The future of mortgages

Technology providers and capabilities are critical to reduce the length of the end-to-end mortgage process and to improve the overall customer experience.

Mortgages are integral to the UK’s housing infrastructure, with only 36 per cent of homes owned outright. However, the end-to-end mortgage application process is lengthy, complicated, and error prone.

89 per cent of customers believe the loan application experience was more or equally as stressful as the home-buying experience.

New technology and capabilities now offer lenders an opportunity to improve the home-buying experience for customers, while increasing efficiency and control for the lender.

Where to start?

To improve the current mortgage process, lenders must match their understanding of customers’ needs, and pain points within their processes with available technology to generate high-value improvements.

  1. Market research and customer insight:  The mortgage process is lengthy and has an awkward balance of immediate activity and prolonged wait periods.


Mortgage Application Process Overview

This current process relies on manual methods, legacy technology, and customer availability, often causing delays, miscommunications, and uncertainty amongst parties. On average, it takes between 30 to 45 days to complete the end-to-end mortgage process on a property.

Cognizant's research indicates that customers’ key frustration relates to uncertainty, lack of personal communication, complexity, and confusion around the role of numerous third parties.

  1. Analysing the current mortgage process

Broad technology is used in two out of the nine core steps: the loan calculator and generating a decision in principle. As these occur early in the process, it creates an initial impression of speed and responsiveness often undone as a customer goes further into the process.  

Pre-screening is a particular pain point, often requiring customers to collate many documents and manually complete forms, potentially leading to human error and, in turn to delays.


Cognizant’s Mortgage Transformation Map


  1. Selecting the right technology providers and capabilities

With the right combination of technology and capabilities, lenders could provide same-day mortgage decisions and funds to customers in a shorter timeframe. With digitalised processes, mortgage applications could be completed in just 19 per cent of the current time, thereby increasing efficiency, improving the customer experience, and reducing costs.

However, the two key areas which lenders must now focus on are:

  1. Customer pre-screening stage by leveraging Open Finance and Open Banking. Data can be collectively retrieved under one solution, reducing time and effort required in sourcing and collating information.
  2. Application processing stage, mainly ID&V, can also benefit by using identification platforms (e.g. HooYu and Onfido). Customer verification can instantly be electronically validated, reducing the effort required to physically take identification forms to be approved in branch.

Outcomes and benefits

Cognizant carried out a Comparative Benefits Assessment (below) which showed that the end-to-end process could take 4.1 business days (33 hours) instead of the current 21.6 business days (173 hours).

This modelling quantifies significant benefits across all stages of the customer’s journey in the end-to-end mortgage process.


Cognizant’s Comparative Benefits Assessment



With the use of technology, retail banks can improve the cumbersome mortgage process and reduce the turnaround time of mortgage funds. This would significantly increase efficiency, improve the customer experience, and reduce costs, providing a win-win for both mortgage applicants and lenders.

Area of expertise: