First National Bank’s (FNB) Housing Finance Division has moved its compulsory home ownership education programme for first time home buyers to the web from “the classroom” and has described it as a “great success”.
FNB said in a statement 75 per cent of bond applicants are opting to take the FNB home owners’ programme through the e-learning process.
“Our home owners programme has always been an important aspect of the bond registration process for our customers,” said Marius Marais, chief executive officer (CEO) of FNB Housing Finance.
“Good quality financial education on owning a home is vital in order to ensure that home owners understand the financial impact of their decisions and make the most of their biggest asset.”
E-learning was initially introduced in February this year and has resulted in an 87 per cent decrease in turnaround time of course completion.
This translates to a reduction from 9.8 days to an average of 1.3 days.
“While the effectiveness of a motivated, knowledgeable trainer is undisputed there are a few challenges that we have found using the traditional classroom method,” said Marais.
One of these challenges is the delay in completing the course, which impacts on the applicant’s bond application and registration with the deeds office.
Also, training within traditional classrooms takes place at various third party locations throughout South Africa and trainers require a sufficient number of “provisionally approved customers assigned by the lender” to begin the course.
This may lead to the delay being a month, especially for the more remote locations in the country.
Quality and consistency is another challenge because all trainers reportedly need to cover the whole curriculum with knowledge and communication and FNB said it is difficult to keep the education standard consistent throughout South Africa.
“With the introduction of the e-learning programme many of these challenges have fallen away. Customers are now completing the course in just over a day and scoring high pass rates,” said Marais.
The customer in question will receive an email or SMS with login details for the e-learning site once the application is approved. FNB said the e-learning programme includes high definition (HD) education video clips, graphs and a multiple choice questionnaire.
“E-learning, with good quality information and quick turnaround times seems to be the way in which to spread consumer education. Obviously, we will still cater for those that are unable or unwilling to learn via the FNB e-learning programme, however, for the vast majority of our customers, this is a good interactive way in which to engage and we are delighted with its success,” said Marais.