Have you filled out your bracket yet? If not, you better get on it soon since the big dance starts in just over an hour. It’s always interesting how so many people have unique strategies when deciding on the teams that will advance and eventually be crowned champions of college hoops. Some people have watched so many games this season that they can make educated decisions. While others, like me, find other less analytical ways to decide since they haven’t seen at least half of the teams actually play. Almost everyone knows or has heard a story of someone who won a pool because of picking something like their favorite mascots or colors.
The point is that there is no single method or formula that leads to victory. While some people have won with crazy strategies, it’s best go with what works best for you. For digital lending success, it sort of like that – although the stakes are much higher. From the online or mobile application process to the decisoning, workflow and funding processes, financial institutions everywhere are still searching for the right strategy to survive and advance among today’s fierce competition.
That’s why we’re here to help. This week’s blog post features three more of the most important best practices every financial institution needs to consider when evaluating technology and processes:
- Robust Decision Engine (Especially on the Back-end): People apply online for both a matter of convenience and speed. If the application process is easy, but followed by a wait for hours or days to get an answer, the value of your digital solution is greatly diminished. So when considering your digital platform and strategy make sure to consider all of the functionality you need in your loan origination system’s decision engine. Automated decisioning that accurately incorporates your policy is critical to improving the application’s turnaround time.
- In-flow eSignatures (Total Integration): Filling out an application, getting a decision, uploading supporting documents and accepting cross-sell opportunities are all important parts of a digital application process. However, after an approval has been communicated back to the applicant, getting signatures for documents essentially closes the process. That’s why having eSignature functionality is such a critical culminating activity that should be supported through your digital solution. Without it, the applicant has to work outside the application to finalize the loan. This is both time-consuming and inconvenient.
- Prefill of Fields (Core System Interface): The proof is in the pudding. Consumers are looking for more than slogans, smiles and handshakes to prove that you know them. What they want is to not have to start at square one every time they want to apply for something. That’s why prefill functionality is so important when it comes to the application process. No one wants to take the time to manually enter information your institution already has on file. Having the ability to prefill the application for an applicant both saves time and improves the overall user experience. Core system access can retrieve data for this prefill to occur.
Streamlining and optimizing the application process is critical to digital and mobile success these days. Despite successful lending programs and efforts to expand its membership base in recent years, leadership at Associated Credit Union identified a need to improve mobile acquisitions and processing of applications both within the branch as well as outside the branch.
By leveraging MeridianLink's Application Portal solution, Associated Credit Union was able to reduce the rate of incomplete applications to less than 1%, increase the amount of loans booked online by 12.5% in the first year and reduce the application process from 12 screens to three easy steps.
If you’d like to learn more about how this client identified its challenges and addressed them for both immediate and long-term success, please click the button below to download our complimentary case study.
Photo Credit: Steve Johnson