New social network for finance could transform the mortgage industry

by Julia Corderoy23 Jun 2015
A new social network for finance, which allows consumers to discuss and compare home loans, could be a game changer for the mortgage and finance industry. 

dfinanz.com, launched three weeks ago, connects financial consumers by giving them a platform to share insights, ask questions and compare financial products with each other.   

“There are two components to the social network. The first one is the ability to post content, ask questions and share insights – and that is done through the traditional social network framework which is quite similar to Facebook,” founder of dfinanz.com, Peter Coco told Australian Broker.

“The second component is the ‘fair rate movement’, where we operate the ‘fair rate list’… It provides people with the ability to signal to each other and signal to their providers rates at which they are prepared to make a decision around whether they refinance or not.”

The ‘fair rate list’ is a centralised database compiled by users submitting details about their mortgage – such as bank, loan size, current interest rate and they rate they are seeking to pay. According to Coco, allowing consumers to compare their mortgages using the fair rate list provides them with a reference point of where the market might be. It is also completely free, completely anonymous and completely free of obligation to all financial consumers.

Coco, who has a 20 years’ experience working in financial markets at large institutions, including NAB, told Australian Broker that the idea to launch dfinanz came from a desire to create transparency and clarity.  

“My professional background is financial markets. It is one of those things where I can sit on a trading desk and I can obtain at any second in time where LIBOR in England is trading, but then for me to get information about what a fair interest rate on a home loan is, I have got to go wading through rubbish. 

“So I put together a team and thought let’s just build this thing and take some of the transparency that you do find in financial markets and take it across into this area of finance.”

Whilst dfinanz, like mortgage brokers, might be transforming the mortgage relationship and moving the discussion away from a one-on-one between consumers and banks, Coco told Australian Broker that he does not see themselves as a competitor to brokers.

“We are not a competitor for brokers. Brokers over the last 20 years have added a great deal of value to the system. They have managed to bring that price intention into the equation between the banks, which didn’t exist prior to the brokers coming on the scene. So they’ve added a great deal of value there. 

“But brokers also provide that sort of personal relationship and advice piece that some people need.  We respect that and we appreciate what they do. We are a social network for finance so we just try and provide a framework where people can interact with each other and assist each other.”

When asked whether dfinanz had any plans to partner with the broker channel, Coco said it is too early to tell, as their main priority currently is to focus on building the network, but he did not rule the opportunity out.
 

COMMENTS

  • by Andrew Hill 23/06/2015 9:05:55 AM

    In my experience the average consumer chasing rate doesn't consider things like LMI, valuations, features, individual circumstances, elligibility etc.

    Aussies love giveing eachother advice at BBQs and this platform will intensify that.

    I would love to talk to other brokers about the mechanics of the internal combustion engine and so I will set up a page and because we all know what an engine is - right? Surely we can all debate the benefits of bigger bits and pieces and then go an see if we can get those affixed to our vehicles by a professional only to be told that a V8 motor will not fit in a Prias.

    Why do I need to be licensed and do hours of ongoing CPD for consumers to be given a platform to advise each other.

  • by Papery 23/06/2015 1:09:02 PM

    Jut another site for Bank bashers, the haters & those that peddle mis-information....not to mention the odd scam artist!

  • by Michael Kent 23/06/2015 3:09:17 PM

    I don't see the point!

    To me it just looks like a web site for the public to vent. The consumer puts down details of the loan amount, the lender, the rate they got and the rate they think is fair.

    One punter has put down a $110k loan through CBA where they are on 4.99% and they think 3.5% is fair! Dream on!

    What will this web site achieve exactly? Do they really think CBA will turn around and say "oh gee yes you're right 3.5% is a much fairer rate".