An application programming interface (API) essentially lets two pieces of technology communicate. Say, for example, that you have a beautiful website for your mortgage lending institution, but you want to add real-time mortgage rates to make your website more interesting. You could ask your developer to build that from scratch, creating a bunch of work for them and cost for you. Or you could use one of the existing pricing engine tools. And with an API, that tool can communicate with — and ideally, display on — your site.
Basically, a good pricing engine API gives you a plug-and-play way to add features like custom rate quotes or real-time rate tables to your site.
And with long-established options like Optimal Blue, Mortech, Loansifter, and ours here at BankingBridge, plus newer players like Lender Price and Polly, you have plenty to explore here. But as you’re evaluating pricing engine APIs, what should you be looking for? You’re in the right place to find out.
The benefits of a pricing engine API
For starters, choosing an API saves you a lot of time, money, and effort over internally developing your own pricing engine. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. With the tools already on the market today, you can get all of the features that you need — and that your potential customers want.
Adding a pricing engine API to your website helps you meet customers’ expectations and demands.
The big players in the mortgage lending game are offering live rate tables and custom rate quotes on their websites. Even the small mortgage lending institution up the street might be. And you definitely should be, too. Want proof?
As we recently explored, today’s consumer loves to online-shop. That even extends to exploring their home loan options. When people — particularly Millennial and Gen Z home shoppers — visit your site, they expect to find the information they’re seeking. Providing them with key details (like current mortgage rates) personalized to them isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a must if you want to keep up with the competition — and rising customer expectations for digital experiences.
With a mortgage pricing engine API, you get an easy way to meet this expectation. These easy-to-integrate tools can display a widget on your website that invites people to put in their loan scenario information. Then, the API can show them their loan options from your product portfolio, complete with current rates tailored to them. A good API lets the user get the information they want with real-time rates and you get to market faster.
A quick look at the current pricing engine API landscape
If you’re now convinced that a pricing engine API could benefit your mortgage lending institution, you’ve got options.
The longest-standing players are Optimal Blue and Loansifter (which is part of Optimal Blue’s product suite), along with Mortech from Zillow. There are also newer players to the game, like Polly and Lender Price, which leverage technological advances to provide these APIs.
And, of course, there’s our new rate engine API: RateFlow. It integrates all five of the industry’s leading APIs — Optimal Blue, Mortech, Polly, Lender Price, and Loansifter — giving you a standardized tool to tap into all of these resources as you display real-time rates.
Choosing the right mortgage pricing engine API for you
First things first, you want to make sure the mortgage pricing engine API can do what you want. And that generally means meeting customer expectations. In other words, you should make sure it can display real-time rates while letting users tailor the information to them. Popular configurations include updating their loan amount and zip code to further personalize the rate, for example.
You also need to make sure the application programming interface can talk to whatever your website is built on. Ours, for example, is compliant with RESTful, JSON, and Swagger 2.0. If you’re not sure, your website developer should be able to help you here.
If you want to learn more about how a pricing engine API could boost your company website, helping you wow visitors and generate warm leads, our experts are here. Book a demo to start exploring your options.