Sponsored Content from FICS: The ABCs of Mortgage Software APIs

Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is API Team Lead for FICS (Financial Industry Computer Systems Inc.), Addison, Texas, a mortgage software company that provides in-house mortgage loan origination, residential mortgage servicing and commercial mortgage servicing software to mortgage lenders, banks and credit unions.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) help lenders and servicers automate mortgage operations and improve borrower communication.

APIs have been in use since the late 1960s, but the power and design behind them increased in complexity beginning with the tech boom of the early 2000s. Around that time, companies such as Salesforce, eBay and Amazon launched API capabilities to interface with other tools needed to expand their reach. APIs have become so ubiquitous that many users have no idea that many popular apps, such as Google Maps, are API-driven to combine several important functions into one useable interface.

APIs are quickly becoming a vital tool for mortgage lenders, who recognize them as a critical technology that provides immense potential to automate process, improve opportunities and accuracy, and reduce costs and workloads, according to Fannie Mae.

APIs: Essential for Today’s Mortgage Professionals

The mortgage industry is becoming increasingly regulated and complex. One application may be insufficient to meet a lender’s and servicer’s needs. APIs support integrations between software programs, allowing mortgage professionals to create a comprehensive technological ecosystem that supports automatic communication between systems.

Increased automation provides a wealth of benefits, including fewer errors, reduced staff hours and monetary costs, and more seamless operations. APIs help lenders and servicers streamline operations and improve communication, thereby delivering better customer service.

APIs Benefit Lenders, Servicers and Borrowers


Automate workflow. APIs offer convenience and time savings via workflow automation. Mortgage servicers can use APIs to automate reports and programs, thus saving time and resources, eliminating after-hours and weekend work, and reducing mistakes caused by human error. In the case of mortgage servicing software, APIs are commonly used in conjunction with scheduling tools to automate the execution of mortgage servicing software programs, such as end-of-day and end-of-month reports, investor closeout, monthly loan statements and custom programs such as core interfaces. The API should have the ability to notify IT staff of the successful execution of the task after it is completed.

Streamline data transfers. APIs enable secure connections between loan origination and servicing software, core systems, credit bureaus and government-sponsored enterprises, eliminating the need for manually inputting data in each system. APIs also let mortgage professionals seamlessly order fulfillment services from various service providers or share data across platforms, allowing users to remain in one system to provide support to their customers. APIs enhance Loan Producer’s MISMO interfaces with fulfillment services such as credit, appraisal, mortgage and title insurance, and documents. These interfaces allow lenders to order these services with one click.

APIs can be used both internally and externally to streamline information transfers. An internal API may help to simplify origination or servicing, while an external API allows borrowers to obtain or submit information. For instance, end-of-day process automation handled via FICS’ Mortgage Servicer API or Commercial Servicer API is an internal API. Borrower-facing web applications (such as eStatus Connect and LoanStat) that allow borrowers to view their mortgage information or make online payments are external APIs.

Increase efficiency for remote workers. One of the biggest challenges lenders have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in remote workers. By using APIs, employees can greatly reduce the amount of interaction required in a system. Rather than needing to access a remote server or log into a specific remote program, lenders can use an API to automatically send reports to phones or email, eliminating the need to tap into another machine to run and verify results. This saves time and increases accuracy, helping remote employees work more efficiently and effectively.

Give borrowers real-time access to mortgage information. Today’s borrowers desire transactions that are as quick and convenient as possible. By utilizing APIs, lenders and servicers can expedite their processes and eliminate much manual labor, allowing them to deliver updated statements and loan information more quickly and accurately to borrowers via a consumer-facing website. Borrowers gain immediate, real-time access to their specific loan data and statements and can conveniently make online payments 24/7.

APIs Power Integrations with Core Banking Systems

The mortgage servicing software and core banking system create data files that can be transferred in lieu of a direct connection. This allows tasks to be initiated remotely via APIs that enable a scheduling tool or application to exchange data seamlessly, rather than being run manually.

Interfacing with a core system is critical because while core systems support many products, mortgage servicing functionality is often limited or subpar. Core systems inevitably require staff to perform many manual tasks due to limitations within the core. Mortgage servicing software and APIs can automate those manual processes, streamlining everything from customer-focused tasks to investor reporting.

Real Time Access® (RTA) is an API that allows a vendor to integrate real-time functionality within a core banking system to retrieve data and post payments. This allows tellers to accept mortgage payments, view pertinent loan information, and issue receipts with payment spreads and updated balances. Real Time Access® also allows borrowers to make payments and view loan information through an online banking system. 

API Benefits Assessment: Questions to Consider

Most mortgage professionals will benefit from implementing APIs, as APIs can help them more easily build on existing functionality and automate processes to create a custom solution, without the need to switch or upgrade platforms. To determine if APIs may be right for your business, answer the following basic questions:

  • Are there any repetitive tasks that my team and I must take care of every day?
  • Is there information I’d like to share with my customers that isn’t accessible in real time today?
  • Is there any additional functionality or workflow we’d like to add to one of the applications we’re currently using?
  • Would I like to use automation to give my staff more time to better serve the customer?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, your institution would likely benefit from an API.

If your organization isn’t taking full advantage of APIs, now is the time to do so. Examine your current mortgage software to see if it has built-in APIs. Your staff may be performing work manually that could be automated. (Sponsored content includes material submitted independently of the Mortgage Bankers Association and MBA NewsLink and does not connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. For more information about sponsored content opportunities, contact Bill Farmakis at bill@jlfarmakis.com or 203/834-8832.)