Renee Blethyn is Head of Broker Partnerships at NextGen, Frollo’s parent company and Australia’s leading technology service provider to the lending industry.
What are the biggest benefits Open Banking can deliver to brokers and lenders?
Simply put – faster time to approval, little to no need for reworks, reduced fraud risk and secure access to verified data. From my perspective, having spent almost 20 years in the Mortgage Broking industry, it just makes sense to use Open Banking – it is regulated, secure, uses verified data, and we see it playing a huge role in the future of lending.
Open Banking enables brokers to engage with their customers to accurately and securely access their data. With the heightened awareness of Australians around the security of their data, this is essential, in our view.
As a market leader and innovator in lending technology, we developed our NextGen Open Banking solution in partnership with Frollo; it supports brokers in how they service their client base, enabling them to maximise the quality of home loan application data with the rich data points Open Banking captures, which reduces the time to ‘yes’ and often avoids time-consuming reworks. It promotes responsible lending whilst reducing fraud risk. It means more time back for Brokers to use on higher-value activities and happier customers.
Finsure was the first broker group to go live with NextGen’s Open Banking powered Financial Passport. How has the feedback been from brokers using this solution?
We have received great feedback. Brokers have told us they are saving time, gaining better insights faster, and that their clients prefer the streamlined, less time-consuming and secure process. Brokers have noted an increase in concern from customers around sharing passwords for screen scraping technology, which has meant Open Banking is now becoming the preferred solution
In addition, insights and feedback from brokers and their clients have guided how we have evolved the Open Banking solution and its key features over the past six months, and we continue to actively engage with the brokers using the service to improve their experience and the value it provides.
While we are seeing the success of early adopters, there is still a need for more education to ensure Australians understand the benefits of using Open Banking. The more it is adopted and used, the more it will become the ‘norm’. We definitely see Open Banking and Open Data as an essential element of both security and data quality, as well as improving the customer experience – which is essential if you want to compete.
It seems like it’s still early days regarding broad Open Banking takeup by brokers. Do you see much interest in the market?
We do see a lot of interest in the market, because Open Banking provides the safest way to share data, it’s a key deliverable in strategic plans for most broker groups and lenders. Most of the larger aggregators have already expressed an interest, and we know that Frollo continually has brokers reaching out to them to see if they can get access. We are also excited to see the lender activation coming to life within ApplyOnline, as this is where real process efficiencies will be experienced.
Will Open Banking deliver anything different to brokers in the next 12 months?
Yes! We are now in the next phase of Open Banking for brokers, with lenders going live with Open Banking in NextGen’s ApplyOnline platform. This is where we will see the benefits continue for brokers, customers and lenders, with the ability to verify and refresh data already collected through Open Banking, which delivers faster approvals, less rework and reduced fraud risk.
As Trusted Advisers, brokers are very well placed to guide their customers to take full advantage of products and services that will suit their individual needs. We are committed to evolving our solution using Open Banking to deliver features that add genuine value to the service that brokers and lenders provide to the Australian Community. We are excited about the next 12 months as the Consumer Data Right continues to expand into other economic segments.
This interview is part of The State of Open Banking 2024, an industry report by Open Banking provider Frollo. The report provides a pulse check of the Australian Open Banking and Consumer Data Right industry, an overview of exciting new use cases and interviews with experts.