At Smartr365, we talk about the ‘frictionless mortgage’ a lot – improving the mortgage process through automation and digitalisation is our main objective. But we appreciate that such changes can be scary – it’s human nature to fear the unknown. Our CEO, Conor Murphy, looks at the arguments against the frictionless mortgage and offers his take on them.

There are two main reasons why advisers may be sceptical about the frictionless mortgage. The first is that it’s often associated with a misunderstanding about the role of automation, and even disintermediation. It can be hard to get excited about something when some say it may diminish your job. The second is that, as advisers are experts on the mortgage process, they know the frictionless mortgage isn’t yet what it claims to be. In reality, the ability to complete a mortgage from start to finish in one day still hasn’t arrived.

But both of these concerns can be convincingly answered.

While the same day mortgage isn’t here yet, that doesn’t mean that we haven’t made substantial progress. At Smartr365, we’ve been working to eliminate much of the unnecessary delay and complication by automating parts of the mortgage process – like verification, data entry, chasing and updating. Our end-to-end solution provides:

• Automated verification of ID, address and income
• Automated valuations (through Hometrack)
• Automatic application submission (for mortgage, conveyancing and protection)
• Relationship management automation, providing acknowledgments and chaser letters.

Using the APIs that power open banking (which you can read about in our last blog [hyperlink]), we can take the hassle out of these areas and cut down administration time from 10 hours to just one. The tools are readily available – but we need the whole industry to get behind the frictionless mortgage movement.

The closer we can come to creating a frictionless mortgage journey for customers, advisers, and lenders, the better the outlook for the mortgage market will be, as it will be more efficient and allow mortgage applications and property transactions to be completed at a fraction of the time it takes currently. And crucially, none of this undermines the importance of advisers, who remain central to the process, as technology enhances their role by giving them the time they need to focus on activities that matter most to them and their clients.

When we speak of automation, we mean deploying technology to do basic work for advisers. Technology frees brokers up from unnecessary administration and allows them to focus on the areas that bring real value to their businesses and their clients: generating and developing new relationships, providing good advice, and improving the customer experience for homebuyers.

It’s important to look beyond the surface arguments against the frictionless mortgage. The journey towards the same day mortgage isn’t yet complete, but Smartr365 is working hard to make it a reality. Advisers will remain the focal points of the mortgage process and should embrace the technological tools which can enhance their jobs and improve mortgage applications for everyone.