While the digital mortgage movement has primarily focused on the origination side of lending, Black Knight's latest release seeks to apply those principles to servicing to help improve borrower retention and engagement.
Servicer retention rates hit a 10-year low in the second quarter of 2017, with servicers losing business from nearly 80% of borrowers, according to Black Knight data.
LoanSphere Servicing Digital aims to help borrowers more efficiently make payments and better understand their loans and the options available to them, while helping support stronger customer relationships for servicers.
Available first via mobile application and launching via web later this year, Black Knight's new technology presents consumers with various "what if" scenarios, illustrating things like how much a refinance could save them in interest or what paying a certain amount towards their principal would do for them.
While the application has a few main tabs for consumers, the ability to make a payment can be accessed in multiple areas throughout the portal. The majority of customers access a website primarily to make a payment, and they want to do that "quickly and efficiently," according to Shelley Leonard, Black Knight's chief product officer.
In addition to accessing various loan information, customers can explore sections in the app that share things like what their home is worth based on comparative market analyses, how it stacks up in the neighborhood and a list of homes that sold over the last 30 days.
The app also incorporates Census Bureau data to show the median age and income of households in the community, as well as local school information.
"We envisioned a customer-centric app that would focus not only on what I'll refer to as 'borrower self-service,' with the loan and things like making a payment or making a request to the servicer, but also we wanted to think about it from the customer's perspective relative to what is typically the largest investment that they make in buying a home," said Leonard.
"We’re thinking about it from that property aspect as an asset, and then trying to help the consumer understand what that means to them, how they can make best use of that asset as they're growing their wealth portfolio, and just thinking about it as part of their overall portfolio," she added.
Because LoanSphere Servicing Digital intends to be easily navigable, it steers clear of using industry terminology in favor of more common phrases by describing "escrow" as "taxes and insurance," for example. Whenever more industry-standard terminology is used, the portal defines the word or phrase for consumers.
The first phase of LoanSphere Servicing Digital will be implemented with two clients in July and launched for their customers within a September time frame.
While the portal aims to support customer relationships by making the process easier to operate and understand, its next phase, which is expected to be rolled out in the fourth quarter, will encourage activity by alerting customers with push notifications. This phase will also activate biometrics, such as fingerprint scanning or face identification capabilities.
The application can be reskinned to match a servicer's brand identity.