Smartbank launches first of its kind home loans

by Madison Utley12 Nov 2019

Just nine weeks after having secured its full banking licence, Australia’s first smartbank has launched an entirely digital home loan offering that will be distributed exclusively through brokers.

The 86 400 team behind the offering spent eighteen months working through the key pain points for both brokers and customers before developing the loans which are “unmatched by any other bank in the broker market” and boast an approval process up to six times faster than the big four.

According to Melissa Christy, 86 400 home loan lead, the research showed the bulk of frustration in the space could be boiled down to two major pain points.

“One is how long it takes to get approved for a home loan. The other was how many supporting documents are required for the customer to get the loan,” Christy explained.

“A typical lender would have 3-4 pages of different documents required for different scenarios to be submitted with an application. We’ve cut that down to one document for a purchase, a contract of sale, and a refinance we don’t require any.

“Our smart technology works on the brokers behalf, to make their life simpler every step of the way. This is the first offering in recent years that offers real, tangible benefits to both brokers and homebuyers.”

The process has been designed to save both the broker and the homebuyer time, effort and frustration through electronic statement capture, simplified identity verification on your mobile, electronic signatures, and next to no paperwork.

86 400 has partnered with some of the most progressive players in the industry to make its offering possible, including Equifax and CoreLogic.  

The home loans, with rates starting from 2.88%, are available for purchasers, refinancers, owner occupiers and investors as a fully featured loan, with fixed and variable rate options, both with redraw.

“As a bank, we can provide the customer with a full suite of products, but we can also provide them a fully featured loan. We have an offset account on our variable rate loan and both our pay account and our savings account can both be offset against the loan,” said Christy.

The home loan offering will progressively roll out to brokers from yesterday onwards. In May this year, the smartbank joined the panel of lenders at Vow Financial before also partnering with Specialist Finance Group.

“We have a number of conversations with others that are ongoing, but nothing we’re ready to announce yet. But clearly we want to make sure 86 400 smart loans are available to as many people as possible, which means working with more brokers over time,” said Robert Bell, 86 400 CEO.

“This is the best of both worlds. This is a process that’s fully enabled by tech to make it as easy as possible for the broker and the customer, so the broker can actually spend time on what we think is the important part – discussing home loan options with customers.”

Christy echoed his sentiment, highlighting the importance of customers feeling supported and getting face-to-face interaction with such a substantial financial decision.

To brokers, she said, “We’ve got competitive rates and next to no paperwork. We’ll give you a faster time to approval. We’re the first digital home loan in Australia. Come give us a try.”