In today's mortgage industry, capturing the attention of consumers is partly about offering multiple channels in which they can conduct business. Bank of America (B of A) is working at adding yet another channel for consumers to conduct mortgage business, the mobile phone. Last year, B of A "mobile-optimized" their auto loan applications, allowing their customers to complete 85% to 90% of the process on their phone, according to an article in National Mortgage News. Now they are turning their sights on mortgage applications. Although much more tricky, their focus is to simplify the process to make it more mobile friendly. They are adding features like the ability to upload and e-sign documents, all while giving the consumer the ability to connect to a mortgage loan officer.
The mobile experience is expected to be much more conversational, compared with the online experience which is just filling out a form. B of A plans to pre-populate fields with information that is already known about the customer, cutting down on the number of questions required to be answered. Longtime customers could have much of their information pre-filled, allowing them to complete the process much more quickly.
Currently there is one bank in North America offering a mobile mortgage. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce launched Hello Home in May 2016 allowing borrowers to upload pictures of documents and chat with a mortgage specialist. Although it is only available in Canada, it shows the possibilities of a mobile mortgage offering.
Widespread use of these offerings is not expected in the near term. Many who are working on developing these solutions are trying to position themselves to be attractive to millennials. The payoff is expected when millennials become the largest group of homebuyers. As for B of A, they plan to launch their version of the mobile mortgage platform later this year.