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A Quick Overview of MBA Tech 2018

The Mortgage Bankers Association's annual technology conference pulled into the motor city this year, home to some of the largest lenders in our industry; as well as a rather unwelcome spring cold snap! As always, the overarching purpose of the event was designed at encouraging knowledge sharing and improving the home ownership journey by developing and offering the right technology. With more and more tech entering this space, the theme for the 2018 Tech Conference was very fitting - “Don’t Get Left Behind.” Mortgage industry leaders & commentators are constantly urging organizations to invest in technology if they want to remain competitive and compliant. “Don't get left behind” is a very easy statement to make, but not so easy in practicality, as the process of adopting new technology cannot and should not be made on a whim. Organizations must take the time to understand and evaluate the varying options to ensure their chosen solution meet their needs. MBA Tech is an ideal environment to strategize about how technology is shaping the future and learn about the latest offerings to support business growth. As always, the MBA lined up an interesting array of speakers, and subject matter for the attendees, but the focus of the conference really fell into two categories, cybersecurity and the role of the cloud!


While cybersecurity has always been a consideration for the industry, there is no doubt that in the past twelve months, a number of incidents have occurred that made the industry sit up and listen much harder than ever before. The MBA dedicated an entire track to cybersecurity this year with sessions focused on technology offerings and internal practices that can be adopted to reduce the associated risks of cyberattacks. It would appear the main concerns lie with ransomware and wire fraud. Ransomware discussions were around how costly attacks can be as companies decide to pay to have access to their data or try to recreate their data, assuming that's even an option. There are no guarantees in this situation and each company must decide what is best for them. Wire fraud is another major area for concern. Alex Wood, CISCO at Pulte Mortgage, shared that the research points to wire fraud occurring most frequently to mom and pop shops and not just big organizations. It’s just the big boys that happen to make the news reel. JT Gaietto, Executive Director of Cybersecurity at Richey May, suggested that with wire fraud becoming too risky, companies could eliminate sharing wire transfer information over email outright. Though cybersecurity is worrisome, throughout MBA Tech it was made evident that if organizations leverage the solutions available and put the right policies and procedures in place, they will be significantly less at risk than those that continue to think they are too small to be targeted or don't take the risk seriously.


The other standout area of discussion from the conference, as previously mentioned, related to a subject that has long been the interest of technologist, but appears to be finally gaining more traction in the mortgage industry than maybe it has before - the cloud. Today, there are so many solutions and an ever-increasing number of options, but figuring out the right IT infrastructure for your business can be complicated. Throughout MBA Tech 2018, it comes with little surprise that IT infrastructure was a major part of conversations in THE INNOVATION HUB and during sessions, as more and more mortgage banks are exploring the cloud. Industry experts, such as Stacey Caster, Vice President of Technology Communications at Quicken Loans, shared there are many things to consider. You should consider the challenges of migrating to the cloud, how effective your business will be in the cloud, and having the right people to evaluate and then implement what you want in the cloud. The process could be burdensome, but with the right planning a business can achieve much by migrating to the cloud as long as they have in place the right internal and vendor support.


Whether during the Technology Showcases, THE INNOVATION HUB, or the education tracks, it is clear to see that technology is and will continue to play a major role in shaping the mortgage industry. The pace of change with technology is alarming, and for most lenders, it is likely incredibly difficult for the them to remain up-to-date with changing trends, product offerings and the risks of doing business in this space. Conferences like MBA Tech look to ease this burden by bringing lenders, vendors and industry experts together annually, and this year’s conference was absolutely a success. There is no telling where innovation for the mortgage industry will go, but MBA Tech is sure to continue to support its development, as well as the knowledge of those attending.



About the author:

Carl Wooloff is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Loan Vision, the mortgage industry’s fastest growing provider of accounting and financial management solutions. You can reach Carl at

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