Australian fintech Lendi is using Google Cloud capabilities to automate its mortgage origination process as it works towards a long-term goal of achieving same day approval for a loan.
Lendi is an online home loan marketplace which combines specialist advice and comparison data to assist customers in finding and securing a loan. It has processed over 2 million applications so far.
The fintech has recently started using Google Cloud services for artificial intelligence and machine learning to help it automate and speed up data-intensive aspects of the home loan origination process.
Origination refers to the process of a lender working with a borrower to approve a mortgage loan.
Speaking at a Think Google fireside chat event, Lendi chief product officer and co-founder Mark Kalajzich said the fintech is working with Google services to remove "pain points" from the home loan process.
"The home loan is not really a monolithic item, it's not just one big thing," he said.
"At the core of it, it's 400 different processes, problems, verification, credit scores, credit pieces of data, assets, income, expenses, whatever it might be.
"And I think when you break all of those down to their smallest piece of the problem, Google's helping us solve many of those.
“The more than we can bring data into play, automate clunky processes, use machine learning and ultimately AI to solve those problems the more pain points we take out, and the easier it is for us to solve the customer's problem."
Kalajzich said that the home loan process is challenging for first home and repeat buyers alike; even the most seasoned customers searching for a home loan or refinancing option still struggle with gathering the necessary documentation.
“That's really where machine learning and AI come in," he said.
"How do we get the necessary data because that's really what the home loan approval is - it's just data points.”
For lenders, the challenge is also about "extracting data in the right way” from submitted documents such as payslips - again, a problem that AI/ML services could address.
“We can absolutely deploy human to validate a payslip, but we can also solve that problem through automation and machine learning," he said.
"Google is imperative to helping us on that journey.”
Outside of Google's capabilities, Kalajzich said there are many niche products dedicated to the customer mortgage journey and Lendi could “potentially join forces” to solve data-related challenges.
“It touches on the challenge that right now we're all very focused on what we do… and looking inwards and trying to solve that one customer problem," he said.
“There are a lot of opportunities for us to work together and that sounds perhaps easier said than done.
“It's incumbent on us to ensure that our services and APIs are as open as possible to work seamlessly with other players.”
Kalajzich said Lendi will continue to use “data that the customer feels really comfortable sharing with us” and “extract the relevant data from the documents that they have provided us” as it continues simplifying its mortgage processes.
“There's also more that we can do around valuations and what does valuation data look like in our space," he said.
Kalajzich said Lendi started with “a bit of a utopian goal” to achieve a same day home loan approval.
"Nothing has changed from us being really committed” to this goal, he said.
He noted that putting the customer at the centre of the home loan origination process, coupled with advances in technology, promised to bring about considerable change in the space.
“I genuinely feel like we have all placed the customer at the centre of what we've been doing, but technology does take time to develop…I really hope that we are on the cusp of some significant changes as how customers go about getting their home loan.
“The more we can get out of the customer's way so that they can enjoy their home, that's really our reason for being.”