Needs Versus Wants: The Mortgage Point-of-Sale Dilemma for Big Banks

As your fellow bank stakeholders develop a configurable point-of-sale (POS) system for mortgages, it’s crucial to separate what you need versus what you want.

0825 Blog Needs Versus Wants

You and other principals at your lending institution have come to the determination that you need your own bespoke mortgage point-of-sale (POS) solution for mortgages.

If you make sure to understand and prioritize your needs versus wants, you will experience fewer problems and delays. It will be the smoothest path toward getting your own mortgage POS system.

However, if a mortgage banker requests too much customization, it can delay implementation and, worst of all, would wind up being more costly to the lender in the long run. Read on for insight into what banks need and want, and how to address these issues in particular, while serving consumers in this new lending environment.

Examples of Bank Needs Versus Wants

It’s natural that banking professionals spend all their time thinking about financial issues, may not necessarily have much of a background in software development or experience working with information technology professionals. They need to commune with fintech experts who know their way around bank technology best practices.

But building a mortgage POS is not a project to be taken on lightly, without plenty of thought and preparation. As Evolllution put it, “The primary challenge for many IT leaders then becomes how to define high-level needs and wants. In order for a project focused on identifying a new IT solution to be successful, the layers of wants must be peeled back to find the true business-driven needs that will add value to the organization.”

So, defining bank wants versus bank needs is an important initial step in working out what your financial technology project will eventually look like.

Bank needs range from consumer application features to marketing, branding and communication to forms for disclosure and appraisal.

For example, on the consumer application layer of your customized mortgage technology, you will typically need features such as:

  • Data pre-population
  • Data Validation
  • Borrower Dashboard
  • Documentation Upload
  • File/Image Conversion
  • E-sign conditions
  • Loan Assignment Engine
  • Payment Processing

Your infrastructure dashboard would need to include options for multi-tenant and single-tenant arrangements. A realtor portal would include a data pipeline with push notifications as well as status updates and the ability to easily upload documents.

For an LOS Integration dashboard, features you need would include push loan and loan syncing and loan locking. To speed up the efforts of your employees, template selection tools would be a requirement rather than merely a want. Compliance audit tools likewise would be needed, while you might not require an option such as disclosure tracking because that activity is handled under another protocol in your banking institution.

Providing customers with an online portal for POS services “promise to deliver a fully-digital and automated loan origination service that will allow prospective borrowers to self-serve their way to new home financing,” as reported by National Mortgage Professional. It pointed out that Fannie Mae research shows homebuyers think the most difficult part of getting a mortgage is putting together all of the required paperwork. The online POS allows for paperwork reduction and a more efficient application process.

What Banks Need in Order to Serve Consumers Amid COVID-19

The United States, like much of the rest of the world, has been suffering from obvious major financial instability because of the systems being stressed by the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 infections. So many bank customers are undergoing a cash flow crunch now. Whether as business owners who have had to shut down operations or as employees who have been laid off due to no work during shelter in place mandates, they are seeking assistance from banks to fend off even more financial calamity.

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For example, Mobile Payments Today reported that “To do its part, Boston-based Berkshire Bank is offering increased daily spending limits and waivers of penalties for early withdrawal from CDs.” BBVA USA President Javier Rodriguez Soler said that “We understand that this pandemic has put many of our customers in a position of uncertainty, and we are working to take some of that burden off of them.”

Amid the chaos of COVID-19, it’s particularly important to separate wants versus needs so that scope creep doesn’t occur, leading to budget conflicts. Your institution may not want to integrate text messaging because of security issues among your customer base as well as the fact that it falls short of your list of top priorities.

Building your mortgage POS system with leanness in mind still gives you the option to upgrade it later with additional options or features after your entire staff as well as a significant level of customers have put the software through its paces.

The Importance of Maintaining a Robust Digital Mortgage Platform

New bankers as well as seasoned banking veterans must keep top of mind the utility of digital mortgage platforms and ordering customized mortgage software to bring about a better consumer experience. As you expand beyond legacy systems to integrate new banking tech at your organization, make sure that it is developed by a team that emphasizes safety and security while delivering a reliable and user-friendly platform.

National Mortgage News explains that “Borrowers do want a clean look, intuitive navigation, and the ability to access full information on all products and services. When applying for a loan, they expect the same speed and convenience from their credit union or community bank that they can get from an online-only bank.” NMN points out that online banks are capable of approving or denying a loan application in a mere 30 seconds.

Faster access to information and more efficient interactions are possible with the mortgage bank using a technology implementation of a type that consumers are already accustomed to using in their daily lives.

NMN continued, noting “By next year, 85% of account holders will manage their banking relationships without ever interacting with a human…Automation, however, makes it possible to always be open and ready to engage with a borrower, and always able to provide the right offer to the right person at the right time.”

Determining What a Bank Should Have in Place for POS Now and What Can Be Deferred Until Later

As a stakeholder in your mortgage services business, it may be useful for you to consider what your organization truly needs right now in terms of software, using buying a house as an analogy. In lieu of trying to purchase a home right out of the gate with all the bells and whistles, it would be best to instead invest in a dwelling that has a good foundation and overall layout—one that you will be able to optimize by remodeling little by little, along the way. This way, you can become more familiar with the basic system you have in place, using it to the full potential before you add new options and features to the application.


It’s a good idea to take a moment to consider the major differences between what your bank truly needs now in a POS to meet all of your financial milestones and goals, while serving the immediate requirements of borrowers. How do you measure your wants versus needs when it comes to mortgage technology?

As questions arise about how to integrate such a system with your current banking practices, please feel free to connect with one of our seasoned experts. Give us a call at (888) 276-1579 or shoot us an email at today.