Skip to main content Skip to Footer


Mortgage lending shaped by the customer

The changing behavior of digital-savvy customers is influencing the mortgage lending landscape in North America.


Home mortgage lending has always been a lucrative and highly competitive market in North America. However, the dynamics of the lending market are changing rapidly, driven by today’s digital-savvy borrowers. Banks and nonbank lenders must, therefore, understand and anticipate this change to increase loan origination volumes and business revenues.

As part of a multiyear research initiative, Accenture recently surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in the United States and Canada to understand who they are, how they bank today and how they expect to bank in 2020: 2015 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey. The survey revealed three key borrower insights:

  1. Borrowers consider mortgage a transaction, rather than a bank relationship.

  2. Straying among borrowers is on the rise.

  3. Borrowers prefer digital mortgage interactions.

These insights hold a significant implication for lenders and their mortgage origination process. Lenders that aim to become industry leaders must take decisive actions and optimize the use of digital technologies by:

  • Leveraging data and predictive analytics to provide incremental value.

  • Offering online research tools.

  • Developing online transaction capabilities.

  • Creating a win-win scenario for real estate agents and other providers.

  • Taking advantage of branch visits, which are still valued by some borrowers.

Learn more about Accenture Banking


North American home mortgage lending is on the rise, with US purchase originations projected at US$729 billion in 2015, up 14 percent from 2014, according to the MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast. MBA also expects refinance dollars to increase 6 percent to US$512 billion in 2015.

Rise of new players: While traditional bank lenders dominate new home purchases, new lenders—independent, nonbank lenders such as Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage, Penny Mac, Movement Mortgage and NationStar—are using creative ways to gain a share in new home purchases.

Changing borrower behavior: Influenced by digital innovation that powers other aspects of their lives, borrowers are increasingly rewarding convenient, simple, speedy, on-demand and personalized services.

Overall, the mortgage market is shifting toward increased competition and digital adoption. Mortgage lenders need to start thinking about becoming digital lenders; taking advantage of digital innovation to deliver a more meaningful customer experience; and converting mortgage transactions into healthy, sustainable customer relationships.


Three key insights from the survey suggest that mortgagers must become digital lenders, turning transactions into meaningful customer relationships:

  1. Borrowers see mortgage as a transaction, rather than a bank relationship, with 79 percent of North American consumers defining their banking relationship as transactional—in the United States, this number is 81 percent, compared with 74 percent in 2014; in Canada, it is 75 percent, compared with 65 percent a year earlier.

  2. Straying among borrowers is increasing, with 63 percent of respondents from the United States having a mortgage with a lender other than their primary bank—an increase of 3 percent over our 2013 findings. This is driven in part by the growth in the number of providers and consumers’ ease in shopping for rates.

  3. Borrowers prefer digital interactions and increasingly want to connect with mortgage lenders through online channels—from the application to closing phase. They expect to know the status of their loan through mobile, text messaging and other digital channels.


Lenders can deliver a compelling service experience that meets the expectation of the digital customer by:

  • Leveraging data and predictive analytics to provide incremental value—use big data to anticipate customers’ needs and life events, and serve them accordingly.

  • Providing intuitive online research tools as a simple way to learn more about the mortgage process, thereby improving the service experience.

  • Developing online transaction capabilities—online and mobile tools and channels that allow borrowers to research and electronically manage the loan process.

  • Creating a win-win scenario for real estate agents and other providers—nurture a spirit of collaboration and create an ecosystem to serve customers better.

  • Taking advantage of branch visits, which are still valued by many borrowers—optimize the value of branch visits to build better relationships with customers.

Digital technologies can help lenders leverage new channels, connect with value-chain service providers, and become masters of operating and going to market for future growth.