How EQ Bank is Using Financial Data Integrations to Supercharge Their Residential Lending Process
Equitable Bank is Canada’s seventh largest Schedule I bank and is ranked the number one Canadian Bank on the 2023 Forbes list of World’s Best Banks. Managing more than $50 billion in assets and serving more than 5 million Canadians, the bank offers a diverse suite of residential lending, commercial lending, and savings solutions, including high-interest savings products and guaranteed investment certificates.
As a challenger bank focused on delivering better banking experiences, Equitable Bank wanted to set a new standard for the mortgage application process that is fast, seamless and error free.
Working with Blanc Labs as a technology strategy and systems integration partner, EQ decided to implement Flinks Data Aggregation & Connectivity tools to transform their lending process by developing a new Statement Share tool.
The Statement Share tool overhauled EQ’s mortgage approval process, simplifying the identity and funds verification process for both customers and underwriters.
*Instant Bank Verification (IBV) and Financial Data Enrichment tools can accelerate the underwriting process by up to 30%*. Stats based on a sample size of Flinks’ clients
The need for an improved mortgage approval journey
Buying a house is a major milestone for most people, often the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. The process involves various steps, including getting approved for a mortgage, which can be quite stressful on its own.
Financial institutions require a lot of data and documentation to move forward with their mortgage underwriting process. Unfortunately, this puts the burden on customers to gather and share all of that information.
The process of sharing documents is not a pleasant one. It involves downloading reports from bank portals, scanning or printing them, emailing them to the mortgage officer or handing in physical copies, and notifying the broker.
When clients send their bank statements directly to us by email, they’re sending them in PDF format—which requires manual work to process and to review for inconsistencies.
EQB had an additional layer of complexity. Their customers, most of whom are small business owners, have multiple bank accounts which were used for both business and personal purposes. This made the information sharing process even more confusing and cumbersome.
EQB wanted an elegant solution that would make the mortgage application process simpler for the customer and less complicated for the mortgage underwriters. The result was the Statement Share tool.
The Statement Share tool
Enhancing the Customer Experience
The Statement share tool uses Flinks’ data connectivity to provide customers witha digital interface where they can share their banking information securely and submit an application with just a few clicks. The tool sources information directly from banks, making the process reliable and error free. The tool also has the provision to notify the broker that the application is complete. Since introducing the tool, EQB has seen a significant uptick in its use by customers.
Improving Employee Productivity
Within the back office, the tool is a boon to mortgage underwriters who can easily verify the income and identity information. Blanc Labs integrated the Flinks API with the bank’s mortgage engine without having to rip or replace legacy components. This led to better employee productivity and experience.
We use the Statement Share tool, created by Blanc Labs using Flinks APIs, at deal origination. There are various use cases for us, but the tool is a crucial part of our verification process that assesses whether what borrowers have stated in their applications is true. Thanks to the API, we are seeing statements and factual data directly from their banks.
Equitable Bank’s Statement Share tool, powered by Flinks’ data connectivity and integrated by Blanc Labs, exemplifies the commitment to enhancing customer experience and optimizing employee efficiency. By streamlining the mortgage application process and reducing complexities, Equitable Bank has successfully evolved the way people navigate the path to homeownership, making it a smoother and more enjoyable journey for all parties involved.
If you are interested in evolving your financial ecosystem to improve your customer experience and employee productivity, reach out to us at Blanc Labs and let’s explore the possibilities together. Contact us today and start unlocking the potential of open APIs for your business.