Online platform looks to ease home loan applications
The newly launched MortgageMe is looking to cut out the time-consuming hassle and paperwork involved in the traditional loan application process, say its developers.
An online bond aggregator, MortgageMe is the brainchild of E4 and WeAreMonsters. E4 provides digital tools to assist financial service providers and real estate agencies in streamlining their services, while WeAreMonsters focuses on disrupting antiquated business models through the utilisation of technology and business design.
According to the companies, the purpose of the new online platform, which is live, is to initiate a super-fast digitised application process that automates tailored submissions to the country's major banks and lenders on prospective property buyers’ behalf.
Normally, the process would require five days’ worth of paperwork. However, MortgageMe’s instant access to South African lenders means the best rates are shared with the user side-by-side, allowing them to get a full, realistic picture before making their decision.
Andrew Price, MortgageMe director and WeAreMonsters team leader and chief revenue officer, explains: “With many industries creating solutions to disrupt outdated, tedious processes, we saw an opportunity in the home loan sector.
“Traditional home loan application methods, consisting of hours of paperwork submitted to a single preferred lender, often lack in transparent communication. This causes a great deal of stress in an already complicated and difficult process. MortgageMe provides South Africans with a simpler, less intimidating alternative to the traditional method of endless application forms and scanned proofs.
"We designed the experience around simplicity, speed and transparency, from minimising the steps in receiving a home loan offer to the way we standardise and reveal the offers from multiple banks side-by-side for easy assessment, and even receiving the offers within 72 hours after completing your application."
Kurt Campher, head of the MortgageMe product at WeAreMonsters, adds: “We wanted to reduce the stress that comes with the lack of transparency and visibility of all the variables in the current home loan application process, and ultimately empower loan applicants with all the information they need to make a well-informed investment.”
Price indicates MortgageMe is offered at no cost to the home loan applicant.
Banks have an operational cost to acquire any new bond business, which gets paid to originators as commission for the successful approval of a home loan, he elaborates.
“While many people believe this commission is at the expense of the applicant, through increased interest rates, it is actually the opposite. Home loan applicants who apply for bonds through an originator almost always end up paying lower rates than if they had negotiated on their own.”
Commenting on what he hopes users will come away with when using the Web site, Price concludes: “We aim to empower applicants by giving them a platform which provides the best rates and a complete picture of which loan options are available to them, allowing them to make a well-informed investment decision. We want applicants to feel supported through their entire journey, making the purchasing of a new home an enjoyable experience.
"Importantly, we want consumers to have the option of undertaking this once intimidating process themselves, with confidence and transparency. Empowering the home buyer is our main concern.”