Newcastle Greater unveils fast-tracked digital home loan

Newcastle Greater Digital Home Loans

Newcastle Greater Mutual Group (NGM Group) has become the latest lender to launch its own fast-tracked Digital Home Loans service, boasting conditional home loan approval times of 20 minutes.

The “game-changing” service, developed in partnership with a number of tech vendors, includes a range of technologies to verify applicant details and streamline the home loans applications process.

Loan origination engine developer, LendFast, and STP-specialist lendtech, Loanworks, were enlisted with NGM’s tech team to build the underlying platform.

The Digital Home Loans platform also embeds biometric technologies from OCR Labs, including facial recognition technologies capable of tracking eye movements, to digitally authenticate customers’ identities.

“Our Digital Home Loans utilise sophisticated technology that goes as far as detecting eye movements through facial identification, verifying applicants as real-life people, and matching them with their physical identification cards such as a driver’s license,” said NGM Group chief executive Bernadette Inglis.

She added the newly deployed digital ID verification services could also “be used across more products and services, streamlining processes across NGM Group”.

“Ultimately, Digital Home Loans keep us at the front of the pack in an increasingly competitive market for home loans, with a technology platform that we’re confident is as robust as any other lender in Australia can offer.”

Prior to its merger with Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent last year introduced digital signatures and digital verification of identity across most of its interaction channels, with the Digital Home Loans service also leveraging Newcastle’s existing partnership with DocuSign.

The Digital Home Loans platform collates information from various sources to verify applicants’ details, including income, expenses, credit rating as well as estimates of property values and information, tapping data from real estate analytics company CoreLogic and credit bureau illion.

Applicants are asked to securely log in to their online banking and credit suppliers to verify income, expenses and liability information.

“Thanks to the service’s cutting-edge technology, there is no need for customers to manually gather documentation such as bank statements, payslips and records of monthly spending – our secure platform helps collate this information,” Inglis said.

The service currently offers rates as low as 5.84 per cent per annum to owner-occupiers.

“As we see this technology used by more and more customers, its financial benefits will start to really come into effect, helping us to offer even more competitive rates for our customers,” Inglis said.

Applicants can also consult with a human representative over webchat to discuss details of the loan or snags they may encounter through the digital application process.

Though currently limited to refinancing applicants, NGM said it will open the service up to new home purchasers later this year.

The service, which is currently available for NGM’s Newcastle Permanent arm, is also set to be brought to market for Greater Bank.

“One of the best aspects of this technology and digital capability is that it can be leveraged across both brands,” Inglis said.

“Streamlining processes and utilising the talents of two formerly separate teams – we had some extra expertise on this from the talented people who were able to join the project as a result of the merger – was an obvious opportunity for improvement that was brought about by forming NGM Group.”