The way people work — and make money — is drastically different than it was in the past, but income verification solutions haven’t yet caught up. FICO scores and W-2s no longer give a full picture of a consumer’s ability to repay a loan, and our reliance on them has left many consumers with non-traditional income sources behind.
True to our mission, we’re excited to take another step toward increasing access to the world’s financial services. Today we’re announcing Blend Income Verification, a comprehensive digital income and employment verification solution that is designed to work across the full suite of products available on Blend’s cloud banking platform. We’re helping financial leaders modernize their income verification strategy so they can feel confident saying “yes” to more people.
Over 25 customers, including American Federal Mortgage, IBC Mortgage, Lennar Mortgage, and a top five U.S. bank have already signed on for the product.
Identifying problems and searching for solutions
Simply put, existing digital solutions for income verification are fragmented. There isn’t one, straightforward solution that can address all forms of employment. Data is increasingly available, and financial services providers want to leverage it to improve verification. To connect all these disparate data sources, lenders must devote considerable energy to industry scouting, diligence, contracting, and development if they want to build their own solution.
One of the reasons lenders try to cobble together these solutions is to account for how vastly different employment looks today than it did even a decade ago. With the rise in consumers seeking to use non-traditional credit sources, it is now imperative for lenders to be able to access additional types of data to create a more complete consumer profile. Plus, having the ability to utilize the existing information a lender has about a consumer, including bank transaction data, will allow them to increase coverage.
Not only are current income verification solutions incomplete, they also aren’t well-integrated into the application flow. Configuring solutions for multiple workflows that use different back-end systems can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Adopting a platform that has income verification seamlessly integrated into application flows across products lessens this headache. It also enables lenders to proactively and organically recommend the right product or offer by using real-time data insights. This enables financial services firms to make better-informed lending decisions more efficiently, serve more customers, and ultimately offer products that meet or exceed consumers’ needs and expectations.
The power of Blend Income Verification
I’m excited to announce that Blend Income Verification will be able to provide instant verification across the full range of products available on our cloud banking platform. We think of it as the “easy button” for income verification.
Minimize delays, maximize efficiency
To maximize coverage with a single, aggregated solution, Blend Income Verification will leverage leading income data providers and verification strategies, including direct-from-source payroll and, later on, tax and asset-derived data. We plan to support the various methods of verification you may need, including manual pulls in cases where there isn’t digital coverage. By unifying data providers, we aim to lower costs for lenders and offer them a more complete picture of borrowers in an instant, without relying on time-consuming, manual processes. We will work to continually evolve our solution to include new data providers so that lenders don’t have to manage separate contracts. Blend Income Verification will reimagine — and reduce — the work loan teams do to verify income.
Reimagine the consumer experience
Blend Income Verification will be integrated into the Blend experience through a streamlined consumer workflow. A recommended verification path will populate based on a consumer’s unique financial situation, then they can validate that their data is correct before moving on in the application process. Since this streamlined experience will be available to consumers across a lender’s portfolio of products, consumers will be able to enjoy consistently excellent — and potentially lower cost — journeys for the breadth of their financial needs.
Andrew McElroy, senior vice president at American Federal Mortgage, speaks to this improved customer experience: “Our goal is to reduce friction in the application process by minimizing the number of borrowers who need to upload documents. Blend enables us to expand our coverage of instant income verification, contributing to a seamless borrower experience.”
Reimagine the lender experience
Income isn’t one-size-fits-all for consumers — or for lenders. Blend Income Verification will offer a configurable and dynamic experience that financial services providers will be able to apply when deciding on the right lending strategy for their customers. For example, if one method doesn’t work to verify income, then the product will intuitively move on to the next viable method in our waterfall.
Instead of struggling with lengthy integration processes, Blend Income Verification can be easily activated by financial service firms with the flip of a switch, no complex integration work required. Additionally, we plan for our APIs to enable additional configurability, including the ability to deploy and optimize tailored income verification strategies based on lenders’ unique underwriting guidelines.
The future of verification
True innovation implies an evolutionary change to existing processes, uses, or functions. Complacency isn’t part of Blend’s vocabulary — we’re constantly pushing the envelope and exploring new ways to bring accessibility to financial services. We’re helping lenders and their customers reimagine what’s possible.
Blend Income Verification is currently live for customers using our mortgage platform, and we’re working quickly to make it available for all of the products on our cloud banking platform. The addition of a comprehensive income verification solution across all Blend products brings us one step closer to accessibility for all in financial services.