Sesame Bankhall Group 

Sesame lines up £5m for adviser tech project

Sesame lines up £5m for adviser tech project

Sesame's mortgage advisers have been promised an end to the ‘clunky’ way they currently process business as the network has lined up a £5m investment in its technology.

Sesame Bankhall Group and Aviva today (April 2) announced they will invest in a next generation mortgage, protection and general insurance platform for their advisers, called Acre.

According to the firms, the Acre software will streamline the process of mortgage advice.

Speaking to the FTAdviser, John Cowan, the company’s executive chairman, said: "The current system works and the market’s not broken, but it takes a long long time, maybe three hours sometimes end to end, to sort a mortgage.

"The customer’s experience through this journey is not great. We can’t ignore the new technology and challenger firms."

Mr Cowan said the new platform would help advisers speed up customer identification and would mean advisers didn’t have to switch between different systems in order to sell additional products such as protection.

Sesame already announced its intention to develop this mortgage service last July. 

It will be developed in parent company Aviva's Founders Factory, which assists with product development, market insight and capital.

Aviva became the parent after it merged with Sesame parent Friends Life in 2015.

Once developed, Acre will use blockchain to combine all the parts of the mortgage advice process into one unchangeable ‘record of transaction’.

Sesame could not confirm whether advisers would have to pay for the service or at what cost the new platform would be available. 

Justus Brown, chief executive and founder of Acre Software and former Founders Factory chief product officer, said: "Buying a house is one of the biggest financial transactions a person can make, yet the process is slow, opaque and fragmented, which is increasingly out of step with consumer expectations. 

"We’re changing this – levelling the playing field for brokers using innovative tech, while putting an informed consumer at the centre of the mortgage process.

"We are thrilled to have Sesame’s distribution muscle and industry expertise, along with Aviva and Sesame’s financial support at our disposal on this journey."

Imogen.tew@ft.com