Cheshire doubles online mortgage applications with secure website

The Cheshire Building Society has doubled the number of mortgage applications it has received online after rolling out technology...

The Cheshire Building Society has doubled the number of mortgage applications it has received online after rolling out technology to authenticate brokers and customers making applications.

The building society, which has placed internet and telephone banking at the heart of its strategy to expand out of the North West into the rest of the UK, is one of only a handful of financial institutions to have introduced single-authentication technology for multiple sales channels.

The building society said last week that the proportion of mortgage applications it has received online has grown from 5% to 10% since it went live with the secure website for mortgage brokers at the end of last year.

The Cheshire aims to increase its customer base further by developing its telephone and internet banking services. It is investigating other potential channels, such as enabling customers to check their accounts using mobile phone technology.

"Online business has gone through the roof and we put it down to a lot more intermediaries becoming web-enabled," said John Graham, internet manager at Cheshire.

At the end of last year the Cheshire installed 4Tress, a multi-channel authentication solution from ASPACE Solutions, which authenticates customers and brokers using the building society's internet services. The project took nine months to complete.

Falcon uses passwords and "memorable data" stored as SQL files on the Cheshire's SQL Server cluster to verify the identity of web users or callers. An algorithm detects whether hackers have attempted to change files and electronically links adjacent entries on the database system logs to detect attempts to delete data.

The Cheshire is using the Falcon system to authenticate the identity of customers and brokers making online mortgage applications and the identity of customers contacting its call centre to check their account balance and transfer funds over the phone.

The society has developed a web interface for brokers, which went live at the end of last year, to provide details of its mortgages and to offer quotes and decisions in principle on mortgage offers within 10 minutes. It also plans to expand the site to offer quotes for non-standard mortgages.

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