A dramatic change has shaped most consumer-facing industries over the last decade. Inspired by an incredible focus on the consumer, organizations have pushed to develop digital innovations that exceed expectations. Nowhere is this more evident than within the consumer lending software space.
Many predicted that this digital shift signaled the end of brick-and-mortar retail. Headlines in major publications warned that soon digital would be the only channel — or at least the only one that mattered. A funny thing happened, though.
Retail never went away.
A need for new lending tools
As a result, organizations have had to update their understanding of consumer expectations. Consumers don’t want this channel or that channel — they want to move seamlessly among all channels.
“Yes. Consumers want digital, but they want every other channel because they work with us in […] any way that makes sense for them.”
Blend CEO Nima Ghamsari spoke about omnichannel, among other topics, during his keynote at 2019’s FinTech Ideas Festival. Five years ago, this term was barely on the map. Since then, the “present everywhere” approach has gained increased favor within companies pushing to foster a truly customer-centric approach.
Optimizing for this omnichannel demand meant building an entire portfolio of new tools within our lending software:
- Tools for the call center
- Tools for the mobile loan officer
- Tools for the branch
- Tools for the consumer, across mobile, SMS, and web
“I get to see it every day,” Nima noted. “I get to see the volume of people who apply for a loan in person and over the phone, and I get to see people doing things over the internet without ever interacting with a person at the institutions they’re working with.”
What’s the future of omnichannel for lending software?
According to a recent McKinsey study, “Deposits at the 25 largest US retail banks have doubled over the past decade, while their combined branch footprint shrank by 15% over the same period.” Clearly, branches are no longer the dominant channel they once were. However, they are still an important component for those consumers who are hesitant to complete complicated transactions like mortgages solely through digital channels.
There is a need for seamless, friction-free movement among all channels. Consumers should be served the same way across every channel, whether on their mobile device, in-branch, or over the phone.
Remember: No matter what touchpoint your customer is at, they’re still the same customer. This sounds simple, but it presents challenges — especially for those of us who believed that the digital-only mortgage approach was good enough.
Nima’s main takeaway on omnichannel? It is just one of many considerations Blend has to keep in mind as we push to improve a threatened but slow-to-change industry. We will continue to support financial institutions in many ways as they work to fend off fierce digital competition.
But to get started, our team is ready to work together with you to make the omnichannel dream a reality.
Image courtesy of Bank Policy Institute