Belfast Telegraph

Startup hails tech to arrange loans with bank a continent away

Filling out a mortgage application with your banker over the internet from the coffee shop could soon become reality with developments in mobile video calling, a technology start-up said.

Car loans may be arranged through a tablet or smartphone using a connection controlled by a bank representative a continent away, a company pioneering the mobile application said.

Utah-based Financial Town said its platform allowing a live video stream in part of the screen and signing or scanning of documents in another part was unique.

Chief executive officer Gene Pranger said: "You can get quick and easy access to a financial service representative.

"When you go for your first mortgage or want to buy another car you don't have to walk somewhere, you can just do it from the coffee shop and have a personal discussion with your banker.

"That is going to be a lot more efficient and easy for you as a consumer, so that is what will force the issue for me."

He said he expected to have 40 institutions using his BankOn Mobile Video system by next year.

"In 10 years you will probably find this is very commonplace, all financial institutions are going to be forced to move in this direction.

"Branch infrastructure is very expensive, expanding to new branches is prohibitive and probably not the first choice for financial institutions.

"Consumers are not going into the branch, how is a financial institution going to maintain the personal relationship, especially with the millennium generation, how are they going to maintain and grow business with you over time?"

Mr Pranger demonstrated his system at the World Credit Union's annual conference in Belfast.

Delegates chatted to a customer service representative in Salt Lake City using a tablet.

The software can also take pictures of documents like passports and handle e-signatures. Tax forms or applications for driving licences may be processed.

Mr Pranger claimed video call platforms like Facetime did not offer the level of interactivity which his system enjoyed.

"What we have patent pending now is the ability to have a live video stream going on in one screen and a second screen will be controlled by a person in a video call centre.

"He can send me any form that you would want and I would have the ability to fill it out. He also has the ability to accept signatures.

"If I am taking a loan application I can get through the entire process without ever having to sit down face to face with a bank representative.

"You can just do it over the system."

Mark Sievewright, the Welsh president of credit union solutions at the US financial services company Fiserv, said a host of small firms were ironing out problems in the banking experience with laser-like focus.

"Every notable start-up has been focused on delivering a frictionless experience."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Weekly Business Digest Newsletter

This week's business news headlines, directly to your inbox every Tuesday.