2020 has been a year for the ages. Despite the rollercoaster of events, do you feel that your lending department is still running pretty well? You probably have a solid team in place, your processes are nailed down, and maybe even despite a backlog, you’re consistently turning around real estate loans in about 40 days.
Sounds pretty great … or is it?
I’m certainly not the first person to point out that credit unions and banks are in a battle for members and customers like never before. Online banks and fintech lenders can acquire new customers from anywhere, and even more problematic is that these competitors are brutally efficient and fast.
Like, “turn around loans in a matter of hours” fast. The standard 40 days might as well be an eternity.
Omar and I recently participated in a “Client Corner” interview with credit union and CUSO law firm extraordinaire, Messick Lauer & Smith. In it, we talked about the three things that are absolutely critical for financial institutions that want to be competitive:
The real challenge today is that even the friendliest team and most thoughtful customer service touches can’t compensate for a lack of speed and efficiency. When a borrower knows they can go online and be approved for a personal loan in a matter of hours, waiting 15-45 days to obtain a HELOC from their friendly local credit union looks a lot less appealing. Ultimately, all of these factors must come together to drive the top-notch experience borrowers are looking for now.
Here’s what’s exciting though: community lenders don’t have to make massive investments or use dozens of technology products to replicate what the digital-first competition is doing. Just one right fintech partnership can make a huge difference.
A LenderClose client had a member who applied for a HELOC at 9 a.m. Using our platform’s single hub, the lender was able to digitally complete the entire loan process, seamlessly connecting with every vendor required to complete the loan. The member signed the loan documents the same day.
That kind of service changes the whole equation. It’s a “wow” experience that defies the expectations many have for traditional credit unions and banks. Combined with all the other things your institution is doing right, it will solidify affinity in a time when consumers are increasingly comfortable with using multiple FIs, based on who’s doing the thing they need now the best.
The question any more isn’t “can we do this faster?” It’s “are we doing this as fast as possible?” If the answer is no, now it’s at least a problem you know you have. And those problems are much easier to solve.