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NAB's fintech arm brings robo-advice to home loans




By David Tuckwell on 16th May 2017


NAB-owned UBank installs a robo-advisor for home loans.

 

The fintech arm of Australian banking giant NAB, UBank, has unveiled a robo-advisor aimed at helping customers complete their home loan applications. 

 

In a national first, “RoboChat” will offer real time help for online home loan applications available 24/7. The robot will answer FAQs, such as “what term do you offer on home loans?” and “do you offer redraws and how do they work?”, as well as stupid and unrelated questions with a sense of humour. 

 

Billed as a learning robot, RoboChat will “learn” more as customers engage with it, thus becoming “smarter” over time, the company says. It will be used to speed up the application process and not as a technology aimed at reducing staff numbers.

 

“If you’ve gathered all of your paperwork, the form can be completed in as little time as it takes you to have your breakfast,” said Lee Hatton, CEO of UBank.

 

“[We] will still have experienced staff on hand to chat on the phone, via email and our live online chat offering, RoboChat will provide an added option for those needing quick online responses or those that are close to finalising the form.”  

 

Currently, the only major financial institutions that provide in-house robo-advice are superannuation funds— but they have mostly been used in life insurance. 

 

RoboChat is NAB’s latest fintech addition and signals that the bank is increasingly following the lead of fintech disrupters.

 

Last year, NAB opened QuickBiz, a platform offering unsecured SME loans of up to A$50k after running digital credit checks. 

 

The launch was a copycat of fintech methods and hoeing into fintech market space as unsecured SME loans made via digital credit scoring was home ground for alternative lenders. 

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