In FinTech we often feel we can’t move technology forward fast enough, our goals move out with every iteration in smartphone technology, data security and design. Then we’re shocked when people don’t adopt our technology the moment we release.
A March 22, 2019 article in Mortgage Professional America recapped the 2018 Borrower Insights Survey from Ellie Mae. According to the survey, “…the biggest share of homeowners, at 45%, still completed the application process completely in-person, while 16% applied for a mortgage completely online.” They added, “Ellie Mae found that homeowners sought high-tech options as well as a human touch when applying for their last mortgage. The survey found that 37% combined an online application with in-person interaction.” Even Millennials let us down; 30% still applied for mortgages in-person compared to 45% of GenX borrowers and 57% of Baby Boomer borrowers.
So, what’s wrong with these people??? Well, maybe we’re the problem.
In the race to create cool new technology and dis-intermediate expensive humans, our industry forgot we’re dealing with real people who want to discuss their options when making big financial decisions. These aren’t Luddites longing to fill out paper forms with a quill and ink – they just want a conversation.
So, let’s rethink our FinTech strategy – let’s stop rhapsodizing about customers applying for loans in their pajamas, let’s talk about people who want consultation supported by excellent tools. Let’s re-imagine software as a way to support strong customer relationships.
How does this work? In our new vision, people use FinTech to organize, record and process information, then segue into a personal, consultative relationship when it’s time to interpret the data or choose options. For example, a banker greets a customer who calls or comes into the branch, then talks with them about their needs or fears. After this initial consultation, the banker or consumer uses an online app to gather and organize their financial data. Finally, the banker offers additional consultation about options, then uses technology to finalize and process the account or transaction.
I believe in technology-enabled consultation — in building systems that facilitate building relationships online, over the phone or in person.
What about your industry? What’s the right mix for you?
Yes, and so nicely explained. It's the human element and the human scale at work.
To me the crutch of the matter arises when some online glitch, large or small, occurs to impede site access or navigation but there is no available means of invoking human intervention over the "machine". I've had this happen (have you?) even when in the presence of a friendly "helper" in the room who was powerless to step in as a human being, never mind that his instructions to me, even his own hands-on attempts, failed to work any better than my own. The robots are coming!