A mortgage business built on collaboration

Virgin Money has been working closely with its intermediary partners since 2012. The company endeavours to enhance the work that intermediaries do within the mortgage market by equipping them with the tools they need to match borrowers to mortgage products that are best suited to their individual financial needs.

Innovation at the heart of Virgin Money’s plans to deliver an excellent service.

This year, Virgin Money was recognised at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards 2017 in the categories of Best Intermediary Lender and the Innovation for lenders awards by as a result of its work in the sector.

With high volumes of Virgin Money’s lending going through its intermediary channel, innovating and facilitating its offering was key. Virgin Money listened hard to what intermediaries wanted and built the Mortgage Lab to make the company’s proposition for intermediaries the best that it can be.

The Mortgage Lab also addressed how Virgin Money assessed risk, and how it could simplify the mortgage application process and ensure the retention of customers reaching the end of their financial deals with Virgin Money.

The Virgin Money Intermediary Portal (VMIP)

Virgin Money appointed Niu Solutions to support its plans for digital transformation and make the changes required to respond to the feedback they had been given by their intermediary partners. With Niu’s technical expertise, Virgin Money was able to create an innovative offering for those intermediaries.

Niu moved the original Virgin Money Online (VMO) solution from a desktop installed application to a virtualised one, allowing intermediaries to quickly access it via the VMIP from a browser with ease, on any device, anywhere.

Niu was also able to implement this innovative web-enabled, digital application in just three months, a development that had previously been forecasted to take two years to develop. This enabled Virgin Money to improve its service with minimal impact to its existing operations. With Niu’s support, Virgin Money was able to significantly reduce the time it took to get the service to market.

The benefits of the Virgin Money intermediary hub

A portal that acts as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the needs of the intermediary which can support their work and take away any technological restrictions

Using Niu’s application aggregation product ‘Workspace’, intermediaries are able to access corporate applications, file stores and data from any device, on the go, from any location

An optimised experience allows client decisions on borrowing to be made more quickly and efficiently than before

An adaptable interface that incorporates all levels of an intermediary’s work including risk and compliance and mortgage checks

Access to the latest updates on rates and products coupled with features such as the affordability calculator and industry applications

Maintaining a secure and compliant environment

Thanks to the technology adopted and Niu’s expertise, Virgin Money can now continuously push out new upgrades through the application automatically, which means that any new programmes and features can be sent out in a phased approach to the intermediary community. These updates will remove the need to download a new application update before processing a mortgage deal, removing any interruption to their day-to-day work.

The new developments are made within a R&D ‘sandbox’, representing a safe environment for innovation. Virgin Money can also access and report on the adoption of the VMIP to ensure that all new updates are in line with the intermediaries’ feedback and allow intermediary support teams to identify where additional help may be needed or whether there is scope for further business development.

The application maintains the high security and compliance standards of Virgin Money’s core systems. Via the Workspace Access Engine, Virgin Money controls access to applications and files by breaking down the data into set criteria of user, device, network location and time. This flexible granular control system also provides comprehensive logging and reporting on user activity.

A competitive proposition for intermediaries

Championing the cause of intermediaries and building strong relationships with partners are all key components of Virgin Money’s mortgage proposition.By creating a place where intermediaries can carry out their core work simply and easily on any device with the support and functionality they need to exceed their customers’ expectations, Niu was able to build the VMIP suited to Virgin Money’s target market.