Morgan Stanley developing online mortgage application tool

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley is developing a new digital mortgage application tool in a bid to get more of its existing clients to turn to it for home loans, its wealth management technology head said on Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley has invested heavily into growing its residential mortgage and customized lending business in recent years. But only 2 percent of current clients have home loans with the bank, Naureen Hassan, chief digital officer for wealth management, said at the bank’s U.S. Financial Services conference in New York.

Hassan said the new tool will allow clients to get rate estimates, upload documents and apply entirely online. She did not say when the bank planned to launch the platform.

It is part of a broad technology investment plan, which also includes the launch of the mobile payments network Zelle and a partnership with Twillio, a communications tool the bank will use to so advisers can securely text clients’ cell phones.

Hassan said Morgan Stanley will roll out a pilot version of Zelle later this month, with plans to expand the service more broadly this fall.

Zelle was developed by an industry consortium and will be used by a number of big U.S. banks, including JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), which plan to launch it to customers this month.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; Editing by Bill Trott