By Travis Scholes, Commercial Director at LMS
Technology has changed the way we do everything. Through things like streaming services and innovations in online banking, consumers have been conditioned over the course of the last decade to expect almost instant gratification in most walks of life. It brings huge benefits in terms of efficiency, customer service and cost for all sectors.
Financial services is no different. Fintech firms like Monzo or Tide have changed the consumer-facing banking industry for example, digitising most of the customer interactions in an efficient and easy way. It is this that needs to translate to the rest of the sector – through tech collaborations it’s possible to ease workload, improve customer satisfaction and create small efficiencies that will completely change the game for financial services. Navigating the challenges of multiple providers and finding one end-to-end solution will be key.
Bringing homebuying into the digital age
Take the property market, for example. The conveyancing journey can be cumbersome, still relying on non-digital processes – rekeying the same data a number of times, faxing documents and manually verifying a person’s ID. With multiple companies, government bodies, lenders and legal firms involved in each transaction, it’s not surprising that these parties get frustrated with the notoriously slow process, especially as consumers are increasingly expecting a fast, efficient service when it comes to property purchases.
This is an issue that must be addressed, not only to improve the service for the end customer, but also to help law firms and lenders alike deal efficiently with the high levels of purchase and remortgage activity that are expected to remain throughout 2022.
Last year LMS saw a 31% increase in mortgage lending and the market is building up to another spike on April 1st when a significant number of existing mortgages reach the end of their term. The second half of 2022 will see the largest number of expiring loans of any six-month period in the last decade. Ensuring these are processed without a hitch will be vital for the industry – doing so means digitising manual processes as much as possible to avoid any mistakes being made.
Collaboration is the game changer
Helping law firms and lenders to do this successfully means collaborating with them on tech implementation. Driving innovation in the sector necessitates creating a more positive outlook when it comes to embracing change, focussing on the benefits it can bring. There has been so much tech advancement and no shortage of appetite for it, so the next step is to use the collaboration between firms and tech providers to capitalise on this and bring the theory to fruition.
Documents can be shared digitally, cutting down communication times and reducing the chance of errors. There are other benefits such as reducing the opportunity for fraudsters to intercept documentation. All these examples have clear benefits for the end consumer, while better serving the law firm too. The latest innovations include things like LMS’ Secure Link that helps reform what is usually an overcomplicated process for getting simple queries answered – firms get these questions answered instantly, allowing the wait time for more complex queries to be cut to just a few hours, rather than days.
Focussing on creating these small efficiencies all adds up and it’s so easy to do. There is tech that exists now that is easy to implement and work with on a day-to-day basis, and makes a significant difference to the customer, enabling much more accurate updates and removing uncertainty. In fact, the issue is not that the tech doesn’t exist, it’s that there are too many providers that are focussed on automating just one part of the journey. Understandably, firms can’t see the benefit of implementing multiple bits of tech to automate the conveyancing process and this does little to encourage collaboration across the sector.
The answer is not to abandon the idea altogether, but to give them more clarity by providing one end-to-end solution. For example, third party tech providers such as LMS are leading the way in this regard, building services that ensure every step is linked and innovation is targeting the entire journey for ease of implementation and use. Tech can plug easily into case management systems (CMS) via API with very little involvement needed from the conveyancer or lender and once installed, act as a channel for data to flow through easily and automatically. The benefits are significant to all parties, improving customer service and satisfaction for consumers, as well as increasing resource efficiency and helping with cost reduction for law firms.
The current conveyancing process can feel long and inefficient, not least for the law firms that just want to make sure that the customer gets the best possible end result. Every party is working as fast as possible at each stage, but we have to help implement the tools at our disposal to ease this burden. Law firms have to embrace the power of tech, with one simple end-to-end solution that can vastly improve and streamline their processes while reducing the margin for error.
Collaborating with third party tech providers will help deliver a faster, smoother and more cost-effective service for their all-important clients. This is nothing new, but doing so will strengthen relationships and generate new business for years to come.