09 July 2013

Westpac launches NZ first - home loan approval via mobile

In a first for New Zealand and Australia, Westpac NZ customers can apply and secure approval for a home loan within minutes via their mobile phone.

The new capability is part of the latest update for Westpac’s mobile banking app and is available now. Customers can fill out a home loan application, submit it and receive approval all via their phone. The entire process, including receiving the approval, takes just minutes and adds a new dimension to weekend house hunting, participating in auctions and the planning process in buying a home.

General Manager Customer Strategy and Experience, Callum Wilson, said this capability is a first for New Zealand and Australia and another illustration of Westpac’s focus on meeting the new needs and expectations of customers driven by their uptake of new digital and mobile technology.

“House hunting and the purchase process can be one of the most stressful periods for people and what we’re trying to do is make times like this easier for customers so when they’re out house hunting, at the open home or heading to the auction they can access one of the key bits of information they need - that they can get the funds,” Mr Wilson said.

The app follows Westpac’s earlier development this year of providing online approvals for home loans. Customers have adopted that so quickly that 10% of all Westpac’s home loan approvals come through the online channel.

“Like with online approval, the app is helping make a tough and sometimes time consuming process, easier. It’s convenient, secure and if you think about how hard applying for a home loan used to be this is really quite revolutionary,” Mr Wilson said.

“You used to have a make an appointment with the bank manager and fill out huge amounts of paper work and other things. Now, you can use a smart phone to get a near-instant approval from where ever you are.”

This is another first to market mobile innovation for Westpac following the launch of a dedicated iPad app last November. The iPad app has been downloaded more than 30,000 times and last month logged $43 million in transfers and payments. More updates will be available over the next month or so that will deliver a step change in functionality.

And, last week, an android widget that allows an account balance to be readily available on the home screen of a mobile was launched. This is a development on Cash Tank that was the first app to deliver an account balance without further authentication after setup and received worldwide recognition.