Maximising tech tools levels the playing field for Australian Military Bank

by Australian Broker10 May 2021

A key component of Australian Military Bank’s success in the broker market is its streamlining of key application documents and data capture with NextGen.Net’s industry-leading lodgement solution, ApplyOnline.

“When we first ventured into the broker market in 2015, we were doing almost everything manually,” recalls AMB’s Head of Broker Channel, Anup Munankarmi.

“Fast-forward six years and with NextGen.Net’s support we are now taking the entire application online, including all compliance requirements and all the supporting documents.

“ApplyOnline integrates seamlessly into our core system; and in reality, we’re now providing a one-stop shop for pretty much all the applicant’s details,” he says.

Member-owned AMB has 50,000 members across Australia. It is Australia’s longest-serving financial institution for those in the Defence community, but it’s open to everyone.

“We’re a niche bank supporting Australia’s Defence community. Defence is at the core of what we do at AMB. We’re one of only three banks in Australia that can off er subsidised loans to eligible Australian Defence Force personnel,” says Munankarmi.

“But while the majority of our loans are for current and former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families, we also work with members outside Defence and pride ourselves on maintaining a strong relationship with our members when they transition to civilian life.

“We’re also a participating lender in the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, which has attracted many non-Defence personnel to our business as we help a wider range of Australians achieve the dream of home ownership.”

By upgrading its ApplyOnline offering with the ‘Supporting Docs’ service and Compliance tab, AMB demonstrated its commitment to the broker channel to off er its home loan products in a quality and streamlined way.

In 2019, AMB activated NextGen.Net’s ‘Combined Industry Compliance’ tab into its ApplyOnline solution to bring the bank in line with other lenders and off er the standardised capture of responsible lending requirements expected by broker groups and brokers.

“The addition of the Compliance tab and Supporting Docs has seen a drastic reduction in the amount of rework on applications,” says Munankarmi.

In July and August 2020, AMB experienced considerable growth and correspondingly enabled scalability through the e ciencies offered by the Compliance tab and improved usage of the Supporting Documents service.

“AMB’s uplift of technology with NextGen enables them to compete with larger lenders and have all the e ciencies and tools that brokers need to seamlessly write a home loan,” says NextGen.Net Customer Account Manager Steven Hudson.

“From a regulatory perspective, they’re now live with the Compliance tab. That means brokers can complete all their regulatory requirements in an automated fashion. AMB is a great example of a smaller player harnessing technology to achieve substantial growth and successfully compete with the big players.”

AMB has also been working hard to reduce its reliance on printed material.

“Everything is online now apart from signatures, which are coming soon,” says Munankarmi.

“Our broker portal is a one-stop shop, containing all the required policy documents, calculators, as well as real-time SLAs!

“ApplyOnline enables us to track applications, improve our response times to brokers and manage SLAs, reduce rework on applications and communicate with our brokers via backchannel messages, which allows us to provide responses to the broker through a series of clicks in that platform.”

By optimising available tech tools, AMB has seen significant volume growth through the broker channel. Now that it has the facility to scale with these tools, it is looking to expand and incorporate additional broker groups.

“We are definitely looking to grow,” confirms Munankarmi.

“As demand for our niche has increased, we’ve increased our broker team to better serve our brokers. We’ve been approached by a number of new aggregators, so expect our presence to continue to expand. We want our products to be available to most brokers in Australia.

“We get regular updates from NextGen about enhancements to make the broker experience better, which is always front of mind for us. We strive for a 24-hour SLA and we have a team to do the pre-assessment work to make the whole experience for the broker a lot easier.”

Noting that AMB was an early adopter of ApplyOnline’s dynamic compliance solution, Hudson says he is also working closely with the bank, utilising NextGen.Net’s Industry Benchmark service “so they can see where they sit in respect to market standards and if necessary adopt further changes to reduce their time to yes”.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction providing plug and play access to tools for AMB. They always ensure that the right product is being suggested to the client, and our technology enables them to compete at the efficiency level of the big banks,” says Hudson.