Companies in the mortgage industry are investing in a variety of technologies to make their businesses more efficient, but many are still unsure about the potential of blockchain. Because it’s new, companies may not even know how to evaluate the benefits of blockchain to their business.

Carl DiClementi, director of product, and Crystal Wiese, director of marketing for Factom, provide a four-step roadmap to help companies get started.

  1. Learn the basics of blockchain technology and why certain blockchains may be better suited for your business than others.

  2. Ask, will blockchain save me money? Bring more customers? Save auditing costs? Take a step back and analyze production practical use cases for how blockchain will add value to your company.

  3. Create a budget for blockchain experimentation, research and implementation.

  4. Spend the budget wisely. Seek out opportunities to interact with blockchain and test user data to play with. You don’t need blockchain developers for this, all you need is to find a service that will hide the blockchain complexities, allowing you to easily understand the blockchain use case for your business through a graphical user interface.

It is largely publicized that big companies such as IBM, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Intel are hopping on the blockchain wagon and are actively building proof of concepts. But what isn’t talked about as much is the fact that blockchain services have reached a maturity where the technology is now accessible to organizations of all sizes. Further, with successful proof of concepts across a variety of use cases, it is time for software providers and companies to explore practical implementations of blockchain technology.

“The biggest hurdles to adoption right now are a lack of technical understanding and the perception that they need specialized employees,” Wiese said. “Smaller companies do not have the resources to hire expensive blockchain developers to build these solutions from scratch. What’s worse is that there are so few Blockchain-as-a-Service companies providing practical solutions beyond consulting and white papers.”

This is where the experimentation and wise spending DiClementi mentions in the roadmap play an important role. Factom offers a Sandbox for developers to try their Blockchain-as-a-Service offering, enabling them to quickly implement a proof of concept applicable to their business. Business stakeholders can immediately evaluate the value to their business with the accompanied user interface that is flexible to users’ data format. In other words, you do not need to change your data’s structure or format to fit the type of blockchain you need.

Blockchain can easily be modified or fitted to your existing complex data, no extra work necessary. It’s simply not prudent to spend large sums of money on consulting if the end product cannot be built or maintained by the existing team.

DiClementi pointed out that none of the companies using their products need blockchain developers. “When a true Blockchain-as-a-Service offering is built with the enterprise companies in mind, it’s as simple as reading and writing from any other API.”

Every blockchain software is different. Well-known blockchain-based technologies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are open-source blockchains, but they have high transaction fees and are not built to handle complex data sets. Factom was built specifically to prioritize data. With products like Factom Harmony, high transaction volumes are handled very affordably. It also functions as a seamless data layer, making for easy integration with legacy software.

“Blockchain can relieve your pain points at every stage in the mortgage cycle: origination, servicing, and closing,” Wiese said. A blockchain implementation can ultimately eliminate the liability of having to rebuild the truth, reduce audit time and prevent costly disputes.

“One of the immediate benefits is that blockchain eliminates the need for ‘checkers to check checkers.’ You will have an immutable audit trail where proof of your decisions will be preserved forever. You don’t need the other companies you work with to benefit from blockchain, either. Because sensitive data can still be preserved behind your company firewalls, you can ensure your information is kept confidential, but remains more secure than ever,” Wiese said.

Blockchain technologies empower mortgage companies to become more efficient while also keeping their data more secure. DiClementi encourages companies interested in the technology not to be afraid of the next step. “Companies that work on an Enterprise level scale should approach blockchain technology like any other software provider in their stack,” he said.

What are your biggest concerns about blockchain? Bring them to the Factom team during the MBA Technology Conference at booth #447. They are happy to answer any questions and provide clarity for your most complicated questions. If you miss them at MBA Tech, find them online at www.factom.com or email them directly at hello@factom.com.