Announcing Blend’s expansion into Consumer Banking - Blend

Announcing Blend’s expansion into Consumer Banking

When consumers engage with banks, they aren’t in search of financial products — they’re looking for the help needed to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, inconsistent application experiences and manual processes detract from their ability to focus on what really matters.

That’s where Blend comes in.

We’re excited to officially announce the next milestone in delivering on Blend’s larger vision: an expansion into Consumer Banking. What does that mean?

Blend plans to support all major retail banking products on a single intelligent platform, enabling consistent experiences across products and channels. As part of that vision, we want to enable frontline staff users to deepen relationships with their customers, which is why we’re adding the Blend Workspace for Bankers.


Dive into the specifics of Blend’s Consumer Banking offerings here


In case you were worried, we’re still committed to continuously advancing our mortgage offering.

Since the beginning, Blend has been squarely focused on driving simplicity and transparency across a consumer’s every interaction with a financial institution. We started with the most challenging, stressful touchpoint: mortgage. We’ve since partnered with 170 lenders to make the mortgage process faster, easier, and more secure. As we’ve helped these partners achieve their goals, it’s only motivated us to push ourselves to keep improving the Blend experience within mortgage and to expand to new touchpoints.

We chose Blend for home equity, because we saw very positive improvements when we implemented Blend on the mortgage side. Similar to mortgage, we needed an intuitive application, because our bankers were taking over an hour to complete an application. With Blend we have cut that turn time in half.

Tom ParrishVP Consumer Lending Product Management, BMO Harris Bank

 

Blend’s vision for consumer banking

In 2019, we added two new standout products: Home Equity and Deposit Accounts. We’re really proud of the success our partners have achieved with these products in their toolbelts. Since their launch, we haven’t been sitting idly; in fact, we’ve learned a lot. One key takeaway is that enabling financial institutions to have digital-first retail banking application experiences for each product vertical isn’t enough.

Building support for a variety of loan products is, of course, a fundamental piece of the value we offer. Our vision includes growing our offerings across secured and unsecured consumer banking products.

But that’s just the start.

Our larger goal is to enable consistent experiences for consumers and lenders across channels and products. Consumers need banks to help with the moments that make life most worthwhile: going to college, purchasing a car, buying a home, or renovating that home for their growing family.

No one wants to worry about selecting the right product, tracking down documents, or going into a branch to sign documents when dreams are on the line.

The horizontal platform we continue to develop enables lenders to offer product-agnostic experiences. In other words, we are allowing lenders to offer a relationship with their brand, not with each of their loan types. Just imagine the brand affinity this will nurture.

As it stands now, our Digital Lending Platform includes features such as SSO authentication, data pre-fill, and our intuitive consumer application experience.

The newest exciting addition to our platform is the Blend Workspace for Bankers, an expansion of the Blend Workspace for Loan Teams.

Previously, if we wanted to take a home equity loan, it would take 45 minutes to an hour to take an application. Now, we can send a link and it's a quick process. We've gotten very positive feedback from the branch that they now have more time to sell.

Mark ShulmanHead of Consumer Lending, BMO Harris Bank

 

Introducing the Blend Workspace for Bankers

Bankers in branches and call centers are crucial builders of deeper relationships with customers. The person-to-person connections they form increase the loyalty and trust consumers feel for the financial institution.

However, unlike loan officers, they are tasked with originating all products outside of mortgage. They need to engage with a variety of accounts while remaining compliant and ensuring a great customer experience at every stage.

The Blend Workspace for Bankers takes these wide-ranging needs into account to provide better outcomes for bankers and customers. As the single interface or “single pane of glass,” bankers using the Blend Workspace can:

  • Confidently intake and manage applications for a multitude of products
  • Support compliance with customized guidance and in-app scripting (e.g., bankers are directed to print out required disclosures for Home Equity products)
  • Provide the right level of support to every customer, with the ability to start, co-pilot, or complete an entire application
  • Manage follow-ups with a central dashboard of applications and statuses
  • Create mortgage referrals for loan officers

We envision these new capabilities will help bankers reduce their manual processes so they can focus on building relationships. But there’s one additional value this new functionality provides: omnichannel.

Delivering an omnichannel experience

Since Blend’s consumer and banker experiences are built on the same platform, organizations can ensure consistency across channels and products.

  • Customers might start an application online, come into the branch with questions, and a banker can pick up right where they left off.
  • Or a banker might pre-fill some of the initial information on behalf of customers, freeing them to add more details on their own time.
  • If at any point unanswered questions remain, customers can call their bankers to co-pilot the application with them over the phone.

In order to deepen relationships, teams need to feel empowered to focus on customers, not on data entry. We’re excited to make this possible with connected digital and team-assisted channels. We see the addition of the Blend Workspace for Bankers as the backbone of enabling an omnichannel experience. And ultimately, it’s a core piece of delivering on the vision we laid out. We’re building the foundation to provide exceptional customer experiences, create incredible efficiencies for your business, and enable you to develop deeper customer relationships.


Read more about the value of an omnichannel experience