Developments around Open Banking bring exciting opportunities for the industry and consumers, but we must ensure they drive a step change in the customer experience, not just a technology change, writes Pete O’Connor, Managing Director of Capita Mortgage Software Solutions.

We’re seeing the UK’s Open Banking usage growing as customers seek greater clarity and more control over their finances. In what may have felt like an eternity, during the 18-month period since the first Covid-19 lockdown, we’ve seen our relationship with money shift and transform. At Capita, we’re seeing that Open Banking is as a key enabler for this change and transformation, allowing consumers to stay more connected, more in control and have more freedom to bank the way they want to with ease and security.

My team and I have been working closely with the retail banking sector to understand customer needs and potential gaps that cause friction or dissatisfaction. The team has engineered a proof of concept to streamline the current account validation process using open banking APIs and third party integration, with a clear roadmap of how we can develop this further to customer journeys when it come to processes that require income verification and KYC - for example, collections or mortgage applications.

Taking all this into account, we’ve developed and built our next-generation Open Banking solution so that it provides instant real-time verification, allowing organisations to speed up processing times and limit handoffs back to the customer. For example, in the home buying journey, this means offering the convenience of not having to locate bank statements or visit a branch in person. It will also form part of future enhancements to reduce the likelihood of additional requests for information to support the affordability assessment, which can otherwise further delay the process.

I absolutely see Open Banking as a key enabler in streamlining the journey for our clients, consumers and colleagues, whether this is for mortgages, collections, payments or other related services. However, the challenge remains in how we explain this to, and persuade, consumers. Those working in retail banking have a collective responsibility to ensure customers are informed, understand and trust technological advancements: we need to convince them that these new technologies not only facilitate speed, convenience and ease, but also offer the reassurance of enhanced security. And, of course, for our retail banking partners, this means that our team at Capita needs to offer the most innovative, robust technology, introducing forward-looking, expert providers who understand the importance of making open banking readily accessible and secure for consumers.

This is an area I’m passionate about and I’m encouraging my team to further develop our Open Banking capabilities. This includes working in partnership with lenders, regulators and other technology companies to make clear the benefits of Open Banking and how we integrate this into an improved customer journey. By doing this, I believe we will ultimately help to drive adoption and maximise the benefits for us all.

There are now more than 3 million regular users of Open Banking, and this trend is likely to continue - a recent survey shows that half of UK consumers would be willing to take out a mortgage with a digital only bank. As mortgage technology firms like Capita Mortgage Software Solutions and lenders roll out their Open Banking, we all need to keep the following front of mind:

  • How to avoid the use of business jargon and explain clearly how these improvements will benefit our customers and colleagues
  • How our customers’ data will be used and how we provide piece of mind that it’s in safe hands
  • Providing our customers with a choice – for those that do and don’t want to use Open Banking.

We’re really looking forward to lining up our first client in the coming months and keen to test this across various scenarios, so any interested parties please do reach out to me: Peter.O’ or Pete O'Connor LinkedIn

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Written by

Sarah Green

Sarah Green

Client Partner Mortgages at Capita

Sarah has joined as a client partner, with responsibility for our key mortgage clients, along with leading our growth focus in the mortgage business. Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in the mortgage and financial services outsourcing industry, across both growth, operations and technology. Having previously worked for Homeloan Management (now Computershare), Capita Mortgages and Sutherland Global and in more recent roles, Sarah has focussed on Digital Transformation and Customer experience, bringing well rounded experience for our mortgage proposition.

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