How Technology Has Changed Customer Service and Applying For A Loan Online

 

Technology is a wonderful thing as it has made lives easier in more ways than one, like in the aspect of borrowing money. Advancements has introduced to us Fintech companies, downloadable lending apps, and online money transfers. You can add to this enhanced customer service with chatbots and websites that serve as modes of communication between lenders and potential customers. Indeed, technology in the lending industry has made borrowers one of the top priorities.  

The Site and the App: Twins of Lending Convenience

Loans are made more accessible with the Internet. Lending websites provide comprehensive information regarding available loans, and most even offer online assessments for you to check if you can qualify for a loan. Apart from a website, most online lenders also encourage interested borrowers to download their respective mobile apps for quick access. Borrowing online becomes very convenient as you can do so anytime of the day and anywhere you may be. You don’t need to go to a bank and file an application because online lenders are just a tap away.

Internet connectivity and smartphones are a great tandem in applying for loans as these make it more convenient for any borrower. Lending sites are only a click away, and you can even compare rates to determine the best for your needs regardless of the time of day or location. As a specialty of financial technology, lending platforms and mobile apps make loans more accessible to a wider consumer base, catering to those who may have been unnoticed or disregarded by traditional financial establishments.  

Apps also enable continuous communication between the lender and the borrower in all phases of the loan process. From tracking loan status to various updates regarding approval or denial, release and repayment, consumers are ensured that they can keep in touch at all times.

Variety of Loan and Repayment Options

Online loans also come in a variety of choices: payday loans, cash advances, emergency loans, and others. As opposed to stringent loans that can be used for home improvement or car loans, online loans can be used for myriad uses. 

Another advantage of online loans is that it allows amounts that may seem minimal to traditional financial institutions. You can borrow money that is just enough for financial emergencies without so much the hassle. These come in flexible repayment schedules and often have competitive interests. 

Less Paperwork, More Uploads

Whereas in days past, loan applications had to be made in person in a brick-and-mortar establishment where you sign a mountain of papers and then wait for days before hearing of the application’s approval (or worse, denial), financial technology has cut down waiting time and allowed for loans to be submitted with the click of a mouse or a tap on the screen.

All it takes is a few minutes on your smartphone, and you can browse multiple lending sites and compare interest rates. Uploading requirements is also made easy, as it only requires several proofs of identification and a smart “selfie”. A short questionnaire about your finances could be added, and then you’re done! 

The technology behind faster loans is the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which, according to Infosys, is “used to quickly process loan initiation, documents, comparisons, verifications and handle exceptions.” The RPA makes it possible to determine if the loan you applied for is a right fit based on data that reflect your credit worthiness.  

Customers also benefit from faster loan approvals and that’s because of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in streamline risk assessment which enables real-time decision making for loan applications. This AI technology combines personal information, credit score, and alternative data to determine your ability to repay the loan and then uses this information to make a decision. You can expect an update regarding its approval or denial in 30 minutes followed by a walk-through of how you can repay your loan. Once granted, you can have the money available in as early as two days.

Technology also provides you with the option to claim your loan via bank transfer or through cash-out centers. Repayment can also be done via the same channels with lenders communicating with borrowers through calls and updates regarding due dates and payments up until the loan has been fully repaid. Thus, consumers are assured that lenders will assist them throughout the entire loan process. 

The Good Disruption 

Traditional financial institutions often describe financial technology as “disruptive” as it seeks to challenge and take the place of established financial service providers. While Fintech companies may be seen as a threat by banks and credit unions, it can be seen as a welcome solution for consumers, especially those who may have a hard time obtaining credit or loans. These companies have done well in giving loans to underserved populations and in utilizing alternative data for verification. This has shortened loan processes to address the urgency of obtaining emergency loans and created amenable terms that fit borrower capacities. Disruptive as it may seem for traditional lending institutions, these processes are beneficial to consumers.   

Technology in Customer Service

Financial advancements not only impact on loans, but also touch on customer service in the lending industry. These have revolutionised customer service to become customer-specific and pro-active. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning has made financial services support available round the clock with just a tap away.  While customer service in banking is a novel integration, lenders are continually adapting to technologies that can help them understand consumers better and deliver enhanced customer experience that goes beyond hassle-free loans. These also extend to a variety of in-demand financial services to serve a new breed of lending consumers.

Ready, Set… Go

All of these transformations can be seen as a response to the changing needs of borrowers. The new generation of customers dubbed as Generation Z or the millennial generation rely on fast-paced information and instant gratification. Money matters, in a sense, now insist on greater consumer control in terms of keeping track of the status of loans, mortgages, and credit, finding competitive rates through comparisons and consultations and even requiring access to their financial data. Immediate needs require instant solutions, and online lending address this with technologies that strive to understand consumers and provide appropriate solutions to their pressing financial concerns. 

Stop, Chat and Listen 

While phone calls remain the foremost method of contacting lenders, financial institutions, most notably online lenders, have incorporated a system that makes support accessible. Websites feature self-help sections or FAQs that customers can browse through for answers. Apart from this, there is also standby support in the form of chat bots and AI systems that can accommodate inquiries and provide generic responses. Although some may argue that employing AI technology for customer service dehumanizes the experience, most websites and apps have trained support staff to handle more complicated issues.

Analytics is one of the technologies employed by the lending industry to glean into customer inclinations and behavior. Machine learning enables companies to understand borrowers and predict their future needs. This results in a match-making that meets the requirements of the lender and a more personalized loan package for the customer. 

But, consumers, nowadays, demand for more than fast-approval loans and quick answers from FAQs and self-help sections of a website. Fintech companies realize that while chatbots and customer support has improved customer service in lending, this field still needs further developments to enhance customer experiences. Consumers not only turn to online sources as immediate solutions to their emergency needs, but are also looking for expert advice that can help them manage their personal finances.  Finance technology can address these needs by utilizing platforms to provide a wide range of financial services that go beyond loans to ensure the over-all financial well-being of consumers.

Future Implications

Fintech has changed practically all aspects of lending and its impact is directly seen in loan automations and improved customer experiences. The rise of Fintech companies has introduced impressive technologies that are all-inclusive, accommodating underserved customers and providing opportunities for borrowers to access a variety of loans at their convenience. It has also integrated customer service into the loan process, providing information through self-help sections in websites and ensuring customer support 24/7. 

Banking and lending institutions continue to adapt to these technologies to keep up. Consumers now have increased demands and require instant solutions, so it is crucial to address them with the assistance of financial technologies. While it has seen many improvements that benefit the consumer, continued adaptation of artificial intelligence and other related innovations will surely lead to further enhancements that will make borrowing a breeze. 

While financial technologies have made leaps with streamlining the loan process, much needs to be done to implement technologies for improved customer experiences. Lending platforms can explore the potential of offering financial services that go beyond loans. Financial advice for debt consolidation, money management and investment opportunities can serve as additional venues for customer engagement. Thus, the aspect of customer experience in lending is a promising field in which technology can prove that it is for the better.  

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