Mortgage advisory services usually follow a set of familiar patterns, much like any other bank advisory service. The distribution of roles and rights between the advisor and the client seems to be clear, the activities are predictable, and the materials used during the service have been standard for years: paper, pencil, brochures, and, recently, a calculator or a simple excel worksheet. This may seem a bit old-fashioned or boring, but it is the daily business of many financial advisors - there is even a name for that: "pencil selling". And this is what many clients expect from a serious advisory service - many clients consider an advisory service more trustworthy and appealing, when conducted with pen and paper, and without frills and distracting technology. So, does the banking advice have to remain the same, paper-based business for the next decades?
Yes... and, at the same time, no! Together with the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz and the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, the IMRG is researching novel solutions for mortgage consulting, where paper, pencil and even the table are brought to life. We envision a solution, where those traditional elements can be used as before, but - on demand - can be also turned into interactive surfaces with dedicated, individual and dynamic content. While following the paradigm of calm technology (i.e., technology that is hidden in the background and remains non-intrusive throughout the interaction), the envisioned system, Live Paper, enhances the advice not just visually, but transforms also the practices around knowledge transfer, explanation, and exploration of possible mortgage offerings. In this project, which is substantially supported by CTI, IMRG's role is to observe and propose transformation of the advisors' routines, as well as the evaluation of the system. Several experiments, evaluation rounds, as well as an empirical field study have been conducted and are being planned. The preliminary results show that Live Paper may substantially contribute to the quality of interpersonal financial services and form an exclusive counterpoint to the fully automatic approaches like robo- or self-advice.