"I think since the outbreak more consumers and providers have been forced to move to a more digital approach and have been pleasantly surprised with the safety and ease of the change."
We spoke to David Jones, director at Click2Check, about how the firm can benefit advisers during the Covid-19 pandemic and why the general public are underestimating the importance of credit scores.
FR: Tell us about Click2Check and its Credit Assess product?
Click2Check is a FinTech company delivering ‘Credit Assess’, a white-label online solution for the advisory market. Credit Assess can obtain credit scores, reports and bank statements within minutes to help pre-qualify consumers for mortgage advisory firms, giving them their own branded credit and Open Banking solution without going through the red tape, time and money of developing it themselves.
This pre-sales tool creates administrative efficiencies and cost-savings within advisory organisations. Credit Assess achieves this by accessing a consumer’s credit score and report, and uses Open Banking technology for bank statements, delivered in minutes, enabling the adviser to analyse the consumer’s affordability and risk for lending.
FR: What benefits could it provide both advisers and their clients, especially during this turbulent time?
With credit information strictly controlled by credit reference agencies due to the sensitivity of the information held, only lenders and the consumer themselves can access credit reports. In the current market, it will not be uncommon for multiple lender enquiries to be submitted in order to locate a lender who will accept an application at the best deal available to the consumer. This process can have a long-term negative impact on the consumer’s overall credit rating if an application is rejected.
As the pre-qualification checks offered by Credit Assess can be undertaken prior to an advice process commencing, it allows the broker at a very early stage to determine whether the consumer will be successful prior to undertaking what could be an extensive and costly advice process. There are several specific benefits, notably:
• The ability, in minutes, to obtain the consumer’s credit and banking information securely.
• By pre-qualifying all potential consumers prior to advice and application, mortgage advisers and firms will be able to direct their resources and advise the consumer on what they can do with their existing credit position.
• The time-saving and streamlining of business processes by using Credit Assess allows the adviser to accept additional levels of business using existing resources.
• Increasing enquiry to completion persistency rates by delivering important information quickly, accurately and securely straight to mortgage advisers and prospects during the advice journey.
• Click2Check API can feed all third-party proprietary software in the market today allowing brokers to have a more holistic view of their consumers.
FR: Credit scores and reports have been in the news a lot lately, with regards to mortgage payments – do you think the general public underestimate their importance?
The general public typically walk into the process of making their biggest purchase without checking, in the main, whether they’re likely to be successful or not. Which? in March 2020 reported three in four people didn’t know their credit score and half of the general public have never checked their credit file. This is where the mortgage adviser can create an additional value within their proposition.
FR: Technology is clearly at the heart of your proposition – post-Covid-19 do you think we’re going to see an even greater move towards the digital when it comes to mortgages and the home-moving process in general?
Technology has clearly been around for a while for mortgage advisers and is becoming more streamlined. However, yes, I think since the outbreak more consumers and providers have been forced to move to a more digital approach and have been pleasantly surprised with the safety and ease of the change. Many consumers were previously put off using digital solutions due to the risk of fraud and by having a general lack of knowledge as to how online applications work. By being forced into a digital mindset I think we will see a positive step forwards within many industries, including the mortgage and property market.
FR: What are your immediate ambitions for the business?
Click2Check is delivering a solution to the market that I have been wanting to deliver for the last 18 months. It’s not so much an ambition but a desire to roll-out a solution that the mortgage industry needs and will thrive from. We can offer individual mortgage companies, CRM providers, networks, etc their own white-label credit and Open Banking solution. The software is now finalised and ready to roll out for immediate use.
FR: What are the biggest challenges facing mortgage advisers right now?
This one is simple – advisers need clients and clients need lenders. Both might be in short supply at the moment and for the short-term future. However, like any recession - which it looks like we’re slipping into - the mortgage adviser needs to be ready for what comes on the other side, especially if this is a short downturn. More companies go into liquidation when coming out of a recession than going in because they haven’t planned or invested into the technologies on offer to absorb the wave of requests that come their way on the upturn. As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
FR: If you could see one headline about the mortgage market during the rest of the year, what would it be?
I think, from my perspective, I would like to see two. Firstly, ‘Technology fully embraced by mortgage industry’ and, secondly, ‘Lender confidence returns as lending hits new heights.’