These banking apps just made paying the mortgage a whole lot easier

By Jarrod
5 Min Read

Two new innovative open banking apps are helping Aussies navigate interest rates, break into the property market and manage the mortgage.

Powered in part by Loan Gallery, the largest mortgage broking business in Australia, these innovative financial tracker apps are designed from the ground up to streamline the journey from home looker to homeowner. 

It begins in the Savings Tracker app, where first-time home buyers needing a financial plan can save up that vital deposit and unlock a mortgage approval so they can step onto the property ladder.

From here, Loan Gallery mortgage brokers will track borrowers’ income and spending habits using real-time bank data. Using the app and working with the broker, the borrower can establish a deposit savings goal and receive support to achieve it.

“We are excited to partner with Effi to deliver the Savings Tracker under our own brand so mortgage brokers can nurture first-time home buyers with a personalised savings plan that will accelerate them onto the property ladder,” said Steve Matsoukas, Director at Loan Gallery.

Once the ink has dried on the new home’s deed, homeowners can use Effi’s Loan Tracker tool to prepare for the impending mortgage payments. 

Loan Tracker goes one step above its savings counterpart, offering income and expenditure tracking as well as allowing mortgage brokers to see the current loan balance and predict how future interest rates will impact the affordability of payments. 

Brokers will get instant alerts on crucial changes, prompting them to reach out to borrowers with timely advice and options, eliminating the delay and hassle of emailing bank statements before an annual review.

“In the current environment, with rising living costs and interest rates, mortgage brokers play a vital role assisting borrowers to navigate big decisions,” said Mandeep Sodhi, Founder & CEO at Effi.

“Loan Tracker helps brokers to support borrowers to take the right steps at the right time, preventing costly mistakes and mortgage stress.”

The apps will be trialled exclusively with customers of Metricon, Australia’s largest home builder, before being made available to the wider market sometime next year. 

Metricon’s General Manager, Drew Glascott, said that the apps will “undoubtedly benefit thousands of Metricon’s customers on their journey to owning their own home”.

“These new financial tools align perfectly with our commitment to help more Australians achieve their dream of home ownership,” he said.

Should you share your banking info?

While reading ‘bank data tracking’ might (and should) raise some red flags, a mountain of safeguards are put in place to protect consumer data from being threatened. 

Consumers must provide explicit consent before sharing their data with third-party providers when logging into the app. You’ll be able to choose what data is shared, for what purpose and for how long, and you can revoke consent at any time, giving you greater control over their information.

Open Banking also requires strong customer authentication to prevent unauthorised access. Unlike screen scraping, it doesn’t involve sharing online banking passwords and instead uses some form of Multi-Factor Authentication such as a mobile SMS or in-app verification code.

The whole process is closely regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to ensure shared data is well protected from the dangers of cyberspace and regularly conduct safety audits.

This year’s Federal Budget alone included an 88.8 million dollar investment in consumer data rights over two years, focusing specifically on protecting consumers’ data from potential security threats. 

Ultimately, there are risks involved with sharing any form of data online, so be sure to talk the decision over with your bank and mortgage broker beforehand.

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.