PERSON OF THE WEEK: Especially since the pandemic, mortgage lenders are embracing new technologies to automate and speed up the mortgage process – in a personalized way – while providing the ability to do business the traditional way (i.e. face-to-face).
A relatively new technology known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an approach that can help lenders automate simple tasks to increase end-to-end efficiency, while providing a personalized customer experience. To learn more, MortgageOrb recently interviewed Joseariel Gomez, Founder and CEO of shastic.
Q: What is RPA and how is it used for financial services?
Gomez: RPA simply takes individual menial tasks that a loan team performs today and automates them using a program to replicate the same steps they take to complete the task.
RPA tends to be limited to simple individual tasks and becomes fragile when trying to automate entire end-to-end financial processes. This is where intelligent process automation comes in. It combines RPA, operated in the cloud, using artificial intelligence (machine learning) with lots of real-time data (big data) to highly personalize each automated action as part of a larger end-to-end process.
Q: Why/how will automation become important for the mortgage industry?
Gomez: The mortgage industry is on the verge of a downturn. Mortgage providers, whether financial institutions or mortgage companies, need to become more efficient.
Correctly implementing RPA and intelligent process automation (IPA) in mortgage lending will make the difference between funding loans in 15-20 days versus 4-6 weeks, which has a significant impact on the a lender’s net income.
Q: Besides current economic factors, what other challenges does the mortgage industry face in implementing automation?
Gomez: Other automation solutions tend to be designed to automate unique individual tasks at a specific point in the process and lack the high degree of customization that financial institutions need to serve their members and customers. It is therefore technically difficult for the institution to find the best way to assemble all these individual automations into a holistic and highly personalized automated workflow. It also makes the workflow brittle, prone to constantly breaking, which hogs a lot of resources to keep it going all the time.
Q: What are best practices for mortgage providers looking to implement automation?
Gomez: First and foremost, a lender should walk through their existing mortgage process step by step, then determine which steps they want to automate. Mortgage professionals, like other financial services workers, spend much of their time calling customers or moving documents between legacy systems that can’t communicate with each other.
However, as mentioned earlier, traditional RPA is not sufficient for these types of blockers. Mortgage professionals need an additional layer of technology, which includes big data, machine learning, and instant communication channels capable of processing huge amounts of data in real time across multiple systems to deliver an automated experience personalized. This use of evolution to better automate financial processes is what we mean by IPA.
Q: What does effective communication look like in the mortgage industry? What are some examples of RPA being applied to automate mortgage processing?
Gomez: Mortgage processing encompasses many tasks that can be automated to free up a lender’s existing team, starting with automatically approving or denying an application based on lending criteria, sending disclosures initial steps to comply with TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rules (TRID), collection of documents required by member and customer stipulations, sending the DocuSign agreement for signature when all stipulations have been met, etc.