Online Loan Origination And The Human Touch

Efficiency on the back end and heightened satisfaction on the front end await the credit union that deploys a robust LOS.




Lending organizations today are discovering new ways to meet customers’ needs. Loan origination — the new battleground — is the banking process that encompasses how a credit union member applies for a new loan and a lender processes that application, then upon approval, distributes and administers the requested funds. In the past, all of the various steps in this process took days to complete. Customers now expect approval news within hours, if not minutes; and with easy online access to multiple loan sources, borrowers are likely to go with the best rate provided by the lender who responds the fastest.

By automating the various loan origination processes, a credit union can significantly improve its level of service and sales performance that supports loan origination, as well as build a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The benefits of a mobile Loan origination system (LOS) experience include:

  • 24/7/365 access on multiple devices
  • Real-time account opening with a full eligibility wizard, member documentation uploads, and online signatures
  • Rapid automated decisions that support specific credit union strategies, from the simplest to the most complex
  • Streamlined origination, automated underwriting, and funds disbursement with flexible third-party integrations
  • Seamless integration that supports specific current processes today, but with enough flexibility and access to easily accommodate and manage changes and upgrades down the road
  • Support for a credit union’s brand with intuitive design applications that customize the solution to complement and enhance its mobile and full websites

An optimal LOS features a powerful, configurable workflow engine that uses a credit union’s existing rules, rates, and lending criteria, and supports loan application processing activity across all consumer lending channels. For members, the system’s technology should work easily on desktop and mobile platforms to support consumer loan and account opening applications that work seamlessly with the credit union’s current technology and processes.

Such an implementation not only simplifies integration, but also minimizes staff training and reduces or eliminates the need for new loan origination steps, all of which drive faster access to market. In addition to expedited applications and responses, a LOS allows credit union staff to manage more new applications and current loans by using automated workflows that require fewer resources, take less time, and comply with all internal and regulatory standards. From tracking documents to integrating a paper-free processing and storage system, a LOS can build in new, cost-cutting efficiencies aimed at the bottom line.

Existing and prospective members alike will greatly appreciate the responsiveness of a robust, customizable decision engine that provides access to lending information, product options, and a smooth, intuitive application process available over multiple devices — around the clock, 365 days a year.

However, it is important to keep in mind that online lending should supplement a credit union’s lending program and philosophy, not replace it. By combining a LOS with a productive and compassionate customer support staff, credit unions can build on their history of service with a wide range of new automated capabilities, customer-facing and back-end, to compete in today’s uber-competitive lending arena.

Credit unions considering a change or upgrade to their LOS should consider partnering with a CUSO to do so. CUSOs can help credit unions look at key issues, including software integration, mobile functionality, operations, member experience, and goals.

A good CUSO will focus not only on helping a credit union embrace technological advances, but also supporting member services. PSCU’s solution is worth considering as a member-friendly answer to open and fund new accounts. In their quest to always improve the member experience, PSCU partnered with CU Direct to offer Lending 360. Integration between account origination and Lending 360’s loan origination functions enables credit unions to smoothly process loan applications, which supports new member growth, marketing, and cross-selling across all digital channels.

Credit unions have built a reputation for emphasizing responsive services tailored to the needs of established members while anticipating those of prospects. Fortunately, the acceptance of automated and self-guided services is growing, allowing members to experience and even seek new efficiencies, smooth banking experiences and increased convenience.

More and more, the friendly face at a bank is evolving into a user-friendly app that is ready for consumers for whatever they need, whenever they need it. However, this shift to mobile does not have to be a negative. Instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity for credit unions to take advantage of by leveraging the power of the human touch.

Dan Ruppe is responsible for the suite of Total Member Care products and services, including PSCU’s Lending and Account Opening solutions.

Rachel Fogle works with PSCU’s Lending and Account Opening Solutions, as well as strategic product initiatives at PSCU.


This sponsored content article is provided to the credit union community for shared insights and knowledge from a recognized solutions provider in the industry. Please note that the views and opinions offered here do not reflect those of Callahan & Associates, and Callahan does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer.

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Feb. 5, 2018



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