Thanks to strict social distancing and lockdown laws, the coronavirus pandemic has seen many businesses fast-track their processes and procedures into a range of digitally based solutions.
By allowing for digital verification of identity via video calls, ING has expanded on the existing flexibility offered to brokers, while paving the way for a future where face-to-face transactions aren’t essential.
MPA spoke with Glenn Gibson, ING’s head of third party distribution, direct mortgages, customer service & experience, about why the lender made this change and how it will benefit brokers as well as customers.
A digital solution was already in the pipeline.
According to Gibson, a digital ID solution was already something that ING was working on before Covid-19 changed the way individuals did business across the globe.
“We’d been investigating multiple options going forward and we wanted to be able to make it as easy for brokers as possible.”
Gibson says the lender already allowed flexibility in the way brokers conducted meetings with clients.
“We’ve always allowed brokers to do video interviews. We’ve always been able to have that flexibility because we know that our brokers have customers all around the country.”
Despite this, customers were previously required to either come in for a face-to-face meeting or do a “Zip ID” to finalise the transaction.
After investigating digital ID solutions for some time, Gibson says ING had to move quickly to respond to the rapidly changing lockdown and social distancing laws in place.
“We quickly jumped on the availability of a simple solution,” he says, explaining that the use of video conferencing was the quickest way to navigate the changes.
Future ID solutions.
Digital verification of ID is something that ING will keep in place after the pandemic has ended, says Gibson, however, the form this takes is likely to be different.
“We have a digital ID solution already in place for our consumer lending products and we were looking and continue to look at all the digital ID solutions in place for all our other products, whether it be savings products or mortgages.”
He says, with many lenders and aggregators coming out with different solutions, a “multiple supplier option” could be the way to go.
A customer-based approach.
Gibson says this change will help brokers to deliver services in a way that works for the customer.
“It provides better customer outcomes because it gives the flexibility to the customer to choose to take out a mortgage the way they wish to take it out.”
“If we want to look at where we all want to be – and this is brokers, this is lenders – is delivering a service the way that a customer wants it, not how we want to deliver it to them.”
“Offering the flexibility to take out a mortgage in the best way that the customer wants to – that’s a great outcome for brokers.”
The change will also benefit brokers, says Gibson, by allowing them to complete transactions without delay or unnecessary inconvenience.
“We are a business which is very much driven by our support of the broker market place because we are a third-party bank.”
“We will continue to be flexible with our support of our brokers in this current environment and we are listening, taking their feedback and being very quick to react to be able to support them through this time.”