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In this study of consumer borrowing, JD Powers reports that the digital process has gained momentum through a variety of factors, including consumers understanding and trust in technology.

J.D. Power conducted a new study, the 2017 J.D. Power U.S. Primary Mortgage Origination Study, which shows, for the first time, refinance and purchase customers cited online/website as the most frequent method of submitting a mortgage application.

A total of 43% of mortgage customers reported applying digitally in 2017, up from 28% in 2016, the study showed. J.D. Power explained that while the mortgage industry is lagging significantly behind other fields in technology, this year could begin to change the trend.

“Drawing on recent J.D. Power studies from both the mortgage industry and broader financial services sector, along with our conversations with industry leaders, we are seeing a clear trend toward heavy tech development in the mortgage space,” said Craig Martin, J.D. Power senior director of financial services and mortgage practice lead. “Though the jury’s still out on whether lenders will get the formula right, our data does show that many leaders are focusing on the key issues.”

In another study, the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, the company found that more Americans than ever are now using digital banking, across every generation including 49% of Millennials, 31% of Gen Xers and 16% of Baby Boomers.

J.D. Power pointed out that while many may thing buyers choose their lender primarily based on price and rate, in actuality the lowest price doesn’t always win. In fact, what buyers are most likely to look at is a combination of trust in the brand and reasonable price.

“The great equalizer in the mortgage business is achieving a balance between convenience, recognition, advice, trust, and value,” the report stated. “Building this formula into new technology will be a critical area of focus for the mortgage industry in 2018.”

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