Tony Carn (NextGen.Net) about the State of Open Banking

The expectation of customers to have a lender or a broker who can tap into Open Banking data is really high and growing rapidly.

Tony Carn, NextGen

NextGen.Net is Australia’s leading technology solution provider to the lending industry, with more than 50 lenders using their electronic lodgement and loan processing platform, ApplyOnline. With 7 in 10 Australian mortgages and more than 1 million transactions a year completed in ApplyOnline, NextGen.Net makes it their business to know what’s next when it comes to technology.

As Chief Customer Officer, Tony Carn has developed NextGen.Net’s customer experience framework – from engagement to solutions, satisfaction and service delivery – for the past ten years. He speaks to brokers, aggregators and lenders every day about improving the lending experience, and Open Banking is going to play a crucial role in this.

Why has NextGen.Net decided to invest in Open Banking early on?

Our mission is to make lending easy by providing lenders and brokers with easier and more efficient ways to deliver better outcomes for consumers.

We recognised early on the opportunity of Open Banking in the lending space to remove friction from the application process, reduce the reliance on supporting documents, lessen the burden on resources required to assess customer data and radically accelerate the approval process.

Acquiring Frollo in July last year created a powerful partnership that will enable us to create those processing efficiencies that will improve the loan application process for our customers and their borrowers.

Where do you see the biggest Open Banking opportunities for NextGen.Net?

Open Banking is going to nail a lot of the pain points with the ability to very quickly, seamlessly and effortlessly collect information and be able to evidence income, expenses, loan commitments and the like – rather than having to collect all that information and then pore through it and categorise it. For borrowers it will also address in some cases the lack of clarity about what they do need to provide.

From the point of sale through to settlement, there’s huge potential for Open Banking data to be the source of truth, to better inform and enrich the loan application as well as streamline the application process, ultimately delivering better outcomes and turnaround times for borrowers.

What would be your advice to brokers, aggregators and lenders who want to get started with Open Banking?

To not delay or put Open Banking in the ‘too hard’ basket, but get ready to embrace the opportunity it brings. It’s also really important to partner with the right providers that are experts in the field to help you navigate the regulations and compliance as well as the technology on offer.

Everyone in the market is aware of the challenge lenders face regarding scalability to deal with increased volume and demand for finance. There’s a real opportunity to leverage Open Banking and adapt processes and policy to address that challenge and truly maximise the benefits on offer.

For brokers, Open Banking presents a new way for how customers can be sourced and nurtured through their life cycle. It will empower brokers to engage with potential borrowers earlier in the finance journey and well after the initial loan has settled.

What are your expectations for Open Banking in the next 12 months?

There are some big opportunities for lenders and brokers when it comes to open banking, especially when we talk about integration and automation. It’s not just about having access to that source of truth data now, it’s about how that information is made available, how it’s collected, categorised and standardised so it can deliver real benefits to all parties.

The expectation of customers to have a lender or a broker who can tap into Open Banking data is really high and growing rapidly; this is a pivotal moment in the lending industry and the use of open banking data to enhance customer experiences is going to become the standard moving forward.

This interview with Tony Carn was first published in ‘The State of Open Banking 2021’, along with an industry survey and interviews with James Wyper (P&N Group), Nick Malham (BOQ) and John Sanger (AFG).

Open Banking in Australia is ready for takeoff. With over 90 banks sharing data, more than 20 Accredited Data Recipients and 67% of respondents planning to use Open Banking data in the next 12 months, this is the time to get started. 

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