Digital innovation drives Macquarie forward

by Antony Field16 Nov 2021

Tier-one lender Macquarie Bank is investing in technology to deliver a seamless,  industry-leading service to brokers and their clients. Australian Broker caught up with head of broker sales Wendy Brown to find out more.

Lenders that don’t have top-quality technology platforms will soon be left behind by their competitors.
But there’s no danger of that happening at Macquarie Bank, as the tier-one lender invests heavily in creating first-class digital tools for brokers and their clients.

“At Macquarie, we believe the future is in highly personalised, more ‘human’ technology that ultimately helps customers to intuitively manage their money, including their home loan,” says Wendy Brown, head of broker sales.

As a digitally led bank, Macquarie’s focus is on empowering customers to achieve their financial goals by offering them innovative digital solutions and personalised experiences.

“We believe we’re well positioned to capitalise on both the innovation and digitisation driving rapid change in our industry to continue delivering a highly competitive home loan experience that resonates with brokers and their clients, now and into the future,” says Brown.

“We’ve made significant investments in our technology and platforms over recent years to ultimately transform the approval process and deliver market-leading turnaround times.

“It’s about giving our broker partners confidence and transparency, because it not only makes us easier to do business with but also provides great outcomes for their clients.”

Innovative technology

Brown says Macquarie is continuing to invest in its digital capabilities.

“We knew that launching a broker portal was an important next step in our digital journey and a natural extension of the first-class service we’re already offering our broker partners.

“We’ve designed the portal based entirely on broker feedback and worked very closely with brokers every step of the way to ensure we were delivering something that would empower them in providing an exceptional experience to their clients. We’re continuing to work hard to enhance the portal experience and add new features, and we’re excited for what’s to come over the coming months.”

The new Broker Portal gives brokers access to in-flight loan application tracking as well as existing client details, providing brokers with the important information they need to own every client interaction.

“As a committed partner to the broker channel, we place huge importance on the feedback we get from our broker partners, so we’ll continue to listen to what matters most to them and design our digital tools with their needs and those of their clients at the centre,” Brown says.

Macquarie is also launching its Broker Help Centre – a dedicated website featuring the most commonly asked questions and answers, which is designed to support brokers using the bank’s products and platform.

“This is an evolution of our existing Client Help Centre, a great online tool to provide clients with fast answers to their questions over the life of the loan. It frees brokers up to spend more time on the things that are important to them and their businesses.”

Brown says Macquarie regards its award-winning digital tools as an extension of its overall service proposition, which is all about making brokers’ lives easier.

The bank also knows how important turnaround times are in providing clarity and certainty during the home loan process.

“The significant investments we’ve made in our technology and platforms over the years have enabled us to transform the approval process and deliver a seamless, industry-leading home loan experience.

“It gives our broker partners confidence knowing that when they submit a home loan application to us with all of the required documents, they’ll receive a very fast response, usually within a matter of hours. We get great feedback from our broker partners, who are always thrilled to be able to let their clients know an answer so quickly.

“By providing this transparency and certainty, we’re making it easier to do business with us, while building long-standing, rewarding relationships with our broker partners.”

Macquarie’s investment in technology benefits its customers too.

“We’re also very focused on delivering an exceptional digital experience for brokers’ clients, one that extends well beyond the application and formal approval stage of the home loan journey.

“Thanks to our award-winning mobile application and online banking platform, clients can easily and securely manage their money while receiving the benefits of world-class security features like our Macquarie Authenticator app.”

The Macquarie Authenticator security app is the first of its kind in Australian banking, says Brown.

“It provides an extra layer of security and real-time control for your clients to approve or deny transactions and account changes using actionable push notifications.”

Future tech improvements

“We know that factors like innovation and digitisation are driving rapid change in our industry, just as they’ve already done across every aspect of people’s lives,” Brown says.

She points out that customers want highly personalised experiences, which they already have in their daily lives, and now they expect it from their banks too.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two of the biggest innovations in technology. We’re excited about using these technologies to enhance our offerings to clients.”

Data also plays a huge part in developing highly personalised experiences, and it will shape the future of the home loan industry.

“The continuous flow of data between systems or use of APIs will be another way in which we can deliver on our commitment to brokers in providing transparency and fast turnaround times.”

The COVID-19 effect

Macquarie adapted well to the pandemic and brought in new tools to help brokers, says Brown.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, it was crucial not only for us to ensure our clients and broker partners felt supported, but to adapt quickly so we could continue providing uninterrupted service and communication during this time.”

Brown says feedback has always been central to how Macquarie does business, “and we knew it was more important than ever when our people moved to more remote ways of working”.

“We’ve continued to listen carefully to our broker partners and action their feedback, all with a view to making it easier to do business with us and providing even more transparency during the home loan application process.”

Macquarie introduced a range of digital enhancements based on this feedback, including the ability for eligible clients and brokers to electronically sign the National Mortgage Form via DocuSign.

It also updated its VOI policy to allow video calls between brokers and their clients for identification purposes, made changes to increase the accessibility of online credit policy guidelines, and enabled new and improved backchannel messages.

“We’ve been investing in our platform and technology for many years, so these enhancements complement the suite of existing digital solutions we embedded well before COVID-19.

“DocuSign, ZipID and free, upfront CCR reports and valuations were embraced like never before, and they helped give brokers ever-greater confidence and convenience when submitting loans to us.”

Home loan boom

Macquarie is pleased with the growth in its home loan portfolio in recent years, says Brown.

“We’re now seeing the benefit of significant investments in our mortgage platform, our market-leading product and turnaround times, and our strong relationships with brokers. 

“We see ourselves as a tier-one lender, so we’re always focused on creating and delivering exceptional experiences.”

Brown says the bank is proud of its award-winning digital banking experience and industry-leading security features such as Macquarie Authenticator.

“We’re doing everything we can to deliver an even better digital experience for brokers, and the Broker Portal and dedicated Broker Help Centre is the result of many months of hard work and close collaboration with our broker partners.

“We’ll continue to enhance and evolve this digital offering to meet their ongoing needs and expectations.”