Thinktank - Electronic lodgement the commercial way

by AB01 Oct 2014
Electronic lodgement is now de rigueur in the residential space and the commercial sector is fast closing the gap; clearly recognising the need to embrace new opportunity.

Electronic lodgement has long demonstrated that it’s the way of the future and takeup by commercial lenders is on the increase. Yet some brokers operating in the commercial sector are still confused about the process and therefore hesitant about making the switch.

Peter Vala, Head of Sales and Distribution at Thinktank, a boutique specialist commercial finance lender, has discovered there is a common misconception among some commercial brokers that electronic lodgement submission means the deal is credit scored.

“That is not the case with Thinktank,” Vala stresses.
NextGen.Net is the pioneering market leader of solutions for the mortgage lending industry and the technology service provider’s celebrated system, ApplyOnline, is the standard online lodgement platform in Australia.

Thinktank launched ApplyOnline 18-months ago and Vala expresses disappointment that takeup by brokers has been slow due to a misunderstanding about credit scoring.

“At Thinktank, electronically lodged submissions from brokers go to a BDM or a relationship manager. They don’t go straight to credit,” explains Vala.

“Commercial tends to be more tailor-made than residential lending, which is generally ‘straight off the plate’.

“At Thinktank we ‘workshop’ a transaction with a broker, and when we know the structure that they’re looking for and they’re happy with it, that’s when they gather the data and put in a submission for finance.”

NextGen.Net Sales Director, Tony Carn, says the significant point for brokers to note is, “NextGen.Net has delivered an ApplyOnline solution that fits Thinktank’s specific model”.

“Thinktank is able to take advantage of ApplyOnline to ensure quality data is submitted after the broker has ‘workshopped’ the deal with their BDM,” says Carn.

“We get the transaction, work that transaction out with the broker and then the broker gets an opportunity to pitch that transaction to us. In residential you don’t get a chance to pitch,” says Vala.

Thinktank’s ApplyOnline customised solution enables brokers to leverage their CRM data. Information drawn out of brokers’ CRM goes straight into ApplyOnline. There is no re-keying.

Other advantages that Thinkthink brokers are discovering is that ApplyOnline can auto-populate all their ‘print forms’ and they can get backchannel messages regarding the status of their loans.

“With ApplyOnline, turnaround times are dramatically sped up because all the information, including all the supporting documentation, can by input directly into the system; and it goes straight to one of our BDMs or relationship managers,” says Vala.

Michael Tong, who manages training at NextGen.Net remarks that a good example of ApplyOnline adding quality to loan data is the new ACN and ABN search and lookup. Through this new function, brokers can access the Australian Business Register and ASIC to obtain or check the ABN and/or ACN included in the loan application.
“ApplyOnline ensures correct and standardised information is received by the BDM, and they are able to easily put together the deal submission and send through to credit,” says Tong.

Referring to it as “a data management tool for online applications” Vala talks of the value of ApplyOnline enabling all the data to be collated into one place. 

“For us that supports our industry because it makes the submission process cleaner, quicker and much more streamlined,” he says.