Forward virtual summit: Mastering digital agility | Blend
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September 28, 2020 in Thought leadership

5 minutes

Forward virtual summit: Mastering digital agility

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On September 22 and 23, we held our second virtual summit, packed with keynote addresses, conversations in which our lender partners shared how they use our platform to tackle today’s issues, and industry panels with lending leaders. Missed the event? Read on for highlights and access to on-demand session videos.

On day one, President Tim Mayopoulos spoke about the rapid pace of change in the mortgage industry over the last five months and how it’s driven marked changes in consumer behavior. According to Mayopoulos, this change is here to stay. In his day two keynote, CEO Nima Ghamsari announced our unified Consumer Banking Suite and new configuration capabilities, detailing how we’ve worked to unlock our platform to help you serve your customers holistically.

The common thread? Digital agility: the ability to rapidly deliver the innovation and experiences needed to acquire and retain loyal customers and quickly launch new products in response to change. Dive deeper into these two keynote sessions to understand why digital agility is imperative and how it can be achieved.

View Forward sessions on-demand here.

Adapting to a faster pace of change

Mayopoulos set the stage for the event with three “big bets” that lenders should take note of.

“Some say COVID-19 has forced as much change in five months as we could’ve reasonably expected in five years,” he remarked. Much of this change comes in the form of customer expectations as organizations provide technological solutions to meet our everyday needs from home. As digital experiences permeate every aspect of our lives, from doctor visits to school to grocery shopping, consumers have come to expect similarly seamless interactions from their financial institutions.

A staggering 45% of homebuyers this year have made an offer on a home sight unseen, proving the willingness to go digital pervades even the largest of decisions. Consumers are demanding banks keep up, and those who don’t might get left behind.

Will this behavior last in a post-pandemic world? Mayopoulos thinks it will, which leads us into the first of his “big bets”.

Big bet 1: Consumers want to switch to something better

Loyalty is fleeting. According to our recent research with Forrester, 71% of customers are willing to switch financial institutions with a particularly relevant offer. “You will need to be able to put forward offerings powered by technology that are as good or better than the strongest competition out there,” Mayopoulos opined.

Big bet 2: Experiences are better than transactions

Transactions imply a focus on a one-and-done interaction. Experiences help build relationships. Think about how you can use technology to simplify the application journey, making it easy, fast, and seamless. We’re working on creating an inclusive experience for the homebuying journey, adding access to real estate agents and homeowners insurance to the Blend portal.

Big bet 3: Digital agility will prevail

The time is now to master digital agility. Develop the capacity to innovate and scale up or down quickly to match market needs while delivering best-in-class customer experiences. Our partner PRMI displayed their digital agility last year when they were able to handle a 33% increase in loan volume without increasing headcount by employing Blend’s technology.

Serving borrower needs at every milestone

Adapting to volume surges and winning over mortgage customers in a competitive environment represents only part of what comprises digital agility. We know many of you strive to be at the center of your customers’ financial lives. Ghamsari, in his keynote, brought up a question we’ve been wrestling with: “How can we unlock our platform to support the sheer complexity of things that you need to serve your customers?”

Our answer came in the form of an exciting announcement. Our unified platform now supports any consumer banking product, thanks to our expanded suite of out-of-the-box offerings and new configuration capabilities.

With the additions of Personal Loans, Credit Cards, and Specialty Vehicle Loans, we now support every major consumer banking product commonly offered by banks and credit unions. Beyond this, we’ve built configuration into every layer of our solution — product experiences, orchestration, data services, and third-party integrations — so you can quickly bring products to market.

This gives you the flexibility, as a customer-centric organization, to spend your time and energy on “What does the member/consumer need?” instead of “What do I need to get this product line working?”

Ghamsari went on to demo the platform, showing the audience how simple it is — it doesn’t involve writing even one line of code — to dynamically solve for your customers’ needs as they change over time.

Looking ahead: The digital agility imperative

This year was supposed to be a lean one for the industry. Instead, mortgage demand is up 40% from last year, and lenders are enjoying high volumes and high margins. But now isn’t the time to get comfortable, as Mayopoulos noted.

What will shape your future is the way you prepare now for the years ahead. What will you put into place to be able to react to the ever-changing consumer behavior, future market highs and lows, and regulatory changes? We recommend mastering digital agility.

To hear directly from our customer partners about how they’re working to become digitally agile and from our product experts on what we’re developing next, dive into the session recordings in our content hub.

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