The UK's Nationwide Building Society has launched a self-service online mortgage service, the 'One Minute Mortgage Promise', which can make a decision on a mortgage application in just 60 seconds.
Following a successful pilot, the service is now available to all mortgage customers via the Nationwide Web site. The service also allows customers to start applications online and then choose how they wish to complete the process - in the branch, over the phone or by post.
Jim Willens, Nationwide's retail operations director, says the number of online mortgage applications increased tenfold during the pilot period.
"We are now issuing over £3 million worth of agreements in principle every day," says Willens.
In addition, the Society is testing a case tracking service which keeps online customers informed about their mortgage application while it is being processed. The system uses outbound SMS and e-mail alerts, providing customers with a personalised Web page which displays a real-time progress report. Willens says 83% of applicants are currently opting to take up the tracking service.