A new online lending platform that competes with mortgage brokers has seen more than $43 million worth of home loans put through its system in its first two weeks of operation.
Joust is a free tool that involves lenders bidding (jousting) for home loans in real time, allowing customers to watch as lenders drive down each other’s rates within a specific time frame.
During the first two weeks of its launch in South Australia, more than 100 consumers put their home loans up for auction on Joust, three times more than the company had anticipated.
Online lending platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent in the home loan space, bringing fresh competition and challenging the traditional bank and broker propositions.
Seven lenders have already partnered with the South Australia-based platform, including BankSA, Adelaide Bank, Australian Unity, People’s Choice Credit Union, Bank of Queensland, Beyond Bank and Gateway Credit Union.
Joust managing director Mark Bevan said one of the main benefits to banks is the complete lack of channel conflict, as Joust is not looking to ‘own’ the customer or the relationship.
“We would hope to take some business away from mortgage brokers,” Mr Bevan said.
Joust has targeted challenger brands rather than the big four. According to Mr Bevan, the start-up has seen the strongest engagement from non-major lenders and mutuals.
Mr Bevan said Joust will launch in Victoria in October, followed by a full national roll out by January 2017, with plans to more than double the number of active lenders on the platform.
“We’re aiming to have up to 20 lenders on our digital platform to ‘joust’ by the time we launch nationally, which given the discussions and high level of interest received to date, we are confident this goal is well within reach,” he said.
The former major bank executive believes one of the reasons people are responding so well is the fact that Joust is not a comparison site, but a live and fully transparent auction platform.
“It’s a reverse eBay experience for home loans. There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to comparing home loan deals between lenders, and people don’t have the time or patience to do the hunting around and negotiating back and forth – and certainly not with numerous lenders,” he said.
“Our platform brings a new competitive edge to the financial sector, whereby we bring the lenders to the consumer on our terms, ensuring apples are always being compared with apples, which makes the process much easier for the consumer.”