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Infinity Works founder joins local entrepreneur to launch mortgage platform

Simon Horsfall and Dan Rathbone

Tech specialist and Infinity Works co-founder Dan Rathbone has joined local entrepreneur Simon Horsfall to launch BINDER, an online portal to modernise how mortgage and insurance professionals advise clients.

Horsfall, a mortgage and insurance adviser for over 15 years, was inspired to develop BINDER as a digital solution to manage and organise cases for his clients and to create a more efficient, streamlined, and secure way for customers to provide the necessary confidential and personal data such as passports, bank statements and pay slips.

With over 5,580 mortgage broker businesses in the UK generating a total market value of £1.78bn, according to data from IBIS World, Horsfall was frustrated when he could not find an existing solution to help him manage his cases more effectively and provide a better and more convenient experience for his customers.

He said: “I was really frustrated by how inflexible the process was and how reliant we were on being able to access a paper case file in the office. I needed something more streamlined that would allow me to work from anywhere and access all the information needed for any of my cases at any time.

“The existing services available were overly complicated, with long set-up processes and costs that kept changing monthly; I was determined to find a simpler way to manage my cases.”

After teaming up with tech entrepreneur and fellow Ilkley-ite Rathbone, BINDER will launch in the UK market this month to help thousands of mortgage advisers and their customers.

Rathbone has 20 years of experience in the tech industry, having started his career as a software engineer and going on to co-found successful Leeds-based digital transformation consultancy Infinity Works.

After the high-profile sale of Infinity Works to Accenture, Rathbone joins the BINDER team, applying his tech knowledge accrued by working with companies from start-ups to blue chips to solve the frustrations and challenges Simon experienced.

Rathbone said: “When Simon told me about BINDER, I could immediately understand his frustrations and see its potential. It has been great to apply my technical experience and industry knowledge to create a solution that is simple and easy to use and has a real impact on users’ productivity.

“BINDER works on any device. It’s tablet, desktop, laptop and mobile-friendly so that it can be accessed from anywhere and at any time, and the self-service nature of BINDER makes it very clear and transparent. Like the Netflix model, you can sign up with one simple flat fee, whilst my industry experience of knowing what ‘secure’ looks like has given Simon the confidence that his client data will be stored securely.”

With features such as document management, BINDER enables advisers to request the documentation needed and for clients to upload them safely and securely. A live chat function allows real-time communication that is stored securely alongside the case to avoid a proliferation of emails, SMS and WhatsApp messages that can easily be missed.

Horsfall added: “Half the battle was collating all the information before you could even start to advise. Clients send documents in various formats and methods – WhatsApp, text, post, even fax. Manually printing and collating the information in one place was very time-consuming.”

With BINDER, he explained that clients can upload everything directly via the portal, and the system gives a notification when everything is in and ready for work to begin on the case, saving time for everyone.

One early adopter, Jake Smith, independent mortgage and protection specialist at Vista Financial Management, said: “I have found [BINDER] incredibly useful to keep everything in the same place, especially the document system, I’ve had clients in the past sending me numerous documents that would get missed on both sides, but now, with the press of a few buttons, documents can be requested.

“It has saved me a lot of stress and time having the instant chat function with my clients rather than having to look through my text messages, WhatsApp and emails remembering what has been said and what has been asked for.”

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