Banks are experiencing market disruptors attacking from many angles. They’re facing competition not only within the financial services industry, but also from non-traditional banking institutions that are delivering new mortgage lending models and innovative digital services that provide the convenience and personalization consumers want. Unless banks adopt these new models as well, they risk losing customers and revenue to competitors and emerging market disruptors. In this blog, I’ll focus on how banks can implement a digital branch strategy for mortgage lending that enables them to deliver greater value to their customers, improve productivity among their advisors and even increase profitability.

In mortgage lending today, there are common “gaps” where consumers are most likely to abandon the process or go to a competitor. From the consumer’s perspective, acquiring a mortgage is likely the biggest purchase they will ever make. They spend time researching it, getting their finances in order and gathering the necessary documentation. If the consumer visits a bank branch wanting to apply for a mortgage, only to be told that the mortgage specialist is not available right now or to make an appointment for next week, they are likely to walk across the street to a competitor and not come back. Banks are seeing “leakage” in the mortgage lending process as high as 70% in these scenarios. Once a customer has left, only 30% are likely to return.

Virtual Mortgage Advice with Video Collaboration

Banks can close those gaps by changing business processes and moving to a shared services model with virtual mortgage advice. With this model, banks leverage high definition video in the branch that enables customers in any branch location to connect and collaborate with a mortgage advisor in a contact center or in another office. Leveraging video collaboration and connected peripherals in the branch such as card readers, printers, scanners, document cameras and signature capture pads, banks can deliver a frictionless, digitized, end-to-end mortgage origination process at any branch, at any time. By integrating data and analytics from the banks other systems, the mortgage specialist has the information they need to deliver personalized service and complete even complicated transactions digitally.

Not only is the customer better served because they can speak with a mortgage expert any time they walk into a branch, it’s also a better use of the mortgage advisor’s time. A shared advisor in a contact center or another office can meet with customers at any branch location throughout the day. One of our clients said that video collaboration and remote advisor capabilities meant the difference between being able to meet with one customer in a day, and meeting with three customers in a day. This client also realized:

  • 10% to 20% costs savings in mortgage origination
  • Increased efficiency of mortgage officers in range of 60%

Branch Recognition

Another way banks can optimize the mortgage origination process is with branch recognition. In a global survey conducted by Cisco Consulting Services, nearly 70% of banking customers wanted the ability for documents to be ready to pick up and sign when they walk into the branch. We’re all time-starved today, and if a customer is stopping by the branch on their lunch hour to sign mortgage documents, they want the process to go as quickly as possible. Using QR codes, onboarding with FaceTime and other mobile applications, banks can leverage the consumer’s mobile phone to identify them when they walk in the branch, direct them to bypass the line and walk straight to the document signing area where their paperwork is waiting for them.

As banks formulate and initiate their digital business strategies, new business models must emerge. It will take more than using technology to replicate existing systems. It will take process change and new roles for banking professionals. The examples above require both of these characteristics and they share a common element: how to make the customer journey as simple, convenient and personalized as possible.

What new digital business models are you implementing? Keep in mind that your branches and contact centers are digital channels, too.


Leni Selvaggio

Global Senior Manager

Financial Services Industry