Competing in today’s mortgage industry is all about speed – accelerated customer service, quicker loan processing, rapid decision-making. But working faster is only valuable if you can count on the accuracy of the data that feeds your business processes.

In every stage of the mortgage lifecycle, companies like yours collect data from various sources, correlate it with key fields, and assess it to support decision-making. This data is essential to help you make decisions about issues such as whether a borrower meets your loan criteria, a mortgage requires insurance, or a loan should be part of your portfolio.

OCR Alone Can’t Deliver Provably Correct Data

Consider this challenge from the perspective of a mortgage origination company, for example. Determining an applicant’s mortgage eligibility requires information about borrower income. Companies often collect and review borrower-supplied income data, such as pay stubs.

But pay stubs are not standard. Each one displays data in different places, uses a range of fields, and breaks down income into unique categories.

Many companies use automated solutions to accelerate the processing of this data. But collecting data from a borrower-supplied income form can be difficult for these systems, due to variations in how they are structured.

Some popular solutions rely on optical character recognition (OCR) technologies to spot relevant data. OCR can do a good job of recognizing numbers. But it doesn’t know whether the number it identified is on the correct form or in the right field.

In other words, even if the OCR technology’s reading is correct, it may be inaccurate for your use.

To reduce errors, firms often hire local workers to double check the data collected by OCR systems. Less costly is outsourcing those tasks to an overseas workforce, but that process introduces complexity and regulatory compliance challenges.

Either way, the need to have humans in the mix to double check the work of the OCR technology dramatically reduces the value of your automation solution.

Choose a Solution That Meets These Key Criteria 

To overcome this challenge and deliver results at the speed demanded in today’s mortgage industry, you need a technology solution that blends both reliable data accuracy and high levels of straight-through processing.

Look for advanced solutions that know both what they know and what they don’t know. Sophisticated technologies that combine OCR with computer vision, AI, and machine learning have the intelligence to know when the data is correct and when it needs humans to double check for accuracy. Whenever the solution is uncertain about the correctness of the data, human workers can step in to verify accuracy or identify data that needs to be revised.

Yet you don’t want a system that requires constant human review for all data. It’s important to choose a solution designed to collect data accurately with limited or no human intervention. A solution that supports straight-through processing can collect data, discover forms, and classify information with little or no need for humans in the loop.

Be especially careful to evaluate solutions that use bots for data processing. Many of the bots included in some solutions lack rigorous methods to verify data accuracy. They don’t know which data is and is not correct.

Systems with these less advanced bots can help you automate the production of data, but they cannot support automated decision-making. Only when your solution reliably delivers correct data values can you count on it enough to automate – and simplify – decisions on such issues as granting loans, determining interest rates, and pricing insurance.

Be Prepared to Adapt to Change

Finally, choose your solution from a vendor dedicated to continuous innovation. The mortgage industry is rapidly changing, with new documents and business requirements emerging almost daily.

Static solutions cannot keep up with evolving digital requirements. To compete effectively and deliver optimal service, you need a solution that can continuously adapt to your business, your customers, and the dynamic mortgage industry.

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