcoming the hurdles:

It’s really easy to take a simple process and make it complicated. It’s even easier to take a complicated process like mortgage manufacturing, and make that complicated. I think the biggest thing is to try to keep things as simple as possible and maintain that laser focus on simplicity, and then continue to iterate as you go along and eventually ended up at a perfect process. But yeah, it’s really easy to over complicate things. – Hans Dumayag, Vice President of Enterprise Innovation and Digital Strategy at loanDepot

Nobody knows how to implement anything. And what that means is that everyone’s doing it so drastically different. It’s a process that should be somewhat static to a certain extent. Both sides of mortgage, the originator as well as the actual technology, whatever type of company that may be, must have an implementation plan. – AJ George, Chief Administrative Officer, CMG Financial 

It’s a challenge as a result of the technology and that’s change and change management. For those organizations that truly want to change themselves, we’re just an enabler to allow them to change effectively. Where we find a challenge with some of our customers are people who think that we’re the end all and be all solution to their problems and they don’t implement any change management and that can be around processing, underwriting, all the downstream effects that go on after submission of an application. 

It’s difficult for individuals to do and it’s difficult to do at scale to do that at the organizational level, across divisions, across groups, across many, many people. You really need to have a growth mindset and be adaptable and flexible. So I think one of the biggest challenges is not selecting your vendor, not doing the integrations associated with the implementation or things like that. Not traditional technology challenges. Really around change and change management. – Brian Martin, Head of Business Development and Partnerships, Blend

The mortgage industry in general, adapting fintech, is going through its life cycle today, where similar to other industries, it starts with customer experience on the front end, but the journey doesn’t end there. It has to go through its closing, and servicing as well. As folks are getting acquainted to LOS, POS, and other tools available on the front end, the adaptation has been slow, only because obviously, change is not well accepted quickly, especially in an industry like mortgage industry.

However, with the challenges the industry has been facing with volatility in the markets, margins getting compressed, profitability becoming an issue, embracing technology has allowed players in the industry to, not necessarily show up at a gunfight with a knife. You need better tools, and those tools today are technology. And technology, from the front end to the middleware to the end, is basically facilitating that. – Ike Suri, Chairman and CEO,  FundingShield

I think the biggest problem today is with data. So, in the mortgage industry, you have a lot of people checking the checker, checking the checker, checking the checker. There’s a lot of manual filling in of data. It starts from the application process all the way through. And there’s multiple gateways and checkpoints that is basically checking the work that was done before. If we could eliminate that and we could have validated data and services up front that is taken all the way through and integrated and communicated with all the players in the ecosystem, it would remove huge amounts of redundancies and dependencies that we currently have. So I think the, other pieces that come in, whether it’s AIML or blockchain or robotic process automation, it’s in improving the fulfillment process and cost reduction. That’s definitely a first step that has to be taken. – Mohammad Rashid, Head of Consumer Lending, Tavant. 

The biggest challenge we see is that sometimes the goals of the organization are not always aligned with the goals of the individual loan officer. Right? The loan officer’s goals are, many times, in many cases, short term focus. They want to lead versus the goals of the organization might be branding and exposure. How do you combine both of those? And that’s where I think we have a really interesting approach because through our strategies, we’re getting the mortgage company, the brand, tremendous exposure and through our follow-on strategies, the loan officer is, in addition to getting the branding and exposure, also has the opportunity to connect to people and actually generate business. – Sanjay Kutemperoor, Founder and CEO, Wiki Realty

One of the challenges that I think sometimes customers face is they may gloss over things. Like for instance, if you’re selling a POS and you say, “I can completely transfer information from my POS to your LOS,” is that if you get a credit report in the POS, is that all the data or just the summary data? So if you need all of the data, now are you going to have to pay your people to go look in two places or rekey information, which is certainly not the benefit of the productivity. – Will Vickers, Vice President, Arch Mortgage Insurance Company