Mortgage originations and closings involve hundreds of pages of paperwork that need to be validated and vetted against numerous regulatory and risk-based measures. Those pages, in turn, must be shared with dozens of
separate vendors for processing and subject to compliance and quality-control reviews.
Mortgage originators can create a competitive separation if they can
ensure documents are transmitted and processed digitally — if there
isn’t a still-existing need for them to be wet-signed. The tools to provide
this digital capability already are being developed and rolled out.
Mortgage originators who don’t take this trend seriously — and fail
to upgrade their services to accommodate a digital future — will look
antiquated by the end of the decade. Even now, the technology exists
for mortgage originators to go almost entirely paperless, which can
save them a great deal of time and money while raising the quality of
their customer service.
Even in its most basic form, digitizing documents is a worthwhile task.
Instead of allocating considerable space and personnel to store and manage physical records, scanned documents are much easier to handle.
More advanced processes, however, like auto-indexing and optical character recognition, offer undeniable value to mortgage originators.
Once documents are scanned, they become digital images of individual pages. Auto-indexing examines these pages and uses a predefined
set of visual cues to group them into different categories. For mortgage
originators, this means that loan packages consisting of dozens of documents and hundreds of pages can be split into separate files and sent to
different vendors in minutes.
Optical character recognition, and its more advanced variant, intelligent character recognition, also examine scanned documents. Instead
of simply categorizing them, these technologies convert digital photos
of words on a page into digital text that can be copied and searched.
Not only does digitization reduce manual data entry, but thanks to
these technologies, it also reduces the need to transcribe or re-key
information from one system to another.
Robotic process automation, using virtual agents called bots to assume
digital activities currently performed by people, are becoming accessible to a much wider audience. These bots take days to do tasks instead
of months, cost much less and don’t require businesses to change the
way they operate. Once they have been trained, bots complete those
tasks at a fraction of the time a human would take and can continue
working around the clock at peak efficiency without tiring.
The technology is an extremely cost-effective and quick-deploying
solution for integrating disparate information systems. Bots simply
perform the same tasks that a human would, such as copying information from one computer program and pasting or typing that information into another window or online form, but they do so faster and with
greater accuracy than humanly possible.
That’s not the only type of task where bots excel. Especially important for mortgage originators is the ability of bots to check documents
against hundreds of business rules in a matter of seconds. This capability makes audits and compliance reviews a prime target for automation.
The value doesn’t end there, either. Any process that can be defined
and repeated can be automated by bots, including activities not
specific to the mortgage industry — like invoice and payroll processing.
Robotic process automation is an excellent way to improve profitability
and reduce business risk. Some business processes, however, still need
a human mind to yield satisfactory results. Document auto-indexing
services, for example, often advertise accuracies exceeding 90 percent.
The remaining share of the process needs to be corrected by human
Alok Bansal is managing director of Visionet Systems Inc., a New Jersey-based technology and
mortgage-services organization. Bansal has led Visionet’s rapid expansion plans in India to establish the company as a global leader in providing next-generation mortgage technology products
and outsourcing services. He has more than 20 years of experience in managing the strategy and
global operations of financial services and technology companies. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Even now, the technology
exists for mortgage
originators to go almost
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