NextGen.Net’s chief customer officer, Tony Carn, has urged the lending industry to capitalise on the current necessity for contactless workplace arrangements by embracing new technology.

“From online telehealth apps to remote working, to new ‘zero-contact’ retail offers, the speed at which Australians are embracing technology is unprecedented, and it has many structural implications to the current lending landscape,” he said.

According to Mr Carn, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the “urgent need for the lending industry to “eradicate clunky and high-risk manual processes”, which he said are not viable in a “compliant, secure and virtually enabled world”.

Mr Carn pointed to NextGen.Net’s Document Verification Service (DVS) and e-Sign solutions, which form part of the ApplyOnline platform.

The NextGen.Net executive claimed that such tools enable both lenders and brokers to digitally verify a borrower’s identity more efficiently, by integrating federal and state government databases to facilitate access to government-issued identity documents.

“The DVS facilitates checks and validates relevant identity documents on all 22 government databases in a millisecond,” Mr Carn said.

Mr Carn also lauded the benefits of validation tools like e-Sign, which he claimed help “eliminate duplication and error” and reduced turnaround times.

“It also makes fraud an avoidable issue and saves time by removing the need to print the application form and collect a ‘wet signature’,” he said.

“Customers can sign documents quickly regardless of their location – reducing time to approval.”

In recent months, lenders such as BOQ and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have recently announced new digital transformation strategies aimed at streamlining the lending process.

BOQ’s strategy, announced earlier this year, includes investment in the transformation of Virgin Money into a “new digital bank”.

Virgin Money recently partnered with Deloitte Digital and global banking software platform Temenos, which will be tasked with facilitating the lender’s transition over the coming months.