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Habito launches the world’s first artificially intelligent mortgage advice chat bot

Posted: 12th September 2016 by
Katina Hristova
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UK tech startup, Habito, has launched the world’s first artificially intelligent Digital Mortgage Adviser (DMA) allowing millions of consumers to discuss their mortgage needs from any connected device, 24/7, without requiring a human broker.

Built using AI technology and Habito’s market-leading algorithm, the DMA marries all the elements of a customer’s financial life (e.g. employment, salary and personal life plans) with real-time market mortgage rates to calculate an indicative monthly payment. The DMA explains the impact consumers’ decisions will have on each mortgage configuration as a traditional mortgage broker would, but in a fraction of the time (average 10 minutes). Habito has the ability to search 100’s of products (versus a handful), so once the advice is complete consumers can be sure they’re on the best mortgage for them which can result in savings of thousands of pounds per year*.

In designing the new system, Habito analysed hundreds of advice interviews in order to understand what consumers needed and what formed the basis of informative advice. As a result, the DMA’s chat-like interface provides an unbiased, conversational experience, without the need for lengthy in-person queues, waiting on hold or paying a premium for advice.

“Finding the right mortgage product in the UK is like finding a needle in a haystack. Britons are crying out for some innovation and clarity in an outdated and overwhelming mortgage market,” said Daniel Hegarty, CEO and Founder, Habito. “Our digital mortgage adviser is a huge step forward in making mortgage advice accessible for consumers in the way they need it most: unbiased, always available and most importantly free.”

Habito’s digital mortgage adviser is a direct response to the FCA’s Financial Advice Market Review Report calling for greater, more accessible financial services advice for British consumers. Habito plans to roll out additional interactive features later this year, such as remortgage alerts, that will continue to optimise the mortgage application process for consumers across the country.

Anthony Duffy, Director of Retail Banking in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu commented:

“Habito’s launch of its Digital Mortgage Advisor is one of many Artificial Intelligence developments that Fujitsu expects to see enter the financial services industry over coming years.

AI offers the potential to lower costs, improve product and service delivery and enhance the overall customer experience. Furthermore, Fujitsu’s own research has found that consumers are equally prepared to explore the potential that AI offers. It found that 59% of those surveyed would be happy for their bank to use their data to lower their mortgage premium, while 47% of consumers would be content to allow banks to use their data to recommend relevant products and services.

Of course, the use of AI in financial services is not new. Trading businesses have used algorithms for many years. What is new is the increasing levels of interest being shown in AI by the industry and the widening range of applications to which AI technologies are being put. Many banks are already looking at their operations carefully, with a view to prioritising opportunities to deploy AI. Advisory offerings are proving particularly popular amongst retail-led companies.

In an industry increasingly characterised by sluggish revenue growth, costs which remain stubbornly high but where customers are open-minded towards using technologies, the attractions of AI will prove difficult for many banks to overlook.”

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