Technology to give lenders the edge

In this market, firms need every advantage and communication-enabled business processes can help by reducing errors, speeding up processing and improving service levels, says Frank Eve

Most lenders want technology that can offer significant operational efficiency, helping them to stay ahead of the competition. So some forward-looking firms are looking at telephony integration to deliver improved productivity, enhance customer experience and boost service levels.

Lenders often look to enhanced decision technology to improve their competitive position, but there are other areas in which technology can give firms the edge.

A company called Corebridge specialises in communication-enabled business processes. Founded in France, Corebridge has expanded steadily over the past few years and now has a UK-based head office, with satellite premises in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In simple terms, CEBP describes a technology solution that bridges the gap between data applications and isolated communication systems and devices. It links business applications such as email, order management and customer relationship management systems with telecommunication equipment, including PBXes, desk phones, dealer boards and fax servers.

This type of technology is being explored by several leading companies within the investment banking market. The ability to connect directly with customers in the shortest time with the latest product and financial information boosts the deal-success ratio. The solution is installed on a central server and uses telephone numbers to match customer records within the telephone directory to client details within business applications.

When customers call or are contacted, the technology links the caller ID with the relevant client information from other applications. This information is then presented at the point of call. This allows companies to obtain a cohesive overview and access customer information instantaneously. It also allows staff to view critical business information from anywhere, at any time.

Corebridge believes this type of solution could deliver significant benefits to the mortgage market, so who should be interested?

The fast pace and time-critical nature of the mortgage market requires brokers, lenders and packagers to be able to reach customers as quickly as possible. If lenders’ voice and data systems are not connected, this can create inefficiencies. When sales personnel have to manually dial numbers for outgoing calls while also searching for matching customer records within their customer relationship management systems, there is the potential for errors to creep in.

This system would apply to both lenders’ new business and arrears areas, and at point-of-sale for intermediaries, speeding up the process and delivering better service.

With margins tightening and competition fierce, lenders and intermediaries need to use every advantage possible to differentiate their service propositions. With technology advancing in other markets such as investment banking, it is worth looking outside of the traditional mortgage environment to find solutions to processing and efficiency problems.