Building on its reputation for delivering quality service, Newcastle Permanent has introduced a suite of ApplyOnline digital tools to help boost application quality and enable the lender to fast-track applications.
“We’re implementing a broker loan processing fast lane through ApplyOnline,” says Newcastle Permanent Acting Head of Digital Customer Experience and Innovation Simon Burt.
In contrast to the traditional approach of rewarding brokers who lodge the highest number of deals, Burt says, “the number of loans you submit doesn’t matter; if you do a good job, and submit a complete application, we will use ApplyOnline to identify that quality and process those loans ahead of those applications that are incomplete”.
“We have a focus on forming really strong partnerships with brokers who are wanting to send us quality business,” says Burt.
“Brokers using the entire suite of ApplyOnline’s technology tools are absolutely at an advantage in working with us, given the assurances and efficiencies it provides. Features such as
‘Supporting Docs’, the checklist within ApplyOnline, the Document Verification Service and ‘eSign’ allow us to fast-track the processing of loans and build good, trusted relationships.
“In our experience, where brokers don’t use the tools, it often results in follow-up requests that can lead to days of inefficient reworking, which can then slow down the process for customers, brokers and our broker teams.
“We want to encourage brokers to use all the ApplyOnline tools available to them.”
Newcastle Permanent’s modus operandi is predicated on NextGen.Net technology enabling it to compete on a level playing field, Burt points out.
“From a technology perspective, we can genuinely compete with the major banks. They might have a lot more to invest in technology, but through NextGen we are able to have a leading proposition,” he says.
Recently, Newcastle Permanent signed an MOU with Greater Bank to explore uniting the two locally grown organisations through a merger to create one of Australia’s largest customer-owned banks, serving a combined customer base of approximately 600,000.
The merger will increase their ability to invest in new technologies and enhancements to the services offered to customers and partners, which will ultimately benefit brokers.
“Our size means we are small enough to make changes quickly, and big enough to have enough money to do it,” says Burt.
“For example, we’ve been one of the first lenders, apart from the fintechs, to deliver digital signatures on home loans end to end. We use ApplyOnline eSign at the application stage, and DocuSign is implemented for the mortgage and loan agreement, as well as for variations.
“Technology is important. So, too, is the human element,” Burt emphasises. “Our focus is on our people and relationships. Our BDMs are known as some of the best in the business.
“We use technology to make it easy for the broker to take out the pain points and deliver us a quality application so the process can be streamlined and quick. Relationships are a key aspect of that equation.”
Newcastle Permanent is expanding what it does with NextGen.Net, and Burt underscores the significance of this relationship.
“I see NextGen as a partner versus just a software company. We align very closely with them,” he says. “We tell them what we want to do and how we want to change and evolve our processes. And they tell us how they think we could improve. It’s all about making the process easier and faster for brokers.
“I’ve worked with NextGen for five years, and I really enjoy it because we are continually challenging each other to make the process better for brokers.”
NextGen.Net Customer Account Executive Steven Hudson describes his role with Newcastle Permanent as “a trusted adviser”.
“Through our partnership we can help to ensure Newcastle Permanent maximise their return on their investment. We adopt a consultative approach and make recommendations where we can make efficiencies work and where there are opportunities for improvement.
“The way we’ve established and built on the relationship is a product of delivering on time and on budget. We do what we say we’re going to do and in the time frame we say we’ll do it in. That cements and glues the relationship.”
The next stage in Newcastle Permanent’s roadmap will be to grow further point-of-sale quality features, helping to boost straight-through processing and empowering brokers to ensure faster turnaround.
“For us it’s about brokers using the full suite of ApplyOnline tools we are making available to them,” says Burt.
“For those brokers who take up these tools to help them provide all the right details up front – supporting documents, etc., – it can really speed up processing by reducing unnecessary rework.”