Google enters mortgage space, partners with Roostify

Google Cloud has launched its first mortgage tool, Lending DocAI, which is now in preview. 

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Lending DocAI automates routine mortgage document processing by capturing data at scale, expedites and simplifies loan processing, and supports regulatory compliance requirements. The result is a better experience for customers and for lenders dealing with time consuming, costly data extractions from complex documents.  

Lending DocAIis a specialized solution for the mortgage industry. It is part of the Google Cloud Document AI portfolio of “more generalized competitive offerings” powered by Google Cloud’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that detects and extracts text from any image, and natural language recognition software that reads and understands documents, according to the company website. 

In addition, its technology stack uses “data access controls and transparency, data residency, customer-managed encryption keys” that reduce the risk of implementing an AI strategy.

Unlike other Document AI solutions, Lending DocAI features specialized models built to screen mortgage loan documents and automate many of the routine document reviews, provide accurate mortgage loan data, and help expedite the mortgage lending process from application to closing.

Lending DocAI is the first vertically specialized Google Cloud service to use this technology, according to TechCrunch’s Frederic Lardino, who called the new product “a good example for Google Cloud’s current strategy under the leadership of its CEO Thomas Kurian.” 

Google’s strategy, which focuses on general services for developers at every level, now includes bundling these services together “to sell as complete solutions to enterprises in various verticals,” via industry specific solutions.

In the mortgage space, Google Cloud already has partnered with Roostify, the digital mortgage lending platform that processes nearly $35 billion in loans monthly for enterprise banks and independent mortgage lenders across the nation.

Under the partnership agreement, Roostify will integrate Google Cloud’s new Lending DocAI solution into its digital lending platform to help lenders process mortgage applications faster and more effectively.

Roostify and Google Cloud have been working with existing Roostify customers to develop the solution, the fintech said in a statement, and “have incorporated their valuable feedback into the product throughout the ideation, design, and development process.”

“The home lending industry is still early in transitioning from traditional, manual processes to digitally-enabled and automated processes, and we believe that transformation will happen much more quickly with the power of AI,” said Rajesh Bhat, founder and CEO of Roostify.

Lending DocAI enables Roostify to offer platform users “real-time document capture, classification, data extraction and processing, and automated adjudication solutions, powered by sophisticated AI, creating a smarter, faster, and safer lending experience,” the fintech said. 

Since the beginning of 2020, Roostify reported it has captured more than 10 million documents through its Digital Lending Platform. The significant volume of data, combined with the partnership with Google Cloud, will empower Roostify to create highly accurate, sophisticated models.

“Taking a great model to something that makes a difference in the industry requires working that AI into the workflow that people have today,” said Rajen Sheth, vice president of product management, Google Cloud AI. “And to do that, we need the right partner.”

Truist hires Vinoo Vijay as CMO

Truist Financial Corporation, the nation’s sixth-largest and $499 billion asset bank announced the hiring of financial marketing visionary, Vinoo Vijay as the company’s chief marketing officer. 

As CMO, Vijay will oversee all of marketing including brand strategy, line of business, multicultural, sports and entertainment, digital, direct and regional marketing operations, alongside social, creative and advertising.

“Vinoo will play a critical role in shaping the Truist brand strategy and delivering on our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. I’m excited to have such a well-respected and talented marketing leader on our team,” said Dontá Wilson, chief digital and client experience officer.

“Widely considered one of the most innovative marketers, his experience leading financial services marketing at scale, transforming client experience, and launching breakthrough brands makes him the perfect leader to accelerate our brand promise of standing for better.” 

Vijay brings more than 20 years of purpose-driven leadership and proven experience helping top-tier companies, including H&R Block, TD Bank, Ally Financial, Bank of America and FedEx, redefine their brands and client experiences. Most recently, as CMO at H&R Block, he led the development of data-driven marketing performance and the successful integration of the new company purpose into their brand story.

Prior, as CMO at TD Bank, he helped build and grow a new U.S. banking brand centered on the power of personal banking. Before that, as Ally’s head of global brand and product marketing, Vijay conceived the brand and led the successful launch of the new digital financial services brand along with several client innovations.

A champion of client-centric marketing, innovative technologies and distinctive human touch  client experiences, the company said in a statement, Vijay brings to his new role “deep industry knowledge of integrating marketing, digital, product innovation, and client experience to power sustainable business growth,” at the forefront of the development of fintech strategies and shaping brands. 

“I’m thrilled to join a purpose-driven financial services company so committed to creating a distinctive client experience,” Vijay said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our Truist teammates to reset what consumers and communities expect from their bank.”

Senior housing wealth reaches $7.70T

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic driven economic crisis, a strong housing market that continues to boost home equity values brings great news to all homeowners, especially seniors. 

Compared to the first quarter, homeowners 62 and older saw their housing wealth grow by 1.8% or $134 billion in Q2 2020, up to a record $7.70 trillion, according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA).

The NRMLA – RiskSpan, Inc., Q2 2020 Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI), which measures the wealth level of senior homeowners, rose to 276.64, marking “another all-time high since the index was first published in 2000.”

An estimated 1.6%, or $150 billion increase in senior home values, was the main driver of the reported increase in senior homeowner’s wealth, but offset by a 0.9%, or $15.5 billion increase in senior-held mortgage debt.

Despite the good news on home equity growth, said Steve Irwin, president of NRMLA, which represents the lenders, loan servicers, and housing counseling agencies responsible for more than 90% of reverse mortgage transactions, seniors and working households need to be aware of long term risks.

The most recent Risk Retirement Index published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, he continued, finds that more than half or 55% of working age households in America “are now at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Lenders can help, continued Irwin, “the responsible use of home equity may be an option to help mitigate these potential risks and help seniors stay financially secure.”

Reverse mortgages, available to homeowners age 62 and older with significant home equity, provide a versatile financial tool for seniors. To date, according to NRMLA, more than 1.19 million households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage to help meet their financial needs. 

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