Brokerage launches mortgage AI bot

by Krizzel Canlas21 Dec 2017
Squirrel has launched its mortgage AI chatbot Alan, saying it is the first bot to be launched into New Zealand’s mortgage space.

Alan was designed for first home buyers. It answers questions like, “how much can I borrow?” and “what’s the latest interest rates?”

With the Financial Markets Authority allowing personalised robo-advice application in early 2018, Squirrel said Alan is a first look at the future of the financial services.

Squirrel chief executive John Bolton said Alan is not a robo-adviser, rather a fun mortgage calculator – with personality.

“The difference with Alan, is he’s a bit smarter and more interactive than plugging numbers into a one-dimensional calculator,” Bolton said.

“We wanted something fun and in-depth and able to answer a lot of the questions first home buyers have.

“He’s also got a cheeky sense of humour, in line with the Squirrel brand.”

On the website, Alan has a top tip for home buyers: “I’m a simple soul and prefer simple language. Short sentences will get you the answers you need fast.”

Alan breaks down the process into a few simple questions and then provides people with answers, complete with graphs and numbers. He then leads buyers to the mortgage application process (if it turns out they have enough money to get into the housing market).

“It’s still early days and we can’t promise you won’t end up in an endless loop at times, but we’ve done some comprehensive testing and the feedback from our clients is that they love him,” Bolton said.

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