The GOLDPoint API library offers flexibility and control over your lending tools and gives you total control over the interactions a borrower will have with your brand. In this blog, we will explore how borrowers expectations are changing and solutions your lending institution can build with the GOLDPoint API library. If you are new to GOLDPoint API, click the video below for a quick overview.
First, we need to understand the perspective of modern customers. You, me, and your borrowers are living in a world where interactions between company and consumer are shifting to become more efficient for all parties. Shifts in efficiency traditionally manifest themselves in time-saving adaptations or innovations that make interactions more convenient.
An example outside of the lending industry that we can use as an analogy is the changes in grocery stores. Today instead of grabbing a shopping cart and walking through a store to get your groceries, you can order them all online and pick them up curbside. Or better yet, have them delivered right to your front door! A modern shopper has the option to interact with their grocery store the way that they want, in a way that is most convenient for the customer.
Borrowers, like grocery shoppers, want lending options that are convenient for them. Most branches, like grocery stores, already have options for walk-in and online applications. Now it is about boosting the efficiency and convenience of traditional options and opening new channels that modern borrowers are craving.
Do you maximize auto-fill? Can an online application be approved in real-time? You have walk-ins, but do you have e-signature? Can you deposit loan funds directly into a borrower’s bank account? You interact with borrowers online, but what about a mobile app? After a loan is approved can you complete the underwriting process, payment calculations, and amortization automatically? What ways can borrowers make payments?
Ultimately you need to ask yourself: what are ways I can make the lending process more convenient for my borrowers? And how can I improve borrowers' interactions along the lending process?
Here are a few ideas we thought of to help you innovate the origination experience.
1. Custom Online Application
The GOLDPoint API library makes it easy to build a loan application in the format and design you want. Your ability to customize the entry fields gives you greater control over the data collected from potential borrowers. You will have the power to test various application templates to see what is most convenient for potential borrowers and their desired interaction level. The application process sets a borrower’s expectations for your user interface and any other interactions with your company, so make it count.
2. Integrate with a Credit Bureau
Instead of making a borrower fill out two dozen entry fields to apply for a loan, you can integrate with a credit bureau like Experian through the GOLDPoint API. When potential borrowers are prompted to log in through the credit bureau first, a majority of the information will be auto-filled with the borrower's details. As simple as it sounds auto-fill dramatically increases a borrower’s perceptions of convenience and makes return borrowers much more likely.
3. Instant Approval
Fast equals convenient in the minds of borrowers. Through the GOLDPoint API, you (or the system) can review a borrower’s inputted data and compare it to your lending criteria to give an instant "thumbs up" to new borrowers who can continue with the origination process, and promptly reject applications that don't meet your criteria.
4. Real-Time Processing
Borrowers don’t like to wait, especially for underwriting, approval, and having access to their funds. The GOLDPoint API can complete loan processing automatically so borrowers don’t have to wait. Loans can be approved and funded within minutes.
Offering electronic signatures is a hallmark of convenience these days, allowing borrowers to agree to loan terms while still in their pajamas. You could use our e-signature system, eGOLDSign, or integrate other e-signature systems like HelloSign or DocuSign into GOLDPoint systems.
6. Direct Deposit
Most borrowers prefer direct deposit over a check. Checks require the borrower to find a place to cash or deposit the check, as well as any holds on the check due to the amount of the check. But with direct deposit, borrowers can have access to their funds within a day (sometimes even sooner). Direct deposit is a necessity if doing online loan origination. You can set up direct deposits to securely transfer funds and give your borrowers faster access to the funds they need.
Keeping with our grocery store analogy, one of the reasons delivery and pick-up innovations are so successful is due to the clean user interfaces (UIs) stores have on their apps and websites. Additionally, the UI collects helpful data for the users, like keeping a historical record of purchases. UIs are just as crucial for lenders to attract potential borrowers and keep current borrowers happy by supplying loan information data and making interactions simple.
Here are two ways the GOLDPoint API can help with your user interface.
1. Account Center
A web-based account center is the heart of your UI. It's integral that your account center is easy to use, visually appealing, and helpful. You can be in complete control of your account center's design by interacting with GOLDPoint's APIs to show borrowers when their next payment is due and allow them to make a payment. The API can also display loan balances, delinquencies, and other information a borrower needs.
2. Mobile App
You can continue to deliver convenience after a borrower is approved by building a mobile app for borrowers to view loans and make payments. Mobile apps are convenient for borrowers, allowing them to make payments with a touch of their finger on their smart phone. Most importantly, mobile apps enable borrowers to interact with their lender in a way that borrowers like.
A consumer interaction that is continuously shifting is payments. Lenders need to consider adding payment options, so customers can pay the way they want: in cash, debit card, Apple Pay, and even Google Pay. Many payment options are becoming commonplace as even more companies are entering the payment market. The more options available to a borrower, the more straightforward collections will be for a lender.
Here are a few payment options you should consider building:
Allow your borrowers to pay through this popular payment app. It’s secure and a channel that many people already use to make payments.
2. Apple Pay & Google Pay
Paying directly with your phone is the future of transactions. It’s as easy as double tapping the home button and scanning a fingerprint or Face ID.
3. Facebook Messenger
Not only is Facebook Messenger an inexpensive way to communicate with your customers, but due to the growing popularity of Facebook Marketplace, transactions via Facebook and Messenger are more and more common. Accepting payments through Facebook would be an innovative move for lenders that keeps reminders, payments, and other lending information in a single location that is already highly trafficked by borrowers.
Borrowers want clear communication. Communication is the glue that keeps an excellent borrower experience together. Borrowers are forgetful and occasionally get lost in an unfamiliar world of loan information, so communicating openly and offering reminders will strongly influence the borrower's perception of a lender's customer service and overall ratings.
Lenders should be doubly incentivized to communicate clearly and efficiently, both to help borrowers have a positive lending experience and to improve collections. Communication across channels that borrowers are already connected to makes collections notifications more visible and gives them greater weight in the minds of borrowers.
The GOLDPoint API can give you the power to build better communication solutions.
1. Push Notifications
We are all familiar with the little red badges that pop up on our phone. Delivering information with a push notification is highly visible (people check their phone an average of 80 times a day), and most of the time sending notifications is free.
2. Texts, Calls, Email
The traditional powerhouses of the communication game are as relevant as ever. GOLDPoint API allows you to build custom emails, calls, or texts so you can reach your borrowers across the most used communication channels. You also have the power to integrate with companies like Solutions by Text or Twilio, who specialize in sending texts, if you would prefer.
3. Group Messengers
Group Messengers like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and GroupMe are free alternatives to texting (if connected to the internet). Messenger apps are used almost as much as texting and are up-and-coming channels—lenders should take advantage.
4. Alexa, Google, Siri bots
With the growing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI), it would be wise for lenders to build in communications to connect with Siri or Alexa, who can dutifully remind your borrowers of future payments or even make the transaction if commanded by the borrower.
Implementing any of theses ideas will improve your efficiency, create a better borrower experience, and improve your overall business. Interested? Get your API keys now.