Digital experience - and what it means for your business fundamentals

Speaker talks to brokers at Insights Live

It’s clear 2020 was a tipping point for digital adoption across almost every industry, and mortgage broking and asset finance is no exception.

Everything changed. Digital signatures became vital to getting deals done, while Zoom meetings were business as usual. At the same time, mortgage brokers were busier than ever – writing more than 60% of residential mortgages between July and September 2020 according to the MFAA.

With predictions that share could rise to 70% within the next five years – along with expectations that most successful brokers could be paperless within the next 12 months – what does this mean for your digital investment strategy?

At Pepper Money Insights 2021, Pepper Head of Technology Royce Tully explained how a better digital experience underpins three business fundamentals: growth, efficiency and risk. That’s certainly our experience at Pepper – and it is also what we’re hearing every day from brokers.

As one broker summed it up in our recent discussions, “It’s competitive out there. It’s not just about having the tools, but how you use them. That’s what gives you an edge.”

Growing and managing revenue

When we recently spent time talking with brokers, they all told us just how important those remote tools have become to their business – and their customers.

“Docusign is awesome for our clients, because half of them are in a truck and they can’t print out a set of documents,” said an asset and equipment finance broker. “If they can look through the docs on their iPad and hit the button, it’s awesome.”

For a smaller mortgage broker, electronic identity verification has opened up new markets. “Before it was too hard to ID them compliantly, now we can reach people in regional areas.”

Brokers agreed a good CRM underpins their lead and revenue growth strategies. “A big area of investment has been in better managing leads by capturing more data before they go to the broker.”

Improving efficiency, with bottom line impact

CRMs that reduce the need to re-key data also save valuable time. Less time on admin means more time with more clients. It’s about working smarter, not harder.

This is where API integration is likely to be the next game-changer. The brokers we spoke with shared how their goal for loan origination is to submit applications seamlessly into every lender.

One broker told us that with their new CRM automating commissions and backend processes, “our internal accountants save four days a month.”

“The challenge is to avoid introducing isolated systems that don’t talk to each other,” said another. “I see the frustrations when brokers have to manually scan documents – it takes a huge chunk of their time.”

Time is money – especially when some busy brokers are taking on more admin staff just to help with the backend application management. With less paperwork and time spent entering data twice, those people could instead focus on client retention.

Greater visibility helps manage risk

Balancing customer expectations with regulatory requirements has also been a major challenge for brokers. And beyond Best Interest Duty and other recent regulatory changes, it’s also important to make sure your digital experience is secure.

While most brokers seem comfortable with their arrangements, identity theft, business email scams and cyber-attacks can happen – and you need to be prepared.

“People are a lot more aware of the issues these days, and customers want to know their data is secure,” a broker told us, saying broker education is a major focus.

Visibility and communication is key – and brokers agree having a portal with access to real-time updates makes a big difference. “Across all our offices, I can see the numbers we’re doing. How many documents are with clients, how much will settle, where the deals are at,” one broker said. Another noted “it’s about using secure portals, rather than scanning and emailing sensitive information.”

Pepper is currently updating its broker portal to provide greater visibility across every deal – and providing a similar platform for asset finance partners. 

A new era for data

Brokers already told us they’re seeing benefit from open banking, with direct access to client bank statements saving them hours filtering through appropriate product and lender choices – as well as no longer needing to chase missing details.

Early fears open banking could remove the need for brokers, with bots delivering automated, pre-approved loans, now seem unfounded. Instead, we are seeing more brokers move towards a trusted adviser relationship.


Ultimately, a broker wants to sit in front of a client, talk them through the process, and not worry about the backend admin. Bank statement scraping technology can help us add real value to every client conversation.


Importantly, brokers also told us that when they’re choosing between two very similar options, they are likely to choose the lender that makes it easier for them to do business.

That’s why we’re continuing to invest in a better digital experience for you and your customers. You can expect to see a simpler, more digital origination platform, broader digital signature enablement, and even faster turnaround on pre-approvals.

As Royce said at the event, “time is the new currency. And these digital plays are about giving you more time with your customers.”

We’re on this journey with you, and committed to doing things better. 


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