Online home loan marketplace HashChing has announced they are set to pilot their new virtual identification system this weekend.
The technology will allow brokers on the HashChing platform to scan their clients' faces via video call, along with a picture of their driver's license or passport.
Speaking to Australian Broker, HashChing co-founder and CEO Mandeep Sodhi said they partnered exclusively with South African company e4 International to develop the groundbreaking new technology.
“We didn’t develop the system from scratch,” said Sodhi. “They actually built the system for a South African tier one bank. So we liked the technology, but we had to adapt it to the Australian environment which is why we got involved three months ago and then it took us three months to bring it live.
“No one does (VOI) virtually as in the video call where you can do the biometric check – we are the first one in Australia where, with e4, a mortgage broker can start a call from a dashboard and that video call will do the biometric check.”
The recorded video will also be held on HashChing’s server for seven years in case a broker is audited by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The new system will dramatically speed up turnaround times and decrease processing costs, Sodhi said. Currently it can take one to a few weeks for brokers to validate their customers' identities.
“The reason being, consumers are busy,” he said. “They tell them to go to a branch or Australia Post, well consumers during the working hours, they are also busy.
“We’re saying that it will cut at least one week of your time because it’s instant.
“It’s as quick as someone starting a video call and saying to the consumer, ‘we know you’re at your home, let’s start the call now. I don’t need to send you to a branch anymore, I don’t need to send you to an Australia Post anymore and guess what, you don’t have to wait for a week now to be identified. Let’s identify you right now, 24/7.’”
Although they haven’t decided on pricing yet, he said “we will come up with a significantly lower price for lenders and the brokers so that we can get this technology used by the brokers quickly.
“In the current VOI process, sometimes the lenders pay for it and sometimes the brokers pay for it. In this process, HashChing gives them the facility.”
The pilot includes 150 selected brokers and will extend over a few months before HashChing rolls it out to all brokers on their platform.
Sodhi said the reaction they have seen from brokers is one of excitement, given how much time they will save using the new technology.
“Of course, the barrier was a geographical barrier as well – brokers can only go to certain places to verify customers. With this process it should speed up the whole thing.
“We want to say to brokers, 'don’t just see us as a lead generation platform anymore. We provide you good quality leads but we also provide you tools so that you can actually convert those leads.’ We’re separating ourselves from all of the lead generation platforms out there.”
HashChing is also lining up meetings with banks to detail the system to them and work collaboratively moving forward.
“We don’t see banks as competitors,” Sodhi told Australian Broker. “Basically we’re presenting the solution to them saying, 'we don’t want the solution exclusive just to HashChing. We want you to use it as well’. Of course, we have the exclusivity in the start-up world, that the company cannot work with any other start-ups but we are promoting this virtual VOI solution to the banks, so they understand it, they on-board it and let’s work collaboratively.
“We need to shake up this industry a bit - we’re very behind other countries when it comes to mortgages.”