Optimal Blue’s API Platform Powers Broad Industry Ecosystem; A Single Source for Pricing
In 2016, Optimal Blue made a strategic decision to an open its platform to third-party systems by building a series of APIs designed to provide comprehensive access to system data and workflow functionality. Several factors drove this strategy, including the notion that while loan pricing information must be consumed by a myriad of systems, customers prefer to maintain a single implementation of product eligibility and pricing data. A second factor was the growing interest by third-party applications in embedding product eligibility, pricing data, and secondary marketing workflows. And finally, the digital mortgage movement and demand for greater information transparency was increasing the need to present consistent, real-time product and price data throughout the consumer engagement process. Now, roughly one year after Optimal Blue released its first transaction sets, the company finds itself at the center of a large and growing ecosystem of mortgage technology providers that rely on Optimal Blue APIs.
More than forty vendors have integrated with Optimal Blue’s API platform, offering a wide variety of services to the company’s customers, including solutions for customer relationship management, marketing, point-of-sale, mobile, loan origination, and lead generation. Now, for the first time, Optimal Blue clients can confidently rely on a single source of accurate pricing to power an array of systems. Hundreds of Optimal Blue clients are taking advantage of the connectivity that now exists between the product and pricing data they maintain within the Optimal Blue platform and connected vendors.
“Optimal Blue is fast becoming a utility for the industry now that our customers can simply plug their price data into nearly any technology solution,” explained Scott Happ, CEO of Optimal Blue.
Through its RESTful API platform, Optimal Blue supports a growing variety of transactions including product eligibility, complete price results, and locking. Because third-party applications are all connected using Optimal Blue’s common API framework, product eligibility and pricing is handled consistently by each application and APR calculations, payment disclosures, and mortgage insurance quotes are always correct. To ensure third-party applications comply with data and connectivity standards, Optimal Blue maintains a rigorous vendor certification process.
The success of Optimal Blue’s API initiative has been bolstered by the industry’s growing interest in bringing price transparency to consumer interactions. Today, nearly all consumers begin the mortgage loan process online and have come to expect on-demand, transparent, and consistent information. These evolving consumer expectations paired with the industry’s highly competitive environment are causing a rush by originators to adopt digital capabilities. In the process, originators must grapple with how to integrate digital mortgage technologies, deliver information to the consumer in a real-time and compliant manner, and ensure consumers have a consistent experience across channels and throughout the origination process.
Optimal Blue ‘s ecosystem of API-connected vendors provides a solution for originators wishing to bring price consistency and transparency to their entire mortgage process. Clients are using these third-party vendor connections to jumpstart their entry into the digital mortgage arena and are realizing significant operational and compliance benefits from using Optimal Blue as a single source for loan pricing.
“In creating a platform supporting third-party applications, Optimal Blue has crushed the barrier to the digital mortgage,” added Happ. “By connecting virtually every vendor in the digital mortgage space to the Optimal Blue platform, we have paved the way for originators to join the digital mortgage movement.”
Looking forward, Optimal Blue intends to extend the success of its API initiative by aggressively adding transactions supporting an even deeper integration of data and workflows. Currently in development are a set of transactions that will support advanced lock desk functionality, including re-locks, lock extensions, worst case pricing, and change requests.
This piece was originally featured on MBA.org.
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