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May/June 2000 - Volume 79, Number 3

by Karun Khanna

In the world of E-commerce, customers set the rules rather thanmarket leaders, and the business focus is shifting - from increasing revenues only to serving customer needs more effectively, from market share to mind share, and from product-centric models to business-centric models. What’s more, competitors are partnering to create opportunities as evidenced by the creation of industry exchanges to facilitate business-to-business E-commerce. To meet the E-commerce needs of increasingly demanding customers, more companies are forming strategic alliances with other companies that can complement or supplement their products and services.

Financial service companies are starting to see the promise of E-commerce reflected in the marketplace, and the electronic origination of financial service products should achieve critical mass by 2003. For traditional players in the mortgage industry, E-commerce is one of senior management’s top issues. Although consumer demand and markets for E-commerce mortgage services are not yet fully understood, today’s E-commerce leaders in this area are providing on-line interactive transactions and loan applications, and in some cases real-time loan decisions. These leaders are a mix of innovative traditional mortgage lenders and a new breed of specialty on-line mortgage firms made up of experienced small-scale mortgage lenders, brokers, entrepreneurs, and technologists.

At Fannie Mae, we measure the effectiveness of our technology against three goals:

 Cutting the time, cost, and complexity of mortgage origination for our lenders and their customers;

 Helping our lenders expand their markets and increase their profitability through access to new mortgage products; and

 Adding flexibility and choice for our lenders in determining how they want to do business.

In short, we try to find technology solutions for our customers, not customers for our technology. And because the Internet is now a real part of our lenders’ business, we want to work with lenders that need our help in using our technology to expand their reach to customers or to facilitate business-to-business transactions.

Fannie Mae’s technology solutions follow industry standards for open networks and access, open transactions and data, and open applications and system interfaces. We began our efforts to facilitate business-to-business transactions when we developed the Form 1003 reduced data set that is leveraged across our MORNETPlus- Network and Desktop Underwriter- and Desktop Originator-, and when we created a standard interface for doing business with our Service Based Architecture.

Our MORNETPlus- Open Access initiative is all about giving lenders choices - not just choices in automated underwriting systems, but choices in other industry services (like appraisal, credit, flood, and title information), choices in methods of integration, and choices in connection optionsall available seamlessly and securely through one access point.

We are creating unlimited access to the widest variety of automated underwriting systems (AUS) in one place for one charge. By combining the benefits of Desktop Underwriter with links to other underwriting services, we can provide the most comprehensive automated underwriting platform in the mortgage finance industry. Currently, these links include Caledon’s Second Source, Countrywide’s CLUES , GE Capital Mortgage Services’ Good DecisionsSM, GMAC/Residential Funding Corporation’s AssetWiseSM, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, the pmiAURA system for FHA and VA loans, and Standard and Poor’s (S&P) LEVELS rating service.

The MORNETPlus- Connections service, enables lenders to order and receive flood certificates, title insurance and other services from RealEC’s open, multi-vendor E-commerce network. Chicago Title Corporation will make appraisal, flood certificates, and title insurance available to our users through its single-source, nationwide mortgage settlement service. And MORNETPlus- Connections users soon will have access to the products and services of First American Financial to request and receive title insurance, flood certificates, and appraisals from First American’s family of companies.

As E-commerce alters the business landscape, Fannie Mae is committed to developing more open platforms and a variety of channels for accessing our technology. Lenders have long been able to access our systems via our MORNETPlus- Network. MORNETPlus- on the Web will now provide our customers with a business-to-business portal for single-family mortgage transactions and services. Lenders and their sponsored originators will have access to Desktop Underwriter/Desktop Originator via MORNETPlus- atproviding yet another choice in automated underwriting connection options, including a private network, dial-up access, and multiple Internet solutions.

Fannie Mae’s state-of-the-art technology and industry partnerships are focused on providing lenders, the title industry and other industry service providers an effective platform to streamline processes and reduce costs through business-to-business E-commerce.

We look forward to working with the American Land Title Association® and title industry players in our continuing efforts to further streamline the mortgage origination and closing processes.

Karun Khanna is Director of E-Commerce and Technology Marketing with Fannie Mae. Karun spoke to the ALTA® membership during the Tech Forum in February. He can be reached via e-mail at .

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