Ottawa-based Alterna Bank launched what they call Canada’s first end-to-end digital mortgage platform.
The bank partnered with Vancouver-based Lendful, a consumer lending marketplace startup, to provide the technology that powers the pre-approval adjudication. Alterna Bank’s partnership with Lendful stems from last year, when the bank led a $15 million financing round for Lendful.
While there are other startups in the digital mortgage space like Do Your Own Mortgage and RateHub, these platforms act more as portals to access mortgage rates. With Alterna Bank’s service, the entire process, including income verification and paperwork, are online.
The pre-approval process, rather than relying just on credit scores, uses several data sources to leverage business intelligence and match customers with the right mortgage. The bank promises that the process is “often” done within minutes.
Pat Forgione, CTO and co-founder of Lendful, said that the partnership offers customers a better experience. “Alterna’s partnership with Lendful means that together, we can offer a flexible, analytical engine that effectively automates and secures the borrowing experience, and create a ‘touchless’ experience for the consumer.”
After the pre-approval, the platform assists customers through the process of completing the application and submitting documents online. A customer portal also helps the home buyer through the steps toward funding their mortgage, including providing remote income verification.
At the time of Lendful’s $15 million round, Robert Paterson, CEO of Alterna Bank, said that the bank was interested in in FinTech and its potential. He says the same today about this digital mortgage platform.
“It’s about embracing the FinTech movement and building entrepreneurial solutions to deliver on consumer needs. It’s about creating partnerships that are focused on truly making banking better and helping Canadians’ lives improve,” said Paterson. “So we are not scared about FinTechs and don’t view them as competitors. We embrace them as partners in building a better banking system. It’s our co-operative values at Alterna Bank that allow us to do this.”
Customers will still have access to mortgage specialists through email or phone. This additional support can help clients navigate a real estate market.