Turnaround times, policy and support: Behind top non-bank’s success

For the second year in a row, Pepper Money came out on top in our Brokers on Non-Banks survey.

Winning eight out of 10 medals, the non-bank was praised for its BDM support; credit policy; brand recognition; interest rates; product diversification opportunities; turnaround times; communications, training and development; and its online platform and services.

Brokers also said Pepper was the preferred lender for borrower segments in specialist lending, property investors and alt-doc.

MPA spoke to Pepper Australia CEO Mario Rehayem to find out more about the non-bank’s success.

MPA: Why do you think brokers were so pleased with Pepper’s service over the last 12 months?

Mario Rehayem: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t receive an email, text or call from satisfied brokers on how grateful they are about our grade of service.

That’s because Pepper has invested a significant amount of time and money over the years to ensure its processes are aligned to broker and borrower expectations. This investment ensures a higher grade of service across the entire origination chain. Brokers are not measuring our service purely on our same-day turnaround times for fully assessed applications; service has a much larger remit than that. Brokers measure you on the entire experience, from the quality of your BDMs to the way you treat customers post-settlement.

MPA: You took out the gold medal for turnaround times, after not receiving a medal at all in this category last year. What have you done to improve in this area?

MR: We focused on refining our underwriting processes to maximise productivity. To do this we engaged with brokers from every state and held multiple focus groups to better understand the areas we needed to improve.

To consistently deliver quick turnaround times, you need to have an efficient decision engine that assists your credit team. With the introduction of Pepper Product Selector and Pepper Resolve we continue to increase the number of customers we have helped, and have done so in a more efficient manner. More specifically, we’ve increased our application-to-settlement conversion ratios by 14%.

We also have a number of technology enhancements coming out towards the end of the year which will significantly improve our turnaround times and overall grade of service to brokers and borrowers.

MPA: What are you going to do over the next year to continue to work with brokers?

MR: Brokers and borrowers are at the heart of everything we do. This is why we will continue to invest heavily in broker education, invest in the Pepper brand to build awareness, and release more products that will cater to a larger cohort of borrowers. But most importantly, we promise to never be complacent. We will continue to challenge the accepted and push every boundary to maximise our overall experience in the most responsible way.