Fiserv: Digital Loan Applications Rise with Mobile Device Use

Fiserv, Brookfield, Wis., said its latest Expectations & Experiences consumer trends survey reported nearly two thirds of people who applied for loans in the past two years now do so either partially or fully online, a marked increase from 2018.

Byron Vielehr, Executive Vice President and Senior Group President with Fiserv, said a significant portion of this growth is due to increases of smartphone and tablet use.

“Today’s borrower seeks a differentiated experience via any channel they choose, and they are increasingly comfortable completing loan applications through mobile devices, including their phones,” Vielehr said. “Consumers have come to expect easy mobile experiences, and providing holistic, integrated digital lending capabilities helps lenders meet borrowers’ changing preferences.”

The survey noted the way consumers apply for loans reflects their increasingly digital lifestyles. Nearly two-thirds of recent loan applicants (65%) report using computers or mobile devices to complete at least a portion of the application, up from 56% in 2018.

Looking more specifically at the home loan process, increases in the use of mobile devices include:

–19% of consumers read loan documents provided by the lender on a mobile phone or tablet, up from 10% in 2019

–16% of consumers uploaded documents requested as part of the loan approval process via a mobile device, up from 9% in 2018

–21% received their loan application decision via their mobile device, up from 11% in 2018.

–Use of mobile devices to initiate home loan payments almost doubled between 2018 and 2019, with 35% using this method in 2019 compared to just 18% the year prior.

The survey said for home loans, most people (71%) are “somewhat or very comfortable” with the idea of completing loan applications online through a laptop or desktop, up from 67% in 2018. The most notable shift is with mobile applications, where 41% are comfortable, compared to only 29% last year.

Interest in mobile wallets as a home loan payment method is also growing, with 24% of consumers expressing interest in using this method to make home loan payments, compared to 13% in 2018.

Screen size (56%) and security concerns (51%) are the main barriers to mobile loan applications, although there are options that would make consumers more likely to complete the loan process via a smartphone or tablet.

Among those who are not at all or not very likely to complete a loan application via smartphone or tablet:

–22% say improved website security would make them more likely to complete the loan process via a smartphone or tablet

–17% say access to a representative online would change their minds, up eight percentage points from last year

–The option to pause an application in order to continue in person with a representative would sway 16%, a six-point increase from 2018. The ability to continue online via a laptop or desktop computer (16%) would also be persuasive.

To speed up the loan process consumers are willing to take a number of actions:

–67% would be willing to electronically sign documents using a mobile device (up from 59% in 2018)

–61% would be willing to take pictures of loan documents on a mobile device for uploading (up from 51% in 2018)

–57% would be willing to allow the lender to verify their identity by uploading a selfie from a mobile device (up from 48%).

After interest rates (50%) and fees (39%), customer service and lender reputation are reasons for choosing a lender, with 37% and 29% respectively giving those as reasons behind choosing a lender.

The majority of borrowers (69%) are satisfied with their home loan process, Fiserv said. Among the 31% who report not being fully satisfied, 51% say the process took too long – a 17% increase from 2018. Additionally, 46% say there was too much paperwork involved.

Poor customer service (46%) and changes to the interest rate or terms (41%) are given as the leading reasons why consumers abandoned a home loan application, while the number who have stopped a loan that was in process due to the lender asking them for the same document twice has doubled from 2018 to 36%.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll from May 9-29. A total of 3,050 interviews were conducted among U.S. adults ages 18 and older who met the following criteria: Someone in the household currently has a checking account with a bank, credit union, brokerage firm or other financial organization and has used their checking account to pay a bill or make a purchase in the past 30 days.