Cooperation with Homestory AG is another milestone for multi-channel banking
- With Homestory UniCredit Bank Austria is the first and only bank in Austria to provide digital native customers with the option of executing mortgage loans digitally
- Like the successful "Fotouberweisung" Homestory is another example of a cooperation between UniCredit Bank Austria and FinTechs to offer pioneering digital solutions to customers
- A survey among 603 Internet users showed that 52 percent of all respondents as well as 70 percent of the target group with the intention of buying property demonstrated an interest in the app
- 80 percent of the target group rated the presented app as easy and practical, more than three-quarters valued the time saved and were interested in a prompt statement on the feasibility of the loan
The extensive multi-channel strategy of UniCredit Bank Austria is based on the ongoing change in customer behaviour and customer requirements. 70 percent of customers nowadays predominantly use digital channels for their day-to-day bank transactions, but in the medium term the branch remains the most important channel for personal advice. 58 percent nowadays rely on Multi-Channel-Banking. At present, already 39 percent of the population complete their day-to-day bank transactions via mobile banking— a strongly increasing trend. The multi-channel strategy by UniCredit Bank Austria provides each customer with a contact point to the bank which can be used for all services, independent of time, place or user behaviour and ideally tailored to the customer's needs.
The Homestory App
Homestory is a new app for mortgage loans developed by the German FinTech Homestory AG in close cooperation with UniCredit Bank Austria. At the same time, Homestory AG also acts as exclusive digital sales partner in Austria on behalf of UniCredit Bank Austria. The digital process via the app includes the entire loan application; the customer receives digital advisory services throughout the process and subsequently a viable feasibility statement with an individual sample calculation on the basis of the exact pricing models of Bank Austria, which were included during the development of the app and are updated regularly. Loan approval by UniCredit Bank Austria is given in the app on the basis of a positive assessment. Only the final signature on the completed loan agreement is then made in a bank branch of choice.
Robert Zadrazil, UniCredit Bank Austria CEO, emphasises: "UniCredit is strongly committed to developing innovative products and services for our customers. We are happy to partner with the right FinTechs in order to accelerate our digital transformation —just as in the case of the "Fotouberweisung" in our MobileBanking App, our Amazon Alexa Skill or now with Homestory. Our sound know-how was integrated in the app design and all parameters are continuously adapted by us. For the first time, we therefore are facilitating digital handling of mortgage loans via an app with digital advisory services and are creating a win-win situation, which primarily will benefit our digital native customers, for whom this new service was designed."
Continued focus on loan advisory services in the branch
Of course, the focus in UniCredit Bank Austria's branches continues to remain unchanged on first-class personal advisory services as well as on the areas of investment and financing. 100 property experts and 100 investment experts can be added directly via video to participate in each advisory session. The extremely successful advisory model has resulted in high growth rates in mortgage loans in recent years. At the same time, highly efficient background processes make loan approval already possible during the advisory session, if all documents were submitted. Robert Zadrazil underlines: "In UniCredit, we believe that banking is and will remain a people business, with human interaction as a key component of the service model."
Homestory App receives extremely positive feedback
UniCredit Bank Austria tested the Homestory app in a survey among 603 Internet users between the ages of 20 and 60. 3 out of 10 respondents considered the purchase of property and the use of loan financing for this purpose. The majority of the target group is under 40 years old and plans to purchase property within the next 2 years. More than half of the respondents (52 percent) showed fundamental interest in the app. The interest increased to almost 70 percent in the direct target group (individuals planning to purchase property in the medium term).
Almost 90 percent were interested in information about all costs incurred in connection with the loan. 84 percent were interested in an initial financing proposal on the basis of the real conditions of the bank and in the process would like to explore various loan options by changing parameters such as term, rate or the amount of own funds. 80 percent consider the presented app to be easy and practical. 77 percent think that it saves time; an equal number of respondents value the viable feasibility assessment of a desired loan and 76 percent emphasise that the Homestory app provides a very exact valuation of the property's market value.
Martin Galles, Head of Market Research of UniCredit Bank Austria: "In my opinion, the survey demonstrates clearly that the Homestory app meets customer requirements fairly closely. Furthermore, Austrians continue to be very interested in property and the associated loans."
What the Homestory app can do
- Receive a fundamental statement on the feasibility of the loan on the basis of just a few details
- Real conditions with Bank Austria pricing models under consideration of the details provided and a simulateneous valuation of the property
- Test loan options: See transparently how changes to the loan components impact the interest rate, instalments or term
- Apply for and decide on a mortgage digitally: upload all required documents to the app, submit the loan request digitally and receive a prompt decision
- Digital advisory services: receive valuable tips and information from the digital Homestory consultant
- Advisory matrix with modules on the basis of 20 years' experience derived from thousands of advisory sessions with experienced UniCredit Bank Austria financing experts
- Support: direct contact to the Homestory loan experts via chat or phone or also in person on site
- Digital pre-qualification and submission of customer information and documents: e.g. purchase agreement, pay slips or land registry extract
- Final decision on the loan by UniCredit Bank Austria
- Final signing of the mortgage agreement takes place in the UniCredit Bank Austria branch of choice
Martin Kuhn, Homestory AG CEO, emphasises: "Our app allows a fundamental statement on the feasibility of a loan on the basis of a few details. The actual calculation in our app is made with a few entries and an all-inclusive budget account as well as a simple valuation of the property. We therefore guarantee completely digital processing of a mortgage loan, which then only requires the final signature on the completed agreement in a Bank Austria branch."