U.S. Bank keeps loan officers involved as borrowers self-serve

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U.S. Bank has launched a proprietary technology integration aimed at keeping loan officers in the mix as it adopts automation allowing borrowers to opt to self-serve when supplying application information.

"A lot of people talking about digital mortgage conjure up this thought of something completely self-service. We think there's a lot of value to contact with the loan officer," said Tom Wind, president of U.S. Bank Home Mortgage in Minneapolis.

The integration is part of U.S. Bank's new loan portal, which uses technology from Blend in San Francisco in conjunction with its origination system to give customers self-serve application information functions, mobile access, electronic forms and automated authorization for third-party documentation.

While the new technology allows borrowers to self-serve if they want, the integration combined with some aspects of Blend's technology is also aimed at ensuring that loan officers remain involved, particularly during the loan selection process.

"We differentiate it with the loan officer experience," Wind said, noting that integration keeps the loan officer "focused around the advice to the customer."

Lenders increasingly find mobile, self-serve technologies are condensing timelines key to home-purchase loans, and offering efficiency at a time when margins are thinner. New technology could reduce loan officers' roles in origination for certain loans, but U.S. Bank doesn't anticipate any contraction in staffing as a result.

"We do think there will be a significant productivity lift to it, but we're also growing the business," Wind said.

U.S. Bank's other recent technology implementations include use of third-party customer relationship management automation that can, for example, help identify whether inbound calls it receives are from customers that are veterans.

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