Amazon gets into mortgages? Well, not really – at least for now.
Amazon, the leading player in electronic commerce and cloud computing, just announced a big partnership with Quicken Loans. Now, Alexa can make your Quicken Loan Rocket Mortgage payment. She can also order you new light bulbs and request an Uber driver to pick you up and take you to the movies. Now why would Quicken Loans want in with Amazon? The honest answer is simple: money! This partnership positions Dan Gilbert a little better to pay for the newly bloated payroll of the Cavs and resign LeBron. Just sayin’.
Amazon is looking to woo small business owners with an attractive new credit card offering, Bloomberg reported on March 12. According to Bloomberg’s sources, the online market retailer has been in talks with JPMorgan Chase to offer a co-branded credit card tailored to the needs of small business owners.
There are also reports that Amazon is in talks with banks to provide financial services like checking accounts: Amazon wants to own every step of the customer experience, from shopping to delivery. Why not payments too? Apparently, Amazon could evade more than $250,000,000 in credit card interchange fees every year if it finds a bank willing to partner.
Should banks feel threatened by Amazon’s entry? Should I feel threated by Amazon’s entry? The answer to the first question might – and should – be “yes.” My answer is “no.”
I take comfort in knowing that I offer a wonderful human experience for my clients. There is a difference between utilizing technology to create efficiencies and to dissolve perfectly natural, human connections. I feel like the implications behind the new partnership between Amazon and Quicken Mortgage speak volumes about a new way we are using technology — and not for the better. Technology obviously serves to automate certain jobs, but some jobs simply shouldn’t be automated.
The role of a mortgage professional, for example, is typically a personal one — at least the way I’ve come to appreciate it. You exchange greetings, share your name, your social security number, disclose assets statements, and talk about one of the most intimate topics: finances. I’m certain man can handle that difficult-but-pleasant connection better than a machine.
Thanks for reading!