Meerbusch, 24 October, 2018

The choice of mortgage is an important decision in one’s life and is regarded as a particularly consulting-intensive service. Due to documentation and inspection obligations, a large number of paper documents are required when contracts are concluded. Collenda, the Düsseldorf-based provider of digital solutions for credit and receivables management, reveals in the course of a new study that 54 percent of users can already imagine an online contract.

The software company Collenda asked almost 1,000 people of all ages about their preferences for taking out a mortgage. More than a third of the respondents plan to purchase a property over the next eight years. The interviewees’ preferences for the form of research, contract conclusion and follow-up suggest that digital channels are also becoming increasingly important for products requiring intensive advice. Even today, 54 percent of respondents would be willing to conclude a contract online. Primarily, users want to reduce their effort (28 percent) or want to compile information independently due to a lack of trust in consultants (21.4 percent). Only about a quarter of the participants attach importance to personal consultation, in order to be informed comprehensively. However, 19.1 percent are concerned about the security of an online transaction.

A majority of 56 percent would like to use digital offers to inform them about financing options. However, only 18 percent want to make exclusive use of digital information. As expected, the preference for online offerings is more pronounced among younger participants.

Study author Christoph Tahedl, CTO at Collenda, emphasizes: “We are at a turning point in the industry. While real estate loans were previously considered a classic branch business, there are also signs of change here. More and more customers can imagine online transactions – in addition, they expect a wide range of information and tools, which they can use at their leisure via domestic online devices. Financial institutions should regard the results as a sign that they are creating their own opportunities for customers. The dominant brokerage and comparison portals have made the financial world more transparent and simpler for users – customer behaviour is changing rapidly”.

The new requirements are clearly reflected in the figures. 86 percent would use digital offers for calculation and credit comparison. In addition, 71 percent of those surveyed are already prepared to store their data digitally in order to receive tailor-made offers. However, around one third would only do this anonymously. There are also clear preferences in the follow-up processing of loans. For many borrowers, the high effort and paperwork is a nuisance. 75 percent would like contract documents to be exchanged via an online portal. 80 percent of interested parties would even like the bank to introduce a permanent online portal for customer contact and the stored documents.

“Banks are now required to meet these requirements. The battle for direct customer access is becoming increasingly difficult, as platforms are gaining in importance. It is therefore crucial to stand out from the competition through better services and faster credit decisions up to the complete online conclusion. There is an acute need for action on the part of the institutions here.”