Fintech platform enables consumers to broker loans

by Julia Corderoy30 May 2016
A new fintech platform has launched which enables consumers to broker their own home loan online. 

The site, uno, claims it puts the consumer in the driver’s seat, giving them access to the tools and information that traditional brokers use to find a home loan, across a wide panel of lenders.

Uno also has its own home loan experts that provide advice to provide a “human element”, however, creator and CEO of uno, Vincent Turner, said they do not personally receive sales commissions.

“What uno provides, for the first time, is a chance for the consumer to be part of the process and see all of their personalised options,” Turner told Australian Broker.

“The platform allows you to save all of your searches as well as reach out to an uno home loan expert via chat, email or phone whenever you need to. That expert can join you wherever you are at in the process and help you through to completion, so it is not that there is no human element at all, just that the consumer can decide when he or she gets it as opposed to being completely reliant upon it.”

Turner said a need for transparency in the sector drove the creation of uno.

“We started life as financial services technology experts building adviser software for the mortgage industry. In 2011, we set off to Silicon Valley to learn how to build a consumer-facing and digitally-led service. Along the way, we realised that customers' interests were not always front and centre, to that brokers applied their own filters the rich information our technology, and people, made available. 
 
“To that point, the home loan experts that work for uno do not receive sales commissions. This is a big break from the way that traditional mortgage brokers operate. uno removes the filters and pre-decisions that some traditional brokers apply before making a recommendation to a home buyer. We offer full transparency and put the decision making power in the hands of the consumer.”

However, uno is not aiming to replace mortgage brokers. Turner told Australian Broker he believes there is room for both in the market.

“We think there is room for both. Traditional brokers are paid sales commissions and don’t usually offer consumers the opportunity or technology to be part of this transaction themselves. uno puts the consumer in the driving seat by offering access to a platform which allows them to be in complete control of their home loan,” he said.

“This is highly disruptive and we believe we can give customers greater access to what’s available as a result. For consumers who want a high-touch, hands-off approach, a traditional broker may be preferred, but we think many people would like to do it themselves if they had access to the right tools and information.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by MK 30/05/2016 4:03:48 PM

    Brokers don’t usually offer consumers the opportunity or technology to be part of the transaction themselves because that's what there are there for - to provide the expertise and advice to the client and do the work on their behalf so they don't have to do it all themselves, particularly the time-poor.

    I'm all for advances in technology, but a couple of concerns here:

    How qualified or regulated are these 'home loan experts' consumers can speak to, since they are not being paid commissions will they be outsourced call centre employees with no qualifications?

    The 'filters and pre-decisions' applied by brokers before making a recommendation are based on experience, the client's circumstances and the NCCP requirement that the product not be unsuitable to the borrower. How does this platform get around this requirement? Consumers may not be knowledgeable enough to know what a suitable solution for them is, particularly the more complex investors who are also looking for long term strategy.

    Lastly, I don't appreciate the wording on the website - "We cover a wide range of major lenders in Australia, which means you get to see what's really available out there - not just the handful a broker will show you". This is accusing brokers of holding back options from clients. We've worked too hard, particularly in an increasingly difficult regulatory environment to be accused of cutting corners.

  • by Annoyed Broker 31/05/2016 10:06:35 PM

    I agree with the other poster. Weve all worked too hard to be accused of holding back options.

    Besides, how can they show impartial results when they are 80% owned by Westpac?

  • by Annoyed consumer 24/06/2016 10:09:30 AM

    Annoyed Broker, where does it say they are 80% owner by Westpac?!?! I can't find it anywhere.

    If that's true, how can they justify this statement "Turner said a need for transparency in the sector drove the creation of uno" when there is no disclosure of this anywhere?
    How is that going to help consumers if one of the biggest banks owns majority of it? Biased much?