Photo credit: Howard Lake
Transitioning to self-service model
At the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Conference Center, many of the attendees of the MBA Servicing 2015 conference are buzzing about what the future holds for the mortgage servicing business. Everyone is throwing in their two cents on how they think mortgage servicing will evolve, but they agree that the trend of migration to the web will continue.
“The whole mortgage transaction is going to go online,” said John Vella, chief revenue officer at Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), during a panel called Communicating with Borrowers through Self-Servicing. “Before long, the whole thing, from soup to nuts, will be online.”
According to Vella’s fellow panelists, offering a full service online mortgage servicing experience should have been done way before now.
“The timing is right for servicers to move towards self-servicing,” said Richard Volentine, associate general counsel at EverBank. “We need to think of it as a mostly automated process. Your company’s digital strategy has to be focused on what people want now as well as what they’ll want in the future.”
Being prepared to servicers, means having solid online solutions in different forms between the web, mobile or smart watches. With Apple Watch joining the nascent smart watch market along with Google, Samsung and others, Volentine suggested that mortgage servicers may need to be ready to integrate with Apple’s smart watch, which is expecting a public release in April. Providing borrowers with 24/7 access to their account data should be a main focus of the mortgage servicers, according to Vella.
“How well a servicer can adapt to technology is critical moving forward,” said Nanci Weissgold, a partner with the law firm of Alston & Bird.
Volentine said that servicers, in listening to borrowers, are positioning themselves towards creating self-servicing platforms for borrowers. “We’re also seeing a much broader digital strategy being employed throughout the industry, especially banks,” Volentine added.
But Volentine warned that the industry is on the precipice of being trusted. This is due to how borrowers look at the servicers as a result of what was lost during the housing market upset and resulting financial crisis.
“They’ve lost their trust in financial institutions,” Volentine said. “It’s going to take a lot of work, listening and effort to make sure that we can give customers what they want.”
In addition to the robustness of their platforms, the main areas of concern as mortgage servicing transitions online, are security and privacy, according to Debbie Hoffman, the Chief Legal Officer at Digital Risk. Hoffman added that servicers should be concerned about the confidentiality of borrower’s data. “How many security measures are enough?,” she asked, mentioning options such as passwords, pin numbers and fingerprints as security vetting possibilities for servicers going forward.
“Choosing your partners carefully is key,” Hoffman said. “Picking your technology platform is probably going to be one of the most difficult choices for servicers. And you also have to do some kind of marketing to make sure that borrowers know that self-servicing platforms are available.”
HousingWire. Is self-servicing the future of mortgage servicing?