Walmart in the Mortgage Race?

pinewoodcarsI blogged here not too long ago about Walmart’s Bluebird. The response from one banker when I shared that post within a LinkedIn group? Bankers don’t need to worry about Walmart. It isn’t competition for us.

With the results of a recent survey by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group showing that ⅓ of Americans would be willing to go to Walmart for a home mortgage, I wonder. You know there’s a team at Walmart right now evaluating how they could offer mortgages, and what partnerships to build to make it happen. Walmart does offer small business loans via Sam’s Club stores, so a Walmart mortgage isn’t that far-fetched.

But it’s not just Walmart. 80% of those surveyed would consider a mortgage with a non-bank, period. Why the dissatisfaction? What’s frustrating consumers?

Three of the big reasons given come down to one very simple thing: COMMUNICATION.

56% of consumers believe the mortgage process is too slow. Can your bank responsibly speed things up for the customer? If not – are loan officers communicating with the customer so they know the bank’s on top of things?

32% find it difficult to communicate with their lender, and – I feel this is related – 31% are unable to track the status of their mortgage application. Communication difficulties with a lender should, I feel, be rare – yet a third of those surveyed cited just that frustration.

And – ouch! – 26% don’t trust their lender’s advice.

As stated in Carlisle & Gallagher’s press release: “Consumer attitude is driven by three things, price, service and trust,” said Doug Hautop, Senior Manager and Lending Practice lead for CG.

Do I think Walmart as a lender is anymore trustworthy – or prone to be a better communicator – than a bank? No. But Walmart or no, if trust continues to diminishes in banking, it looks like 80% of consumers don’t feel a need to rely on banks.

Banks: Mobile Apps vs. Social Media

Video Banking: Folly or Foresight?


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