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Taking aim at Quicken Loans' Rocket Mortgage

When Quicken Loans launched Rocket Mortgage nearly four years ago, the lender kicked off a revolution that has seen nearly all large lenders take their mortgage process digital.

Rocket Mortgage claims it’s as simple as “Push Button. Get Mortgage,” and enables borrowers to be approved for a mortgage in mere minutes.

Consider the ante upped.

Digital mortgage tech provider Blend, which powers the digital mortgage experiences of U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and a number of other sizable lenders, announced this week that it is now offering a “one-tap” mortgage pre-approval.

Blend claims that its new software gives borrowers “instant access to verified buying power and the ability to easily generate a pre-approval letter.”

According to the company, the new technology “enables lenders to verify a consumer's assets, income, employment, and liabilities with source data and zero friction, significantly reducing the amount of paperwork to review and saving time for the lender.”

Blend states that U.S. Bank will “one of the first” to offer its one-tap mortgage pre-approval. From there, the company states that there will be a “phased rollout” of the one-tap program to “additional lenders” beginning as soon as the end of this year.

Blend doesn’t state which lenders are included amongst the “additional lenders” designation, but the company is the technology backbone of Wells Fargo, Navy Federal Credit Union, Citizens Bank, and others.

So it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Wells Fargo, which already competes with Quicken Loans to be the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, could have a “one-tap” pre-approval by the end of 2019.

But, as stated above, U.S. Bank will be one of the first to implement Blend’s new offering.

“At U.S. Bank, our goal is to simplify the home buying process and enhance a customer's experience throughout the home buying journey,” said Tom Wind, executive vice president, consumer lending, U.S. Bank.

“The streamlined application process and transparent customer experience with one-tap moves us further in the right direction so that buying a home is the exciting experience it should be, not a dreaded one,” Wind added. “Further, one-tap pre-approvals will give our customers certainty at the beginning of the home buying process. We are excited to be one of the first to offer it to our customers.”

The rollout of the “one-tap” approval is just the latest in a series of big moves for Blend.

The company kicked off the year by announcing that former Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopolous had joined Blend as president.

A month later, Blend announced its intention to disrupt home equity lending with the rollout of a digital process for home equity loans that shaves weeks off turn-times.

And then in May, Blend announced a partnership with Salesforce, with the customer-management software saying that it made an undisclosed “strategic investment” in Blend.

And, in June, Blend announced that it raised $130 million in a Series E funding round.

And now, the 2019 HW Tech100 winner is at the forefront of the digital mortgage revolution.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve worked hand in hand with lenders and industry partners to build sophisticated financial technology that fully leverages consumer data and delivers a modern borrower experience,” said Nima Ghamsari, co-founder and CEO at Blend. “One-tap Pre-approval delivers the simplicity and transparency consumers expect and is a crucial first step toward helping consumers achieve financial wellness.”

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