Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode · 10 months ago

Leveling the Playing Field: How Community Banks Can Use AI to Achieve Personalized and Socially-Responsible Lending

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Financial institutions, particularly community banks, are experiencing a paradigm shift in the architecture of banking.

While the idea of stitching together the banking experience has always been present, we’re finally seeing a truly connected ecosystem due in part to the technological acceleration that’s taken place in the past 3 to 5 years.

In this episode, Nitin Mhatre, CEO of Berkshire Bank, discusses the importance of combining automation with personalization and how community banks can go beyond the baseline expectations to facilitate more environmentally and socially-responsible lending.

We discuss:

- Combining digital and human touchpoints

- The importance of a connected front, middle and back-office

- Improving financial literacy

- How to measure environmental and social responsibility

To hear more from Leaders in Lending, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Leaders in Lending on your favorite podcast player.

Even with the greatest of technology, if your process these designed to becombersome, that kind of gets in the way of becoming frictions. You're listening to leaders and lending from upstart a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry best practices around digital transformation. In more let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders in lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features my conversation with Berkshire Bank CEO, Knitten Mahatre A. Berkshire Bank is a hundred and seventy five year old community bank and New England based out of Boston. Knits a CEO. He's been there for a year after a about twenty six year career in banking through City Bank and Webster Bank, and he's really focused on helping Berkshire become the leading socially responsible community bank in the country. I think it's a really fascinating discussion and I touch on his view on the evolution of lending from early days through segmentation, through Omni channel efforts and to what he calls the current frictionalist version. I think you'd prefers it as a version five. was really interesting. We also touch on phrase use digit touch, the combination of digital experiences and more human touch experiences. That it was was really interesting. We went through his perspective on partnerships between financial institutions and fintext and how that's kind of the future for both banks and for financial technology companies. I think really interesting, and then really delled into this idea of social responsibility, what that means, how they think about it, how they measure it. I think it's a really interesting conversation with a lot of insight both on kind of the heart and soul of banking as well as some of the nuts and bolts and execution and what's coming over the next couple of years. Lots of great wisdom in there. So please enjoy this conversation with nitt Maha Trei from Berkshire Bank. Didn't welcome to the PODCAST. I really appreciate your making the time today. Delighted to be here. Jeff, thanks for having me. Yeah, I was really curious to get your thoughts on when we were talking earlier, you describe the evolution of lending and where things are heading, and obviously near and dear to my heart is what's going on the living space. But I'm always curious to get the bankers you and I know you've got a number of years in industry, experienced with lending directly, so I'm curious how you see things evolving and where you see them heading. Yeah, I've been in banking for about twenty six years now and I've seen this evolved and I would just say we're on maybe vergin for Virgin Five, it feels like. I think we've bought from what used to be, I think, pretty much a mass marketing kind of approach to lending that moved to a more segmentation based approach to lending where, you know, there was, you know, more slicing and diicing and you know, the likes of capital one and first USA and NBA, any kind of daughter us how to do it better, segment to one as they would call it, and then a devold maybe in the last you know, since the last GFC kind of time frame, to more Omni Channel Approach, and I think that became the kind of the the program or the...

...buzzwords or to speak from there. I think it is where it is moving to is more of a frictionless personalized experience to lending, and that's why I say it's probably the fourth or the fifth version where I think where it is also now wevolved maybe in the last two three years. Is So what is defined to be frictionless and what is personalization? And you know, it's almost like anytime the customers at the point of consideration, whether it's when they're walking to a branch or looking up on their phones or reacting to a you know, communication or their shopping right. And that's why you hear the likes of BMPL now, you know, becoming the d thing now, because really I mean by now, pay later. Is Not a new concept. Tell it, Carson on, a new concept. It's been there. But I think what BMPL's done is at the point of sale, it just translated that whole program into a simple button. So that button what I think, is making the difference. So I think that's where I think we're an version five of lending and it's exciting and I think what you at upstart are doing is adding that element of ai which I think is going to make it even better and make credit more accessible to consumers, which I think is a real need in the market. Yeah, I think. I think of AI is is a technology that delivers on your message of frictionless right. How do I, you know, make the right, easiest frictionals process for you? I want to go to version four of one and and ask you a question that I feel like you say you your version for if I if you know the kind of frictionalist it maybe ai enabled this version five, you talked about Omni Channel. Where do you think we're at in the Omni Channel Journey, because I still feel like almost every institution I talked to is trying to get Omni channel right, right there. So that's a I think we all know it's something we need to do, but the execution and delivery of a seamless multi channel experience is still, at least in my thoughts, like not fully delivered by the industry. Where do you think right? And it's not on the common for like one technology to come in while we still haven't like really digested that the last one. But where do you think that we are at and what do you see coming from an omnichannel perspectives? I feel like that's still something I hear a lot of people asking and talking about. It is, then, you're so right, and I think there's a very, very wide dispersion in terms of how you define that experience to be. And I think at one point, and maybe that's still a little bit of a dream for the industry, is where Omni channel could be, independent of what channel the customers are operating in, the experience is seamless, to the extent that you could drop off a one channel and then enters channel two and it kind of carry on that experience and then drop from there and go to channel three and it's the same continued experience. I think where things have evolved, in my view, is most I think institutions have struggled to truly connect that that seamlessly. So we're at it is kind of settling potentially, is to say that, okay, let's just make sure, independent of what channel the consumers operating in,...

...that experience is seamless and then if they are connectors that can be built, that's great. So I think that's where we are. So I'm many channel is still alive, but I think how do you make that friction list? It's where it is. All. So make that process, as you know, smooth and fast and easy and convenient and personalized and transparent and flexible as possible. And then you what you add as an overlay along the way is make it more kind of advisor oriented, you know. So throwing the elements of here's the best thing for you to do. It's not just we just responding to what you ask for, but here are the different options for you, here's what works best for you and your situations. I think that's going to be the differentiated yeah, I guess that's that's maybe one of those common things in my guests as the value of the advisory role and how we can shift our human interactions into that. I also want to ask on the friction list. How do you think about delivering on that, because I feel like there is an element of that that's technology oriented and there's an element of that that is process. Requirement of the loan file needs these thirty five things, and so some of it is actually like our own policies, procedures, processes, in some of it is like the technology to actually automate that. How do you think about the the kind of two parts of delivering on an actual frictionalist experience, or am I missing some but it feels like it's not just a technology thing, like it has to be more than that if you're really going to deliver on that promise to the consumer. It is that, I think. I would even add there is a people and culture element to it. So I'll start with technology. I think technology clearly is making the difference and I think the evolution of where the banks have been and the reliance on the core systems and now more AP API enabled systems, that are certainly playing a role. And then you throw an AI and, you know, Ourpa and machine learning on top of that. I think that those are clearly changing the paradigm. there. You're exactly right. But even with the greatest of technology, if your processes are designed to be cumbersome, that kind of gets in the way of becoming frictionless. So if you still go to have, you know, a paper based processes in the Middle Office and the back office, then that doesn't lend to a good day of solutions. But I think there is a lot of processory engineering, automatation, you know, and there are components of machine learning and URPA that gets thrown in in that space as well. So that work is, you know, ongoing. I would also say there's lit bit of people and Culture Element. That's I think, sometimes gets forgotten that banking as an industry is evolving to a place where it's all about what the customers expectations are, and I think the work that you're doing, and you know everything that you know, the Amazon and apples and Google's have done is just reset the bar for the banking industry and I think some part of it is also helping the bankers and the employees of the banks understand that we have to now operate on a different standard, because is that standard has been reset for us. So I think it's that same people, process,...

...technology, all of that comes into play to get to a place where we want to be. I and I've been a huge advocate of this, Jeff is, I also believe that some part of this will have to come through partnerships, mm, because no matter how hard the banking sector tries to, you know, contemporize itself, they will be better kind of platforms. And whether you call it a platform at the service or banking of the service or no, notrish nation of the service would be really viable with the like up starts, and that's why I'm delighted that we partnered up with you guys recently and you know, learning from it every day. Well, we're delighted that we've partnered with you as well. I'd love the delving of that partnerships thing about. I mean part of the always thinks that this partnerships are new in finances. Weird because make there are technology partners that you've had for years, be the core providers or mobile technology providers. But how do you think about how the bank needs to adjust the way it operates or thinks or executes in order to really be well positioned to take advantage of partnership opportunities? I guess my experience a lot of banks can get out of their own way when it comes to actually being able to partner, and I'm curious how you think about setting the institution up for being able to take advantage of the opportunities like that where they exist. Yeah, I think in my view there is no choice. You have to be partnering because no matter how hard you try, you never going to have the capital to be building the the most state of the art platforms that some of the partners would have number one. Number two, no matter how hard you try, there's always going to be better mouse traps for marketing that you know, even including company like yourselves, have built that is more effective and efficient. And the third part is where, I think, where you should not lose focus, however, is you want to own the customer and own the customer relationship and on the totality of the experience. So on an average, a bank and a consumer side provides about, you know, twelve to fifteen different types of product and if you are able to make sure that the experience for the customer is integrated well through a good architecture behind it, then I think you still continue to manage and own the relationship and on the experience, in the totality the experience, and you know, single view and single sign on and single pain of class. I think that's your ultimate experience. So I think partnerships are going to be important to create new customers deepen relationship with customers, but at the end of the end of the day, what you own is the experience and I think that's still can be done. So and sometimes, I think, like you said, we get in our own way because there's a sphere about losing control. If you go through the partnership rounum and to meet the control is managed at the customer experience and the totality of EXP meadence level. That's fascinating to me and I think particularly your point on where you really have the focus on stitching together...

...and integrating pieces and parts, because I feel like that's even for institutions at own all their own infrastructure and like we're going to build it all here. That's often not well executed. I've seen, I won't name any names, but I've seen institutions that wanted to use their own depository information in their loan origination system and how to use a third party, you know, external service, to connect them because they couldn't tie the dots. How do you mean it's interesting thing to say our focus is and on building the one thing. It's on tying all the things together. How do you think about the investments you make or how you prioritize that and set the institution up to do that? Because that's a it's kind of different than saying we're going to build customer experiences like an Los and saying hey, we're going to like make sure that we're layering I'm guessing, on top for the customer and internally, you know, the kind of piping between these things, which is a really fascinating different way to think about what the when the institution is really delivering directly. From a technology point of view, it is and I think that's where that's the exciting part that's happening right now in the banking sector and I think things like you know seemed as integration and having the architecture for it is relatively new for the sector. I think we've always had some our conductor, but do do that from the perspective of stitching together all of the expediences one place, so everything that the customer has or does with the bank is able to be viewed and transacted and on boarded and managed and collected on is in one spot. I think that's a new paradigm for architecture and I think there's a lot of work that's going on there. The the evolution of Apization, if I would do were to use that word, has been phenomenal in the last three or five years and it's made you know, the likes of Mulesoft that have made it almost industrial grade, has made it so much easier and then you know other things like, you know, the plaids or the world have made access to data beyond your own walls of a banking system right. So now you have access to the other parts of the information. That has really made this exciting. But I think it does go boil down to having the right business model and then having the right architecture from a technology perspective to stitch together all the experiences, including experiences that come through partnerships. is going to be the exciting and yet challenging part for this. But it's a huge opportunity because my experiences it's not, you know, there's a lot of room to be best in class here because it's still in the infancy of really being delivered. You mentioned people earlier as like a key part of when I was talking about, you know, kind of some of the other elements you're working on. How do you think about I think it's fascinating. I mean I've worked at you know, the oldest company I've worked out was IDM, I guess, but when I went to Google and up start, like they're relatively young organizations and they can, you know, the culture is as yet somewhat informed and built in the modern era of to solve modern problems and you have institutions. I think you guys are pretty old institution and and you have a lot of culture that steeped in history. How do you think about transforming the people and the...

...culture and the way they tackle problems to match a different are because that's like a different challenge for a bank that has history and stability than it is for a little tech start up that's got twenty people. You are culture is whatever the heck we do, and in here culture something different. So I'm really curious how you think about, you know, shifting the the processes but, more importantly, the culture, about how people think about problems or how they interact for the new world, though. It is great question and I think no matter how much we evolved from a technology perspective, there is still a significant element of the business that is still people oriented. so you write, get an old institution. Were hundred and seventy five year old institution, and with that comes the strength of being well known in the communities, having the interest of the communities and the customers and having the longevity of the bankers who've known the customers over not just years but in some cases decades right. So I think all of that is an advantage and where I think we could, you know, scale that advantage up is by saying the way we delaware solutions to customers has to change and that obsession around customer experience has to be felt across the organization, not just in the front line but in the Middle Office, in the back office as well. And that's what we're creating here, and that's the part that excites me every morning coming to work, saying this is a new era for us in terms of the retaining what's great about us, which is that relationship and personal touch, but then overlaying the, you know, customer experience and digitizing the enterprise at the same time, and we internally referred to as the digit touch organization. That's what we want to become digit charge. That's where what is that? Break that down from me a little bit. What is what is to be able to touch organization. So it's the digitization of the experience for the customer while retaining the personal touch of a community bank. so that's where we combining that digit touch. I like, how do you think about what? Are there times when you want to be more digital versus more human touch. Are there kind of things that are being done, like how do you think about when and where each of those is the relevant way to be interacting with your customers at the customers choice? Are there areas where you're more focused on on high touch, or how do you how do you break down where you want those boundaries to be? I think the the simple answer for that is it's defined by the customer right. The customers defined how they want to interact with us. The important part of that this and I think sometimes I do feel that that gets missed by, potentially by some of the challenge of banks or NEO banks is we've created, they've created exceptional mousetrap for a digital experience, but there are times when things do go don't go well and customers do get stuck and that's when they want be hand holding, whether it's through a phone call, through a chat or through a visit to the banquet that they trust. That part has to be exceptionally smooth and I think that's what we're attaining here. So we have to educate our bankers and sometimes you just take things for granted. So you could easily just tell you know everybody in your branches for example, that Hey,...

...help customers use mobile banking more often. But that seems like such a simple thing to do. But it's more complicated than that, because now we have to make sure all the bankers know how to use mobile banking and then, within that, you want them to know hey, and you do it on android device and IOS environment and Sanso forward, so multi screen, multios kind of education. That's has had been taken for granted, I would say, for a few years by the sector. So we trying to fix that and say, okay, we're going to educate our bankers, invest in our bankers, make them comfortable with online banking, mobile banking to begin with, and then using tools like, you know, sales forcecom to see the totality of the relationship in one place. So I think a long winded way of saying it's driven by the customer but facilitated by investing into the bankers who can help the customers when they get stuck. Yeah, I also hear a lot that it's not just when customers get stuck, but the you know, the transactional element can be pretty digitized. Right. I don't need to walk in a branch that depositive check or you know, or make a withdrawal or whatever might be. But that when I there's still a component where most of us need help figuring out what the right financial choice. How twenty two one care and IRA, how do I want to invest it? Which I want to fix? You know, Thirty Year of fifteen year and are like, what's the mortgage product I want? Those are different cult choices that I don't think we help people navigate well digitally, and I feel like that's where good go. I don't know what to do. Help me figure out the right choice and once I've made it, I like, I don't I don't need to sit here while you take my information into the screen in the branch. I I'll go. I'll go apply for this thing on my phone. But I want to help like figuring out what the choice is that I should be making that's best for me, and I feel like that's the thing that the neo banks or the the digital only folks really struggle to deliver. It is and I think this is such an important need and I, you know, outside of my day job, I also I am on the board of junior achievement and we're talking increasingly about making financial literacy part of the curriculum at the school level itself. I think it's a real need across the nation and when you hear the stats around how, you know, have the Americans kind afford to bear a five hundred dollar of emergency expense? That kind of goes back to show here we are the greatest nation on the planet and we are struggling financially because there is no real good source for advice for many of our consumers in the country. So we have an advantage as a bank because banks are trusted and we have trusted relationships and now we need to make sure that that advice is delivered seamlessly across any challenge to the customers. So and you know, working with partners such as yourselves is going to make it easier for us. Yeah, I love that message of financial literacy. It something I work on with my children, but it blows my mind how many people call us and done this. APRS that include my origination fee or such. Is the interesting I'm going it's like the definition of an API, you know. So they just the understanding of compound versus simple interest. It's really amazing as difficult to understand...

...how we expect an American consumer to make a smart financial choice when we haven't given them the tools to really understand those choices in a consistent way. So I it's a huge gap, I think, in a space and it's really cool to hear that. You know you guys are thinking about that through junior achievement and it's just it's I struggle with how to teach that to my kids. I feel like I learned it all from the School of hard knocks. What little bi might know and it's but it's such a vitally important thing for people to understand it and make good choices about it. Is that. I don't mean this to be a plug for ourselves, but we did when we launched what we call internally to be best program which is our which is an acronym for Brooksher's exciting strategic transformation. It's really a strategic mind to transform ourselves for all the components that we talked about, but we translated that best program into what we call as the best community comeback, and what that means is it's not just about, you know, how we going to improve financially and improve customer experience and es she kind of delivery, but also how it helps the communities. Part of that includes financial literacy and we have set targets for how many, hundreds of thousands of customers that we would make more financially literate and aware as part of this program as well. And that's the exciting part because you will, you know, you you have to, at the end of the day, feel that you're doing well by doing good, and this program holds us do that. That's maybe I'd love the Delvin a little because it's maybe one of my biggest learnings. Is Somebody who came from the technology space into the banking space. You know, I guess my my pictures of banks are a little more wolf of Wall Street and a little bit less you know, it's a wonderful life and I think I've been really surprised at when you you know, I don't say there aren't bad actors, but that the community banks, the consumer bankers are very different than what you think of as the kind of Wall Street type investment bank or that are really a transaction oriented in the mission orientation of most of the community banks and the consumer bankers I've spoken to who really get into the business to help people. It really was maybe shouldn't have been. It was a little bit surprising and it was a kind of refreshing to see how much people are focused on that mission. I'd love for you, you guys have talked about being, you know, a socially responsible community bank. I love for you talk about what that really means to you and how you think about measuring your impact in that way, because it's I think it's something people need to understand more like how much banks really are focused on helping their communities, helping their consumers, you know, be better position financially, versus what many may think of when they think of, you know, kind of Wall Street and and, quote unquote bankers. Yet I think what that means for us is going beyond the the baseline expectations that, I've been said for the banking industries. So, you know, how who do you lend, do and what you do on the cere a front and so on so forth, is fine, and we do that not because we'd obligate to do that. We do that because the right thing to do. But we're saying we got to go way beyond that and we got to get into a place where we got to create financial literacy as part of our...

...community come back, we're going to make sure that there is better access to credit to the consumers that need access to credit. We're going to make sure that we're going to be transparent in everything that the customers do with us, whether it's, you know, opening a banking relationship or planning for their fit, future retirements and so ons, for so that would be there. And then the other part is also some part of that socially responsible community bank is also to make sure we playing a vital role in the environment. So how do we get into how do we soilitate more low carbon financing? How do we make sure we ourselves become, you know, net zero on the carbon, you know, greenhouse emissions? And what do we do about it? And I think you made a passing. You more talked about you know, it's like it's a wonderful life, and we do, and sometimes almost have jokingly, we talk about how we want to look at ourselves as the tech savvy version of George Bailey right from its wonderful life. So I think that's the that's the persona we, you know, inspire ourselves with every day to become a new right. There's about four thousand nine hundred banks in the country and there's always going to be some or the other entity that has a footfall here and there, but by and large most banks are really delivering value to the society and it was actually very evident when the banking sector provided PPP, the government program that I think has saved millions of jobs through the school with cycle and help. You know, hundreds and thousands of businesses of stay in the business which otherwise they would have gone out of. So I think it's a longline and way of saying that is very structured program that we have built here to live up to our promise to become that leading social, responsible cowny bank. I love it. What are the kind of measurements you take? articular, I'm curious on the financial literacy how you think about if you're achieving goals, because it's one of those areas where it's hard to like delivered courses people really understood, people, people got out of it. Are Have you found interesting ways to measure the impacts you're trying to make? Obviously carbon neutrality is one that's a pretty straightforward measurement, but the how do you think about measuring your your execution on that you know. You know, socially responsible element. Yes, they're. There are multiple components to it. I think on the environmental side, the you know, the the carbon financing, the carbon statute itself, be nows emissions and so ons for and then on the social and the consumer side, access to credit. How many sessions or financial education that we did? How many accounts did we open that are socially responsible? And there are some products that are getting the endorsement at a state or a national level to be the more accessible products and the one that we recently launched about a few months ago that has a certification called bank on certification. So I think products like that. And then eventually it all cumulates into how many individuals and and, you know, households did we positively impact through financial literacy? That's awesome and it feels to me like this is a great moment for that focus because so many of those products that, whether it's accessibility of credit...

...or kind of a lot of the products that your your consumer, who maybe can't put their hands on five dollars easily need are so hard to deliver because of cost. And the technology is now becoming available where, when we execute right, we can actually expand access to credit through better underwriting capabilities. We can expand product availability through lower cost basis or automation and actually, you know, make things available that weren't that can be really beneficial to consumers, or things that were really hard or expensive or loss making to deliver. So it feels like this really great moment for that focus, because the technology is now here to really help us be able to deliver in a more real way on some of those things that we maybe wanted to do before but we're, you know, prohibitive in certain ways. It absolutely that I call that democratization of technology and access to that technology that's available to, you know, a twelve billion bank asset sized bank like us. So now we don't have to worry about, hey, the largest banks are spending, you know, ten plus billion dollars in technology every year, and how do we compete with that and how do we drive down our cost to serve? Now you can, because we have partners such as yourselves that will help us do that at a low cost to serve and, to that extent, improve the axis for the customers who need it most. I love it. Well, I always before. I always have my three questions that I ask everybody when I am this podcast cast. So I us isn't a bit before I judge much. Is there anything you wanted to talk about or thought we'd cover or feel like I missed that you wanted to go through before I jump into those? I think no, I think we covered it all very well. Jeff, I think this is thought provoking, certainly for me, and glad that we had this conversation because, as you can see, I'm very passionate about this and I think it's I've say this on behalf of all one fifteen hundred bankers that we have. We are excited about this journey. Good. I think this really, you know, puts us on the map, all being that leading social, responsible Community Bang and doing well by doing good and feel good about what you do every day. So now I think you've got it all. Yeah, that's the thing we always love were every Friday we read a review from a bar or at our all hands meeting and I think it always helps us keep centered on you know, it's easy to get caught up in the numbers and the metrics and this line is going up and that line's going down and what's right what's wrong, and then when you come and say, Hey, I couldn't do acts and now I can because of you and thank you. It helps keep you grounded on what's important and why you do what you do, and I think that's just it's so crucial because it's it is so easy to lose sight of if you're not a frontline staff member talking to customers every day, and it's that keeps at least me grounded and what we're doing in all right. And here my three final questions would go kind of rapid fire. What's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten? Always ask the question. Oh goody, I'm gonnage to play this episode for my son. I've been I've been harping on him on on this particular point. Always ask the question. Yes, and the best gust scenario when you ask a question or ask for something is you get what you want and the worst case outcome is you don't get what you want, but do you now understand why you didn't get it? So I think always ask good question, always be curious and...

I've seen people, and I've advised that to many of the team members, especially the young ones, that don't just show up to a meeting and just walk away after the meeting. Be Be involved, be curious, ask questions, because that's how you learn and you also unknowingly create value for the people in the room as well. Yeah, that one is also such. I think there's two sides seer advice. I'm to make sure people's you both. One is like when you want something, you gotta well, I think one of the V sees around here says if you don't ask, you don't get and like it. But the other part is, I think that you're saying, is like when you ask questions because you like I see so many times, like I'm a meer. You go I don't understand, everybody else is not in their heads and I feel like the stupid person and then after me every goes jo I didn't understand how to thank you for asking a question. Why did you ask the question? But you know, there's a lot of value you create when you're willing to say, Hey, can you explain this to me? I don't understand this or I want to dig more than that. Yep, and the one component of that is, which is what I tell my children, is just never stop learning. Yes, right, you stop living when you stopped learning and I think every day, and you know I'm over fifty years old, but I every day I ask myself valance something new today and when I bend the answer is yes, I feel good about that day. Did you learn anything particularly new during the pandemic energy? Pick up any new hobbies or activities or things you tried to to learn while you were stuck in home for a year and a half? I thought of learning new languages, but I've miserably failed in that and I'm behind on learning a Spanish and Mandarin, so I'll make that my new year resolution. How I've been trying to learn mandarin for years and I've you know, I can tell my Wifi lover. And that's about part as I get. My second question. What's the best piece of advice you've gotten about consumer banking or consumer lending? I would say, if I were to paraphrase, the advice is there is enough of the opportunity for everybody to play a role, so partner up with people, team up with people, share best practices. I think it makes everybody better and that's why I was really excited to be on the Board of Consumer Banker Association and you know, was the chair of the board two thousand and nineteen, in two thousand and twenty. I genuinely feel that there's enough need out there that everybody could play a role and provide better access to consumers. So I would say that's the best piece of advice. There's enough market for everybody that's all work together to provide the best solutions for clients. I like that. That's a that's a good and my last question is, what's one bold prediction for this is my life. I'm going to bring you back in the year and see five years if you're right around. What's it? What's a ball predict and have to be financier, banking related though it can be, but a bold prediction for the future? Oh, I think the bull prediction, and maybe this is up your alley here, that I think ai is going to transform the way we do things. I think artificial intelligence, or I like to refer to as augment ended intelligence, because it I think it's not going to necessarily to place humans, but it's going to augment the things that we do in a very, very different way. It's going to be a different world. I think it's going to be a better...

...rule for it as long as you keep the God rails and use it wisely, just going to be a better world for using technology and AI as we move forward. It's such a great point because I think people that's an old Arthur, I think is Arthur calor quote that said we overestimate technology in the short term and then we're disappointed, but we underestimate its impact in the long run. And there are a handful of technologies that totally shift to we operating. I think about like an Uber and trying to tell myself like pre Internet, like what are you like? No cell phone, like what Uber or you know, they don't even make sense. And I think ai is on that order of technology that is just a fundamental leap forward and capability and we are only beginning to understand how it can actually transform and impact the world in it but it's going to be. It's going to be a big one. It's going to be on the order of, I think, mobile in the Internet in terms of the the shifts that have contigue one. All right. Well, this has been a fascinating conversation and I really appreciate your joining us today. I've greatly enjoyed it. Delighted to be here thank you, Jeff. Have a good one happy holiday. Happy holidays. Upstart partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan port folios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does too. Up Starts AI landing platform uses sophisticated machine learning more wells to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero, upstarts all digital experience reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto learning programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into end solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile. With all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servicing. It's all possible. Upstart in your corner learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting UPSTARTCOM forward banks. That's upstartcom forward banks. You've been listening to leaders and lending from upstart. Make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to leaders and lending in your favorite podcast player using apple podcast. Leave us a quick rating by tapping the number of stars you think the show deserves. Thanks for listening. Until next time. The views and opinions expressed by the host and guests on the leaders and lending podcast are their own and their participation in this podcast does not imply an endorsement of such views by their organization or themselves. The content provided is for informational purposes only and the discussion between the host and guests should not be taken as financial advice by companies or individuals.

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