The digital age is here and the property industry is moving towards 100% digital settlements
Anyone who has ever bought or sold a home knows that finalising a property transaction can be stressful. NAB is making things easier for its customers, as Gary Howard, General Manager of Redstar Customer Lending Operations, explains here.
Q. From 1 August 2017, all mortgage refinances will be required to go online, is NAB geared up for the digital mortgage era?
We know our customers want to do things more easily, simply, and conveniently, and enabling digital solutions is absolutely key to this. NAB has been an advocate and driver of change in the eConveyancing industry for years. Since settling our first PEXA transaction, we have mobilised NAB projects to support readiness for key industry mandates such as this. This work has resulted in a significant proportion of transactions already being completed via PEXA.
Q. We’ve had EFTPOS and internet banking since the 1990s, how complex is it to digitise mortgages?
Digital allows for a wide range of opportunities. Certainly there are a number of layers and legacy systems and processes within the mortgages process, and many of these processes are geared towards paper. To digitise the entire mortgage process, end-to-end, we need to think differently and look for opportunities to innovate… and we are. PEXA is a great example of what is possible and how we can progress towards delivering a better customer experience by going digital.
Q. The push to digitise property transactions has come about as a result of a COAG directive to bring property transactions into the 21st Century, why do electronic transactions matter for NAB?
Electronic transactions have a number of benefits for NAB. Most importantly, it gives us greater flexibility to deliver outcomes quickly for our customers. It also results in less duplication and cost. Leveraging technology will give our people the opportunity to focus on more personalised service, and for our customers it means increased security and real time access to funds.
Q. How long does it take to refinance a property using the paper channel compared with the new online standard?
Historically, settlement and registration were reliant on manual processes. With a PEXA settlement, the registration and funds disbursement can be completed instantly. It means customers may not have to wait weeks for their name to be on the title, rather a mortgage could be registered in minutes.
Q. More than half of bank refinances are now completed through PEXA. What change will customers see when all property transactions go online, with regulations now stipulating this in the near future?
Customers will have better visibility of where things are up to at each stage of the process which gives them more certainty. They will also benefit from the convenience of real time access to their funds.
Q. What are the main customer benefits that flow from digital transactions? Why do they matter?
It’s quicker, customers will benefit from real time access to settlement proceeds, and the PEXA system is more secure than the paper process. It’s integrated with the Titles offices so there is less chance of settlement delays due to errors in documentation.
Q. NAB is investing in laboratories to future-proof its operations. How does teaming with a digital disrupter like PEXA fit with your overall innovation strategy?
NAB is committed to providing a customer experience that is easy, personal and supportive. We know our customers and their needs are changing, and so we need to change the way we engage with them. We’re focused on delivering digital solutions that are driven by customer needs, but that doesn’t mean everything is going to be digitised, particularly where relationships and human advice counts. PEXA represents an excellent opportunity to complete settlements in a faster more efficient way and give customers a better experience.
Q. Can you share any insights on what happens behind the scenes now that mortgage transactions are moving online?
The introduction of PEXA has introduced a new collaborative approach within the industry, with a common goal of improving the customer experience and delivering the best outcome possible. Collaboration, internally and externally, is the key to driving sustainable improvements across the industry in the interests of all customers.
Q. Do you expect digital mortgages to result in happier customers and to even shift the needle on your customer engagement scores?
A property settlement can be a stressful experience, and NAB’s aim is to make things as easy as possible for our customers. PEXA removes manual processes so customers can have peace of mind that there is less risk of delays. It means things will be easier and quicker.
Q. Spearheading the push to improve the final stage of transacting property, 125 lenders and 4,390+ lawyers and conveyancers have now joined PEXA’s national e-Conveyancing network. What advice do you have for those yet to join the network?
The digital age is here and the property industry is moving towards 100% digital settlements. Within a few years, we expect the majority of transactions will be performed electronically, so I encourage more people to join up to increase process efficiency and customer satisfaction.
For more information about becoming PEXA-ready or subscribing to the network please contact Marielle Yeoh, Chief Financial Services Officer, PEXA: Marielle.Yeoh@pexa.com.au