Before Wonder, the process for applying for a home loan was the same for all customers, whether they were new to the bank or long standing customers. Customers were required to: - Fill out a paper form - Submit this form to a banker in branch, coupled with supporting documentation such as proof of identity and assets - Wait for a credit decision to be made, with fingers crossed that they received the outcome they wanted.
We conducted extensive customer research surrounding buying and owning property, to gather insights into what aspects of the lending process could be digitised for a better customer experience. We validated that: - customers want certainty early in the borrowing process - customers want to be supported throughout the entire home ownership journey, from buying from buying their first home, to funding renovations and purchasing investment properties. - Customers want clarity in processes, and to feel in control
Wonder is an up to date customer profile attached to a real time risk decision engine that uses regulator approved responsible lending practices to give customers a clear understanding of their borrowing options. With each interaction with the bank, from a lending product to a credit card, Westpac collects important information about a customer's position and uses this to populate their profile. Based on that information, the risk engine calculates a live lending figure; such as the principal size of a home loan the customer is able to lend As customers update their profile with information such as a salary increase, or a credit card with another bank, that lending figure is updated in real time.
Wonder is an accurate, real time credit mechanism that no other bank in the world currently offers. Westpac Wonder provides a continuously updated affordability figure that translates to an actual lending amount, based on data that customers have provided to us through their relationship with the bank. This radically changes the application process for a customer, throughout their entire home ownership journey. Rather than starting from scratch with each loan, customers can simply check the information and make updates if necessary.
The entire Wonder experience has been shaped by three core design principles generated from customer need: Show me where I stand; Customers want to understand the truth about their current borrowing capabilities. Respect my journey; Customers want to access all the information important for them, before making such an important commitment. It offers them this - minus the sales pitch. There is no onus on a customer borrow. Simplest path to yes; The simplified data entry requirements and the inbuilt risk decision engine mean Wonder can offer customers a quick path to acting with confidence.
As customer can access Wonder through online banking, they can access information or upload documentation to support their application anywhere, anytime. Not only does this digital service assist customers, it also gives valuable time back to bankers in branch and call centres too. By reducing the need for capturing data, staff can instead focus on having meaningful conversations with customers.
Wonder was launched for customer with investment properties in October 2015 and for larger segments in 2016. Prior to Wonder, the process for applying for a home loan increase typically took 21 days. Wonder has reduced that to same day. Prior to Wonder, an approval in principal or indicative borrowing amount could take several days to process. Now, the process is instantaneous. Plus, as Wonder uses up to date customer information, this process doesn't have to be repeated. Wonder is all about making things simpler, faster and easier for customers to understand exactly where they stand and what they can do. It is pioneering a new kind of customer engagement for Westpac, our bankers, and our customers.