UOB introduces fully-digital home loan solution system

Real estate industry’s digital transformation continues to break new ground and opens the possibility of far speedier transaction rates

United Overseas Bank (UOB) claims to have brought together Singapore's largest property ecosystem under one roof. This confident assertion comes after launching a fully-digital home loan solution, which the bank insists will remodel the home buying experience by making home financing swifter and surer for customers. The solution also includes an instant property valuation service.

The home loan solution package by UBS is designed to support the initiative under the real estate industry's 'Industry Transformation Map', which was introduced to assist property agencies with the transformation of their business models and processes via digital solutions.

For its much-vaunted property ecosystem, the Bank has teamed up with four Singapore-based property agencies – ERA Realty, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie and PropNex Realty – as well as online PropTech company, SoReal Prop, to develop a range of digital tools. UOB's solution, which includes Singapore's first bank-backed property valuation tool, a banker and buyer matching service and online instant home loan approval service, will help close to 90 per cent of all property agents in Singapore as they go digital. This property ecosystem would enable property agents to guide home buyers more efficiently, from finding their preferred property to financing their dream home, UOB insists.

"As UOB finances more than 30% of all new property sales in Singapore, we know that agents and homebuyers want certainty and simplicity in the property transaction. This is why we worked with our real estate partners to design a digital home loan solution that would address pain points experienced by agents and homebuyers and would streamline the home buying process," says Jacquelyn Tan, head of personal financial services, Singapore, UOB.

Tan also points out that the system is customised, meaning that it integrates effortlessly into the property agencies' own mobile apps. UOB's recent research revealed that homebuyers thought the current purchasing process often cumbersome and largely paper-based. They said agents and homebuyers had to fill in too many forms, to liaise with multiple parties throughout the purchasing process and to wait too long for the processing of their home loan application.

UOB's digital home loan solution includes Singapore's first bank-backed digital instant valuation service. According to the same UOB research, more than 80% of homebuyers would like to have a reliable online property valuation to calculate the loan quantum they will need to purchase their desired property. However, current online loan valuations are estimations only and are not used for home loan applications in Singapore as banks usually have their own panels of recognised professional property valuers. This means that customers may find that the loan quantum for which they qualify falls below their initial estimation.

UOB's digital instant valuation service, which is available through the agencies' mobile app or UOB's website, offers customers a property valuation that will be used for their home loan application.

To enable property agents to connect prospective home buyers to the right banker quickly, UOB is providing the GetBanker service. This digital service is integrated into the property agencies' mobile apps. UOB's research also showed that 45 per cent of respondents expect their agent to be able to manage the loan application on their behalf. Property agents typically rely on their own contact list of bankers to help homebuyers find a mortgage banker. However, these bankers may not always be readily available or familiar with the property type the homebuyer wants to purchase.

UOB's GetBanker service refers the agent to a UOB banker based on factors such as the type of property, property zoning cluster, price and the preferred language spoken by the customer. The service is being rolled out progressively, with more than 25 per cent of its agents already able to use the service.

The fully-digital home loan solution comes one week after the UOB announced it set up Singapore's largest car ecosystem to offer a fully-digital financing solution for car buyers.


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8 Aug 2018

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