E-commerce standards for lending industry

Processing time drops by two days

The Lending Industry XML Initiative (LIXI) and National ICT Australia have developed a set of protocols that promise to reduce home loan application processing from two days to two hours.

The protocols, written using a Credit Application Language (CAL) have been developed over five years and will be available to LIXI members after its launch on March 7.

NICTA empirical software engineering program industry liaison Paul Mackie said the protocols will standardize the interactions between banks and property valuers.

"The standards will mean that when Web services come along the lenders and property valuers will take a common approach to it," Mackie said.

"Banks, in many cases, will fax off requirements to a property valuer who will take them along to the property and mark the checklist off on a notepad. An extrapolation of this could lead to requests sent in a digital format, with property valuers making notes on a PDA."

"A standard architecture and reference implementation framework is something industry has been very keen to receive and we expect it to be eagerly received."

LIXI CEO Socrates Vasiliadis said the standards will be effective because they address a self-contained problem.

"The industry confusion stemmed from a lack of formally documented standards where similar software was written for the same problems," Vasiliadis said.

"Not only will this development reduce technology costs for the valuer community, it will also offer improved efficiency and better relationships with lenders."

"Intermediaries such as SmartVal will also be assisted as they use the standards to improve their online document management systems."

The LIXI-NICTA collaboration is governed under the Business Process Working Group which incorporates all large participants in the Australian lending industry. The group has plans to prepare reference architectures for other lending processes including the circulation of loan information from lenders to mortgage brokers.

The standards are part of an industry effort to bolster the efficiency of application processes in the lending industry, such as straight through processing.

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