A major brokerage has launched its first online direct-to-consumer digital lending product in partnership with Tic:Toc.
Aussie has announced that it has launched a new direct offering, Aussie Online, in partnership with mortgage fintech Tic:Toc.
The first product under the offering, Aussie Edge, is funded by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (which has a 28 per cent stake in the fintech) and targets “digitally savvy” purchasers, refinancers, owner-occupiers and investors; with fixed rate, variable rate and an optional offset account.
As such, consumers can now access Aussie both via broker and direct.
For example, they can seek guidance from an Aussie broker, who can access a range of home loan products from over 20 lenders in the market, including Aussie-branded home loans, or they can choose to self-serve with Aussie Online.
The major brokerage said that the new offering makes it a “three-in-one” model, offering service through its national brokerage franchise, funding via its branded home loans, as well as being a digital home loan product provider.
Aussie CEO James Symond commented: “Aussie is continuing to adapt to the ever-changing mortgage market. While the majority of consumers will continue to use a broker, there is a growing cohort of consumers who want to be self-directed in finding their own home loan online.
“Our digital lending product has been designed in partnership with Tic:Toc to offer a simple and convenient way to get finance approved. Borrowers can save a significant amount of time as they can apply online, even on their mobile device and get fast approval. For those customers who find along the way they need the guidance of a broker, Aussie can offer that – giving customers the best of both worlds.”
Founder and CEO of Tic:Toc Anthony Baum added: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Aussie, whose customer-first approach aligns with our own – helping more Australians take control of their home loan journey.
“Tic:Toc’s world-first technology creates significant efficiencies in the home loan process, with the ability to fully automate a home loan experience from the start of an online application to contract generation. This kind of time saving can translate to days of a credit assessor’s time, and weeks for a customer waiting on their approval.
“We’re very excited Aussie is embracing our technology to deliver faster, digital experiences for their customers.”
Aussie Online can reportedly provide home loan approval online in around 30 minutes. This is said to be due to Tic:Toc’s ability to automate home loan delivery from start to finish, including financial validation and contract generation, by overlaying account transaction data with “lending intelligence”.
Aussie Online asks the applicant for the details of the property they are wanting to purchase, triggering the automated property valuation (AVM). All other checks such as ID, credit and serviceability are also automated, enabling the customer to receive full approval with an Aussie Edge home loan if all checks are passed and accepted.
Tic:Toc’s automation levels reportedly enable loan fulfilment with as little as 10 minutes of human intervention by a credit assessor.
Commenting on the launch, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank stated that the agreement “further builds on its longstanding relationship with Aussie”.
“Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is pleased to continue to support Aussie to help more Australians achieve their dream of home ownership through a range of options suited to each individual customer,” the bank said.
While 60 per cent of mortgagors access loans through a broker, Aussie noted that the direct channel market is worth nearly $80 billion annually, with 16 per cent of today’s home loan consumers researching online and then going direct to a lender, while a further 6 per cent research online and then stay online throughout the process (according to Momentum Intelligence’s Consumer Access to Mortgages Report 2020).
The Momentum Intelligence research also shows that a majority of these customers who start an online application fail to complete their home loan process online as they require more assistance, according to the brokerage.
This is often because borrowers’ circumstances require more detailed assessment and guidance.
Mr Symond commented: “What makes us unique is we are able to provide a smooth transition for those consumers who investigate or start their application online, only to realise they need the level of support a broker can offer.
“If a customer decides they would prefer to talk to a broker, or if they don’t fit the criteria of an Aussie Edge loan, the customer’s application data can be seamlessly transferred to one of our brokers to pick up their application where they left off and help them get a home loan via another product.”
He continues: “For almost 30 years, we’ve continued to innovate and adapt to the mortgage market, giving consumers what they need when they need it. The launch of Aussie Online is just one part of our growth strategy to support a robust broking industry that puts consumers first.”
Aussie says its partnership with Tic:Toc comes at a critical juncture, as digital innovator growth has been amplified in tech-savvy segments due to the COVID environment.
Mr Symond concluded: “In the current environment, both Aussie and Tic:Toc have seen increased levels of activity, demonstrating that COVID has not stopped Australia’s obsession with the property market. With the launch of Aussie Online, we’re appealing to the buying behaviours of a more diverse range of borrowers, no matter how they want to shop for a home loan.”
The move comes as Aussie prepares to merge with fintech platform Lendi.
In December, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) – the parent company of Aussie – announced that it had entered into an agreement to merge Aussie Home Loans with Lendi.
The proposed transaction is set to combine Aussie’s brand and significant broker and franchisee network with the digital technology of online brokerage Lendi to create a “market leader” in the Australian home loan market.
The two brands said that Aussie’s broker and franchisee network will “remain central to providing consumers with the support, choice and expert guidance in the sometimes confusing and complex process of securing a home loan”, while Lendi will continue to develop its technology and processes to “deliver better customer experiences and outcomes via its platform, home loan consultant and specialist teams”.
Lendi shareholders will hold the majority shareholding of 55 per cent in the merged business, while Aussie’s current owner, CBA, will hold a 45 per cent shareholding and continue to provide funding for the Aussie Select branded home loan product.
The deal is not expected to complete until mid 2021.
[Related: Aussie CEO on the Lendi merger]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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