How to Keep Lending High-Touch in a High-Tech World

Lending in the age of social distancing

By Joseariel Gomez, CEO of Shastic

Most financial institutions are racing to go digital, and they’re making significant investments in new digital infrastructure to get there. However, these institutions are now faced with the challenge of going digital without losing personal relationships with customers. For community banks, which many customers choose precisely because of personalized service, going digital runs the risk of transforming their services into a commodity in which the only differentiators are interest rates. Investing in digital personal touch-points can be a key competitive advantage for these community banks.

Every great relationship starts with a strong connection. All banks, and businesses for that matter, know this. But a strong connection with each customer can be difficult to keep track of and maintain with so many systems, vendors and platforms that don’t necessarily integrate seamlessly with each other. For example, despite online loan origination being the new established order, about 75% of loan applications don’t make it all the way through to funding due to long turn-around times caused by communication bottlenecks.

It’s a real pain point for banks and customers, and that’s why we believe that, aside from computing infrastructure like the cloud and processing applications such as origination systems or CRMs, a third operating system is essential in today’s lending landscape: the communications hub which brings loan officers, processors, auditors, customers, brokers, information, and needed tools together to complete complex financial transactions.

Resolving digital communication disconnects can help financial institutions get ahead of the curve in three major ways:

  1. Recapturing approved loans before they are lost
  2. Reducing turn-around time to fund more loans
  3. Streamlining existing operations while growing digital personal connections with customers 

In order to resolve these issues, it is essential to connect teams quickly and unify systems across remote environments, driving online lending forward. We are now living in a hybrid world, where some tools and applications are available through the cloud while others need to be accessed in person. The challenge is to get them to talk to one another.

Data, documents and communication must be at arm’s length for lending teams to work efficiently from any location. In other words, financial institutions need high-tech-high-touch social collaboration that solutions like Slack enable for the other businesses. This is usually where an API comes in handy. But the market for lending platforms and core banking systems is fragmented.

So how do we get to easier and better collaboration?

The integrated lending stack

First, we need to enable integration. Integration enables connectivity, which enables high-touch social collaboration. At Shastic, we have spent years developing new ways to tap into the entire existing infrastructure that a traditional bank or credit union uses without relying on third-party vendors. This is the first stepping stone into a unified lending ecosystem. 

Leveraging the power of interconnected systems, loan agents can work from inside their existing platforms to connect and collaborate with customers, co-workers, external brokers, information, and tools easily. Using high-touch social collaboration during the online lending process closes the distance between lending teams, their customers and the entire lending ecosystem. 

The new market leaders of the next decade will be those organizations who best integrate their lending ecosystem, and as a result enable high-tech,-high-touch social collaboration in order to improve customer experiences, lend faster, boost productivity and heighten profitability.