Independent equity release advisory service Equity Release Supermarket (ERS) has launched the sector's first intelligent search engine tool.
The new smartER digital platform allows users to search current equity release plans from across the market that match their personal circumstances and requirements, then filter, shortlist and compare different options.
As well as providing more information prior to proceeding with an adviser, smartER has been designed to enhance the overall advice process, so that an adviser already has a detailed understanding of the consumer and what they are looking to achieve financially through equity release.
Mark Gregory, Founder & CEO at Equity Release Supermarket, said:
"Central to our role at ERS is to provide consumers with the digital tools they need to understand how equity release and later life lending works and to find options currently available in the UK.
"The launch of smartER is a natural evolution of our online calculators and compare deals functionality that are already available across our websites; now with the new smartER platform, they can bring all this information together in an easier to compare and shortlist way.
"The platform gives consumers not only more control but more in-depth information, a better understanding of the plans out there and greater insight to match their requirements. We've really simplified the whole research process for customers through the use of our smart technology."
Jessica Sherratt, Head of User Experience at Code, also commented on the launch:
"By taking valuable insights from users of the Equity Release Supermarket site, wider target audiences, lenders, stakeholders, and the adviser process we were able to understand the role of a digital product and design it so that it meets the exacting needs for this sector.
"We found that not only was there an appetite for an easy to use comparison tool within the equity release sector, it was essential that we evolved it in a way that would also communicate often complicated information in a clear-to-compare way.
"While many consumers are familiar with digital solutions that can help them refine and personalise their search for financial products, there is still a lot of scepticism around equity release that our design and user interface has tackled head-on.
"By working in collaboration with the team at Equity Release Supermarket and Equitec we've developed a solution that delivers efficiencies for the industry and that supports consumer demand for a more transparent and informative route into equity release. We will continue to take learnings from the platform as we continue to help Equity Release Supermarket on its digital rollout programme and growth."