Anand Ranchord knew what he did not want to do when he was tasked to create a new mobile app for home loans at Kiwibank: Start the project with the question, “How do I do an online mobile application form for a home loan?”
Ranchord, head of customer experience at Kiwibank, says buying a home is an “emotional experience”.
“We thought of stepping away from the finance question and put ourselves in the buyers’ shoes,” says Ranchord. “If they are dreaming of buying a house, where are the points of angst?”
These include how prospective buyers get information on the properties available, what are the things they need to know and understand when they go to an open home, and getting pre-approval for the loan. How will the purchase impact their lifestyle?
How would you reinvent the bank if you are building it as a digital bank first?
“We looked at the end to end customer journey and asked, ‘how do we improve that?’”
Kiwibank launched the resulting product – Home Hunter app – in late November and within days, it had delivered more business than all the channels combined, says Ranchord.
The app is designed to help the user find a house, get the estimated price and apply for pre-approval from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Getting pre-approval will take about 10 minutes.
“The mobile app is really a manifestation of us redesigning our process to be made available to the customers on mobile,” says Ranchord.
“It is fundamentally taking a different approach to a business process, looking at what are the key problems that customers want to solve, as opposed to producing a video, and putting up a cool app that has some information. But when you come to engage with the bank, you fall back and say, ‘right, sign on a piece of paper’.”