A mortgage lender has pointed to trends being shaped by COVID-19 overseas as being an invaluable tool to gain insight into the future of the Australian broking sector.
According to Better Choice Home Loans executive director Allan Savins, examining international developments can help Australians unpack the dramatic change occurring within the domestic market and more accurately predict the pandemic's impact on broking practices in the years to come.
Savins cited the wide adoption of digital verification of identity (VOI) measures in response to social distancing restrictions as an example of the new developments the industry has been experiencing.
“COVID has pushed advancements in VOI further in the last couple of months than what would have taken years in a normal environment,” he said.
“With social distancing with us for some time to come, and perhaps permanently, the way we interact with clients and verify their identity will change rapidly. Video is now acceptable to complete VOI and the video method used can include platforms such as Zoom, Facetime or Microsoft Teams.
“We now even have examples of overseas banks using facial biometric matching and location tagging. Brokers must adapt to selling virtually, not just in a face-to-face environment,” Savins urged.
According to the executive director, other countries have taken the provision of digital services yet further as consumers, particularly millennials, demand more convenient, faster and cheaper service.
“Some online lenders in the US actually charge more than the average bank branch as there’s a premium attached to ‘shopping in your pyjamas’,” he explained.
“There are also many countries now where open banking has been implemented, which means more solutions must be offered by brokers, not just the [home loan]. Brokers will need to look at someone’s entire financial situation and have products beyond the mortgage available.
“Other countries have also seen a massive increase in new lenders and fintechs that increase the options available for customers. Brokers need to be the ‘change agent’ and be aware of all the solutions available and help guide customers now that they have more information.”