Thought Leadership |

Digitising Mortgage Journeys: The Top Challenges for UK Building Societies



Building Societies
key points
  • Building societies must swiftly adapt to market fluctuations by leveraging technology to ensure resilience and responsiveness in a changing mortgage landscape.

  • Building societies are embracing automation, real-time data and open banking to streamline customer and broker journeys, enhancing underwriting accuracy and customer satisfaction.

  • Overcoming challenges of resources and legacy systems requires collaboration with experienced technology partners, offering flexible solutions and expert guidance for successful implementation and cultural transition.

In September, the nCino UK Mortgage team ran a workshop with 40 delegates at the MoneyLive Building Societies event on the topic of digitising mortgage journeys and the solutions technology offers.

Since this nCino-led workshop, lenders in the UK withdrew over 900 mortgage products from the market in response to the government’s mini-budget amid interest rate uncertainties.

It’s clearer than ever that it’s imperative for building societies to ensure they can be agile enough to respond quickly to an ever-changing market. Lenders have gone as far as they can with their legacy systems. Technology will play a significant role in ensuring building societies can be prepared for future market changes.

To start, we polled the workshop participants to understand the biggest challenges impacting their businesses. Here were the top 5 themes:

  • Resource and people capacity

  • Manual processes

  • Cost

  • Legacy estate

  • Slow speed of change

Looking ahead: Using technology to innovate for the future

Next, we dug deeper into 3 specific questions regarding digitisation, and unsurprisingly, these challenges came up over and over again. Here are some of the topics we discussed with delegates considering how to mitigate associated risks and the role technology can play:

Making the experience from broker to customer smoother

Whether it’s direct to a customer or through a broker, ensuring a smooth customer journey is a top priority for building societies right now.

When it comes to technology, delegates agree that automating the DIP and the mortgage process allows for greater efficiency. Striking the right balance between human intervention and totally digital is difficult, and it’s important not to lose that personal touch. Ensuring there is a platform in place that can be used by all parties to achieve seamless interactions and updates, regardless of channel, allows for a consistent experience for all, with full transparency into the application process and more visibility and control over the customer or broker journey.

Changing underwriting for building societies in the future

Intelligent automation was another recurring theme. How can building societies best utilise automation to optimise the underwriting process? How do you strike the right balance with workflow and decisioning automation combined with human judgment in more complex cases?

Open Banking or credit bureau integrations is a great way to ensure you’re accessing to the right data. Accurate and real time data, specifically, will lead to better decisioning and a faster time to yes.

The risk here is ensuring underwriters can still take cases out of the automated process when a more bespoke decision is needed for niche or complex cases.

Proven technology can also help mitigate risk. A vendor or platform that is flexible enough to offer a high level of configuration that can be adapted as policy and/or needs change, all while providing the automation needed to speed up time to offer. AI can also help identify outlier cases and help underwriters assess the risk of applications more easily.

How building societies can stay ahead of the competition

Another important theme in our workshop was understanding what brokers and customers want from the end-to-end mortgage process. If you have the wrong assumptions about your customer base, you may end up for solving the wrong problem. But even if you have that information, the inflexibility and tech constraints of legacy architecture makes it harder to offer the services or products your customers really want to see.

Technology can help building societies innovate and improve customer service, while also finding new niches for their products: whether that be by offering automated DIP to reduce time to offer or connecting with external systems via an open API infrastructure to access the right data and provide a more personalised product offering.

Overcoming these challenges with a trusted technology partner

When adopting new technology, it’s important to prioritise a vendor that will help with the configuration, implementation and internal adoption of a new platform. It’s not a one size fits all approach, and that goes for technology as well— any implementation partner needs to understand the exact requirements of an institution to ensure success.

With resources and people capacity as top challenges, it’s no surprise that it can feel daunting. An experienced partner will know how to realise the full value of your investment to ensure you can achieve your vision.

For any transformation to be successful, an internal culture change is necessary to achieve the right level of internal sponsorship and buy-in from the beginning.

If these challenges resonate, here’s how nCino can help:

Our clients chose to partner with nCino to transform their business because we’re a cloud-based, flexible and fully configurable loan origination platform. nCino integrates easily into your wider ecosystem and connects all parties on a single platform, creating a seamless experience for customers and brokers.

Our Managed Services team of dedicated nCino experts can be hands-on with implementing new capability and optimising existing functionality, so your institution can start realising value as soon as possible.

Learn more about how your institution can be future-ready.