Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode 47 · 10 months ago

Unlocking Financial Freedom for All: Pioneering an Ecosystem of Connected Financial Solutions


Consumers have been adopting fintech solutions at an increasing rate. In fact, according to a Harris Poll conducted in conjunction with Plaid, the number of US consumers using fintech grew by 30 points last year to 88 percent. 

The advent of open banking has enabled the flow of data from financial institutions into the fintech ecosystem. However, it’s not a one way street—that data is also enabling banks to gain a more complete picture of consumers. 

In this episode, Raja Chakravorti, Head of Financial Access at Plaid, explains how this multi-directional flow of consumer data is moving the financial industry towards a world of interoperable financial solutions. 

We discuss:

- How Plaid is unlocking financial freedom for all 

- The evolution of open finance and open banking

- How banks benefit from a multi-directional flow of financial data

- The shift from data as the advantage to using data to improve the customer/member experience 

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

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As more and more services have started to be built by more and more contax, we're starting to see that actually consumers can benefit from using all of these different point services. But he is how do you actually collapse it down into an interoperable way? You are 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 and lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features my conversation with Raja Chakravorti. Raja is the head for mid market financial institution engagement at Plaid and I think it's a really fascinating discussion about what Plat is doing with financial institutions. Prior to plot, Raja spent some time at root and they in suretech based in Columbus, a paypal and then the more traditional banking world of Goldmen, sacks and JP Morgan's, really bringing a rough wide variety of perspectives on what these kind of technologies mean for our FIS. We spend a lot of time delving into open banking, his perspect of what the opening up of data means, how you can give consumers more control of that data, but really, I think, how you can build the best services and experiences on top of the open data and how financial institutions really need to start thinking themselves kind of like fentext not just as a furniture of data into that ecosystem, but is a consumer of data to build interesting experience adiances get better advice. Really Interesting Opportunity, I think for for FIS there he's get some really interesting numbers from some surveys they've done about just how much the average American consumer is engaging with Fintech, how frequently and how valuable they find those relationships. So I think it's a really great exploration of some of the future of what interconnectivity among data systems means and how FIS ought to be thinking about engaging that at ecosystem again, at not just adding value to other partners but how they can actually provide values to their consumers by interconnecting through these data mechanism I think it's a lot of the future is going to look like this, and so it's worth thinking about how to position your institution up front to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that represents. So please enjoy this conversation with Raja Chakravarty from plaid rodge have welcome to the podcast and thanks for joining. It's I appreciate you're making the time. Thanks so much for having any Jeff, I'm super excited to be here. Yeah, you. You know, you guys have been a big partner of ours and, we think, a super valuable service. I was really excited to have you guys come on. But for the listeners who are less familiar, can you give us the quick background on Plat and what Plat does? Yeah, so I like to base on this in our mission at plaid. So our mission is to democratize financial services through technology, and we do that by making it easy to securely connect people's banks to the apps they want to use. We built a developer frou on the platform that supports and connects over twelvezero financial institutions to over fifty five hundred digital financial services built on plaid through APIS. The concept or solutions are built on is called open finance and it's baseline on this principle that data supplied by, and created on behalf of financial services customers are actually owned and controlled by those customers rather than the financial services providers, and our solutions really allow consumers to securely manage their money across financial institutions, APPs and services seamlessly so that people can lead healthier financial lives. In terms of history, we've been operating since two thousand and thirteen and it's been really exciting to grow alongside fintach partners like yourselves. At this point, hundreds of millions of people across North American Europe who you use plaid to connect their accounts to the APPs they want to want to use to move in. There's their money, whether they know it or not. To dive into it, though, I think a major factor of this growth is certainly cased in the experiences we're all going through today. So we used to talk in Fintech about this idea that the pandemic is accelerated digital road maps five years and we are certainly seeing this important shift and how consumers are attempting to keep control their financial health. Last year, I think everyone kind of observed that mass acceleration of...

...fintech usage. But this fear, that acceleration, I think, is absolutely been confirmed and we've seen these digital behaviors to manage money become prominent even as things like bank branches start to slowly reopen. Yeah, yeah, so we released a survey last quarter called the Fintech effect in conjunction with the Harris poll, and there are a couple really interesting stats on it, but the one that I love to kind of high light is that the number of US consumers using fintech grew thirty points last year, from fifty eight percent to eighty eight percent. So if you think about yeah, so, if you think about that, it's that that's fifty point. It's huge. Yeah, it's actually higher than the number of people using social media. It's higher than the number of people using video streaming services. So like when you say, you know, let's go ahead and Netflix and chill in the evening, during the daytime, these people are definitely fintech and actively managing so it's it's quite prompt. Yeah, that's fast. At what is the I want to talk a little about your history with the financial institution side, because I you know, financial instutions have often been the source of data being drawn into apps and there's been some you know, some history from my where you guys started, where you guys are. I give me a little bit of your kind of journey and where you're at. And the way you work with financial institutions is opposed to that. The way you were. Were like fintext like us. Yeah, so I'd say the relationship we've had with financial institutions has changed dramatically over the history of plaid. One of the important areas, I think, to highlight is actually oriented around section thirty three of God Frank. So this might be a little detailed for some, but Di Quans, let's go there. Perfect, perfect, so so dog frank effectively enabled an open backing rule to be made in the US and the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the current by administration, but actually made strides to make that role into a law, and we're expecting that to happen sometime next year. And so what's super interesting is that where we were in terms of enabling financial data for financial institutions to flow into the fintag ecosystem, whereas there might have been some friction in that idea of whether or not we actually want to let go of that data. I think it's now largely accepted as an aspect of what's going to happen today. The question, though, is really how do you go ahead and do it, and so this is an area that I think has been really prevalent for Plat over the last, call it, two years, terms of how we work with thanks some thanks, are investing really heavily on their digital assets. Right they're building out new dividual infrastructures for either their own embedded services. Were also seeing some start to build out in API infrastructure for data sharing, and this is the area of partnership that Plat actually has with that buses, because we work with them to ensure that when they build out these mechanisms for data sharing, but they're able to connect into all of those experiences that their consumers won and at the end of the day, I think our focus is on consumers and ensuring that consumers have the best possible experience, and this is where I think we start to align really well with what banks expectations are as they're kind of moving towards this digital future. I think the reality, though, is that not every bank is at the same stage in their journey right you've got the big ones who have twelve billion dollars to invest in, you know, their next year, and there's real right. But then you have some here just exploring how to do this it. Some may not have the capital or people in place to take on this resource intensive build. They may have different motivations to participate. Like, for example, they might be participating because they're focusing on retaining account primacy and know that giving customers access to the apps they love and want to use is absolutely critical to that. By the way, within that same study that we showed, we actually saw a stat that said, I believe it was, about seventy percent of consumers, if they were not able to connect to the thin text Fintac apps they...

...wanted to use, might actually take an action to migrate their underlying financial institution. mean, that's dramat right. So that might be yeah, the so that might be a key driver. And so so there's that. Or perhaps it's just understanding that there's a regulatory environment that is absolutely shifting and that these institutions want to be compliant and those motivations tended to find prioritization as well. So one aspect might be around the credential sharing. Okay, if a, if a, if a financial institution knows they have to start doing this, but they're really worried about credentials being loose in the ecosystem and not being able to control it. They might want to prioritize how consumers are authenticating and APPS. So they might prioritize getting what's called Alat compliant, but they might be interested in data security right. So they might prioritize how their their consumers actually authorize the use of data and APPS. Or they might want to focus on data minimization and sharing that, you know, whatever data to share, it is like the absolute minimum viable amount needed for the use case and absolutely nothing more. And our key is that we're working with banks across all of these vectors. Some solutions we have from our platform make this easy as a small current configuration change with really normal effort, or we could go do that whole full scale API build out to enable further benefits. And then I think the last compront of this is we are on top and a line with industry approaches to standardization like FDX and interoperable principles. So I think all of these products enable data access and enables consumers to be able to use clad powered APPs like Ben No, coin based, so Mi and more. But I think the other area that's evolved for financial institutions is actually helping them build out their own capabilities themselves and accelerating their road maps. Like we like to talk about this idea that financial that financial institutions are also Fintax, and I think we're certainly starting to see that and this. Yeah, and I think this evolution on open finance is actually enabling financial institutions to understand that, hey, look like it's not just this one way flow of data where our data flows out and we are fighting against this and man that's putting us, you know, behind the wheel, but rather we actually may be able to participate in this bidirectional connectivity where we might not have been able to get this full picture of a consumers finances, but now we can, because now we're plugged in and to understand. Okay, well, actually you want maybe this consumer has been using Ben Though as a proxy checking account for x period of time and we might not never have had any per view into that. And so when we were starting to create products for them, let's say, we have, you know, our wealth management division. We're trying to understand, hey, what are their assets look like, and we want to provide them with incremental products. Well, that was never in skill. Now all of a sudden it is, and so there's this new kind of view in which financial institutions can actually also take advantage of that Giss data which ultimately, and this goes back to the consumer, benefits the consumer because their choice and ability to look for the best products is now facilitated, no matter which direction you go, and in the end we think that in the aggregate just benefits and ecosystem. Yeah, I think it's a fascinating question that when I when I talk to banks and they think about open banking, not plaids, because I usually don't ask them about plaid but but the concept of open banking in the free flow of data for the base on a consumers permission to different applications places, there tends to be an initial react like that's my data, it's super valuable and I can't believe I have to like flow it out to people where I'm losing my competitive edge and I always kind of want to look at them go. That also means you can now flow in data for all these people that might have come to you for one thing and you now can understand the picture fully. I'm curious how you see financial institutions kind of switching to that, you know, receiver and utilizer of your kinds of services, is opposed to just a data furniture to then more. I mean it's easy to think of a plot is like how I connect my bank account to Venmo so I can like pull money in and push money out, or coin based so I can go buy my bitcoin or my etherium, whatever it might be. But I think it's much more interesting to look at how can we use that data in other ways than...

...just connecting an account and verifying ownership, and how can an fi take advantage of those service is not just to send out data on their consumers but to consume information to improve the experience as a consumer. So I'm curious what you're kind of seeing on that front from various a Fi as you work with. Yeah, it's I think we're seeing just a tremendous amount of interest here. The the point that you made, which I very much believe to be true, around what is so there was this worry about, okay, well, data flows out. Now all of a sudden we're giving away our competitive advantage. Or you spent all of this time building out this trusted relationship with our consumers. Why do we just have to give it up into the ecosystem right like we built that relationship. It's hours like in ways I understand that viewpoint that maybe that's like that's viewed as proprietary, you know, information that that is, that is something that you want to build upon and as that relationship grows with that consumer over time, if you think about the traditional Ark of, you know, bringing a consumer in, meeting them where they are today, over time, building out additional products, grow with them, have them be a loyal consumer, pass it down to their children, have their children become loyal consumers, just see that whole thing continue. Sorry, I mean I think that has been what has been very, very much changed as we started to see all of these different financial services pop up. I think the first aspect of this was really around if you kind of look back on like fin tech history, I always in full disclosure, I'm a paypal alumni, but paypals, peer to peer Wallet, when it first came out, was a supernovel concept in terms of it's a new way in which to quickly send money to their peers without necessarily having to verify through bank account, going through the rigmarole of like hey, like, you know, have to go through this, have multiple days of settlement, etcetera. It was actually seamless right. And so that concept was kind of started through fintach and we saw additional concepts starting through FINTAC that we're very, very different than what financial institutions traditionally were offering, but generally speaking it was actually providing a better consumer experience. But they were very much point solutions. In time they were totally disparate, so people didn't necessarily have the ability to collapse all those services in the one and a financial institutions probably were in boldened to say okay, well, Hey, look like maybe we can invest to build this thing ourselves, or let me go ahead. Every time I see a new new use case, I'll try, I'll start to build it. But the pace of innovation, I think, has been super powerful to watch because as more and more services have started to be built by more and more thin text, we're starting to see that actually consumers can benefit from using all of these different point services. But he is how do you actually collapse it down into an interoperable way. And so thanks making the shift from this idea that hey, look like, let's try to own every use case of that consumer to starting to understand that, like we may not be best equipped to solve all of these different things, because it's really hard to build all these news solutions, but the said create an embedded way in which we can work with them. I think that's been like a huge transition. The other point I want to make here is actually around this concept of facilitating a greater audience than perhaps the financial institution originally might have been able to do. You know, one of the one of the areas that I'm personally quite passionate about is what are the things that data can do for people who have sat kind of on the sides or outside the traditional financial ecosystem? So, depending on the stats you look at right like there's a stat that says there's forty five million underbank people in the United States. To contestualize that, like ADDUT NEW YORK, La, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. That's forty five million people. So all the people, they're together. Those are the people who are basically sitting outside of the traditional banking system, and that's a massive, massive audience for which solutions just haven't been able to be built. But because of this this focus on point solution spin...

...text, of actually been able to build certain activities for them by starting to look at alternative data sources and have been willing to actually maybe look at different ways in which to kids, categorize, are underwright how those people were actually getting those services, and that's created this positive momentum in terms of how banks are now actually able to look at those customers as well. Right, working with a data aggregator like plaid, now you have access to all of these different resources to better classify. Well, what is the actual risk on this person? Take, for example, a new immigrant to the United States. Right, like, when you think about underwriting, one of the shational factors, people look at a fico score, and Fico score is a good metric in that there isn't a better one out there. Traditionally other one. We have better ones, but that's well, that's neither human. There for this. Yeah, yeah, as absolutely, but I think the point is, like, when you think about FICO score, like it's dependent on you know, things like your employment history. Do whether or not you have existing credit, what is you know? What is your education look like? There's all of these factors embedded in there that are going to immediately disadvantage new immigrants to theized states, even if they might have history sitting across borders. There's not a good system in which to connect that information. Now, does that mean that person is not worthy of a product that is going to be hypercurated to the news? Are Absolutely not. It's just how do you actually accumulate the data sources such it you possibly impact that piece, and so, taking all these things together, I think this is where we're starting to see the new use cases pop up and this kind of evolution and how how financial financial institutions are actually addressing addressing the use cases. And in fact I think there's there's been some really current news around some things that have happened with thanks starting to get rid of things like overdraft fees, which are absolutely positively impacting consumers, because overdraft free fees, if you look at them, can be considered predatory. They certainly hurt a lot of different people who are looking at them. But I think that sort of thing was prompted by some of this innovation that we see through ntact. It's fascinating conceptually. I'm really curious where you're seeing practical like like what you give an example here, like alternative underwriting based on maybe cash flow data and bank accounts that are yours that you could view through Plat, or even like more fintech type services like a Venmo or something where you can see more transaction history under right. Are you seeing like we typically have, you know, US plaids, data for both kind of some ID verification and some income verification, not that's which underwriting, but verification. Are there other areas where you see either fintext or banks who could act like ntext, you know, really practically applying this kind of data? Because I feel like what you're really saying is there's a shift from having the data being the advantage to being good at at using the data to do new and interesting things. Right. That's that's the real advantage and institution has now is can you and not just use your data, but use yours plus data that you now have access to that's not held within the institution. So I'm curious what those practical use cases are. If I were firing the bank on Hey, I should be thinking about how I can do x, Y Z. is it really around underwriting? is around, you know, a better advisory services? Where you seeing the most interesting use cases for this kind of connectivity and data? Yeah, so I think there's for me, like if I was just think about trends, I think like credit, for sure. We've just been talking about that, but this is a really exciting area for innovation, seeing tons of opportunity being built out of the space. I guess to like level set what that looks like. Traditionally, right, third party lenders basically have to go through this complete and exhaustive audit of each consumer's finances to assess our credit work, creditworthiness right. It's time consuming, it's resource intensive for lenders and it's resource intensif consumers, by the way, and is also vulnerable to human error. It also provides this kind of incomplete picture of peat consumers finances, like we talked about, like, let's say, use an alternative checking source, like a paypal account, for example, that might not be captured in underwriting. And so the the way plaids trying to address this is through things like lending products. We got assets, for example. To the point that you just made, you know, verifying borrowers data straight from the source...

...easier and faster income verification and that full picture of a user's financial situation helps us speed up approvals with cash flow data right. The key is that we're able to shorten the verification cycle while also increasing approvals, and so that that the the verification cycle is obviously super important because you're actually able to meet consumers in the moment, which is going to start to lend itself to some of the use cases we're actually talking about where well what we'll get into some of the future stuff in a minute, but the increase approval thing, again, is I'm super passionate about because it just improves the way in which financial health is actually applied to the masses in a way that just was unprecedented. We've got a lot of examples of actual partners who we partner with in the space. You know, there are institutions like like borrow out there who use our products, ones like branch, just different sorts of institutions that are kind of doing it. But I think it's actually super interesting to think about the the the use of lending product and how they're actually majority like actually not being done at traditional financial institutions like you and I might actually consider. So take, for example, quicken loans, is the biggest mortgage originator in the US right they're actually not a bank and I think they have a goal of hitting sixty percent of mortgages originated in the US this year. Now that seems like an insanem number, but like it's certainly couched in some level of reality that like hey, we think we can get there. I think the actual set is a forty five percent of consumer loans last year. We're not made by a bank, they're made by a nonbank lender who can give a better rate or give better service and they're going importantly again to this non or underbang consumer in addition to kind of the traditional vectors as well. And so if you just look at that trend, it certainly going to eclipse fifty percent. So that's that's, I think, a really, really important way in which we're starting to see some of these some of these changes actually apply in real time. So you talked about what's coming. Tell me a little bit about a man you guys have the kind of history of what you've done. I know that I've seen a couple announcements recently. We're recording this and the kind of late January, and it seems like there's a lot going on over there. And Plaid, tell me about kind of what's coming up next and what you guys have your eyes on for the future? Yeah, so we've had to, I think, major announcements recently which we were super excited about. The first one is that late last week we announced an acquisition of a company called Cognito, which is an identity identity verification and compliance platform, basically know your customer, Anti Money Laundering. I did any verification and it's used by hundreds of companies today. What's really important for us is when we think about the arc of what plaid has been able to do for an onboarding experience, we were able to do, I think, two out of the three factors really well before. The first was account connectivity, so connecting Your Bank and financial data to an APP right. So we've talked a lot about that use case. The second one is around account funding, so actually moving money into an application. So let's say you know you're on court coin base and you actually want to go ahead and move money from Your Bank to coin base and to then be able to convert it in the Cryptol you use that account funding the sort of product. But the third is around identity verification and this is kind of that third piece around the complete onboarding experience. We want to make sure that the onboarding process is secure and privacy are where while minimizing risk and fraud, and so, as things are evolving, I think this will actually give us that additional leg and to us, this is actually where we think plaid has an opportunity to really help everybody flourish, is to create the what we're calling the on ramp to consumer financial services in a seamless and kind of magical way where we're helping to facilitate that that first magical moment when the consumer takes that first action within the fintach. So that was really huge for us. The second big announcement that we actually had yesterday is actually pointed around some of our most important principle. So data security, transparency and control or a top priority...

...for Plat. Ultimately, everything we do is about empowering consumers, and so yesterday we announced the launch of Plaid Portal, which is a first of its kind consumer privacy tool for people to manage their financial connections all in one place and and why this was especially important for us is that we think it is a critical development for consumers, who deserve transparency and control over their financial information. So, with the launch applied portal, basically what happens is consumer, I can see it can they can both see the types of data they've shared with APPs. They can also control who has access to their financial data. So the consumer so chooses, they can go ahead and disconnect financial accounts from APPs and delete date are within the plaid systems right there. So incredibly powerful tool and it certainly at the at the starting point, hopefully, I think, for a lot more innovation in the space to come as well. Yeah, I love this idea of giving consumers control over that information flaw in real time. I'm curious how you expect consumer adoption to be or what you're you're thinking is on that front, just because I know that often can plan as that kind of almost a behind the scenes. I want to call you guys invisible, because I think you are visible. And there's terms of service. I know that consumer C and agree to and they understand what's going on, but you're not really the consumerly people and go to platcom to connect their venmo to their bank. They go to the they go to Vemo and they type end the credentials through clad, and so I'm curious how you're thinking about the consumer awareness of this option, because it's if you have this interesting connectivity role. But I think it's really valuable, as so many apps and banks are now connected through your service, to give consumers a single place to control what all that is. And I I certainly have set up way too many things that I probably connect theize. I want to try this APP and see that it's no good, I deleteed like but that connectivity is not necessarily removed because I didn't do that. In that control. That really valuable. But the kind of have to be aware that that's what's going on to make it work. Yeah, and and for us it's it's really interesting for us because I think this is where we see ourselves, is sitting at the intersection between consumers, developers and financial institutions and facilitating the entire ecosystem. And so we actually believe this is a value add to our financial institution partners. Right. So what were some of you if you think about like what were some of the objections perhaps that financial institutions traditionally had to participating in open banking or open finance. One was very much, probably number one for many institutions around this idea that are const we lack control mechanisms and consumers may not actually understand what they're opting into. We are actually stewards of the data that we have. Right like we believe that consumers trusted us to build out, you know, to build this trusted relationship, and now this is all going into a place where consumers might do exactly what you just said, is they might sign up for some sort of application and, like, they forget they do it and all of a sudden, you know they're there. There's another touch point that they weren't aware of. Ver they forgot about. For Our perspective, our ability to articulate this product to our financial institutions gives them an ability to actually talk about how participating and open finance is actually a controllable and secure mechanism for consumers. Like we already see that consumers are participating, right so I kind of quoted that stat about nine out of ten consumers are using fintech today. There's this a corollary stat that I thought was really powerful is that it's almost like fifty percent or forty eight percent of consumers are actually using fintech on a daily basis. So it's not just this idea of okay, we're using it, and what is usage like? Hey, let me go log in and check my, you know, online banking system once a month just to make sure like I haven't, you know, gotten some overdraft sort of issue, but rather they're actually proactively engaging with it frequently, and so the ability to like the the dialog has changed. The Way consumers view their financial health has changed.

It's become with products like then know, where there's a noogies and all of this, and there's been like the social overlay to it as well. Having the privacy mechanism under that is really, really important. The other thing I'll say about financial institutions in this area is particularly as you start thinking about mid market, long tail financial institutions, many credit unions, community banks that I talked to, will they want to show them, showcase themselves as innovative for their consumers as well. Right. Often Times what we found, particularly through the pandemic, is it consumers have built really trusted relationships with some of these localized institutions who they feel really understand them, have met them in the moment. Maybe these consumers are owners of small businesses in the community and they've been able to obtain lending devices from those institutions that others have and so they have this like really powerful connection point and these institutions want to continue to innovate and provide those consumers with all the things they need. And now I quoted that sad about seven out of ten consumers are basically said if they don't have connectivity to their finisial up they might choose different financial institution. So what you get is this idea that, well, some of those institutions may not be able to innovate necessarily themselves in terms of acquiring a new capability, but if they're able to showcase that they're connected to the spintach APPS. You can think about it, it's like a Hobbin spilk model that we are still the centralized hub where you control all of your finances, but you're deployed into these areas. But by the way, that consumer control can be operated through that hub and on the mechanism to do that is through this plaid consumer privacy portal, then that's a huge value add and so I know that was a big Arc to get to your question about your how we're kind of getting out two consumers, but I think there's a there's a few ways, but for us we think it's, you know, one way, majorly as to facilitated through our existing partners. Yeah, I think it's a true that the partners, the fives, are going to love this capability to for consumers to really have more direct control over what's kind of where and over time and to manage that, because it is like any innovative sector. Fintacha, seeing the the blooming of a thousand flowers and then there will be a weeding out of the ones that don't work. And I certainly have signed up for Stot see, let's check out what this is, and then, you know, wasn't that good? I feel like every budgeting APP I've ever tried falls into this category. I don't know why. None of them seem to have really hit on and then I go away and kind of having that ability to kind of look at what's out there and control where my data is going feels like it's very empowering as a consumer in a way. That should make my financial institutions more comfortable with the connectivity it's happening overall. Definitely, definitely. I think there's there's one additional concept that that just triggered that I think is maybe important to highlight, and it's this concept of interoperability and your kind of point about using a budgeting tool and then not use like that's a story a lot of folks have. I have that story as well. I've signed out to a for a bunch of but nothing actually ever, like really really hit, really kidding. Yeah, yeah, so, so all of these different tools. You know people are using upwards of three pentack applications at any given moment. where I think it goes is this idea that, well, instead of having to use point solutions and then using the s budging tool, that's it's out in the ether to that collected over time, that we're going to move towards this world of connected, connected and interoperable financial solutioning where all of this stuff, no matter if it's provided by different providers, should be viewable in one place and be operational via one specific place. Right like that, to me, is the next stage and innovation that is going to overlay on top of everything that fentack has done and is going to be absolutely facilitated by open banking, such that that budgeting tool that you might not have lied into is now embedded into that same experience, even though it's by a different provider, so that all kind of operates in one mechanism and maybe you'll start to see higher adoption of those sorts of tools. Yeah, I think it'll be really interesting to see how...

...banks leverage this capability, how fint I may think I'm start that I want to make an up circastional, but I think our approach is interesting and that we are not only a fintach that is consumer facing, but have the ability to embed our experiences inside the financial institution. So I think there's the ability for flies to say, Hey, we don't have to make it all, but because of open banking, interoperability and technology capabilities, we can now, like, embed the best out experiences. So we're providing consumers what they want, and I do think g FIS have to choose between am I going to try to be everything, which was the old model right, like I'll be all the financial services this customer needs. is going, Hey, I'm really good at these five things. So I'm going to I'm going to do those five things and I'm going to be connected to the ecosystem. So all my consumer want something else, right, they can get it and they can use the data I have. The don't have to leave me to enable that experience. They can continue to work with me on the things I'm focus on being best at and and interoperate with the rest of the ecosystem and still have access to our financial information. That's that's here and those experiences. I think it's a really powerful world that we're working towards and I think we've seen consumer or is actually looking at the financial institutions, who are embracing this with a lot of love, that it's actually creating this incrematality around. Hey, look like this actually is my primary institution. They're looking out for me and I really love that. And so there's always going to be a place for banking right. There's always a place for a lot of services that are going to be operational through a bank. That can't happen through Fintech, and so I think the key is ensuring that, as a financial institution, that you are keeping pace with innovation rather than fighting against it. I think that's actually probably like a thematic thing that goes across all factors. But ensuring that that's a case, financial institutions that are participating in that, I think are poised to be in a really good position as we continue to innovate, as things start to proceed over the next few years. That's too, very immediate things. Is there anything else on the road map you wanted to share? Is that all time secret under in DA yeah, there, I mean there's obviously a lot of things that were working on a plaid that are really exciting and I look forward to US watching at time. I will say, you know, just to like kind of that final plug on this idea of multidirectional data access. We really believe that this is critically important and that that the concept we've actually coined for this is called universal data access, right. So we want to enable consumer permission data sharing from all the places where consumers manage their money. And if you look at it, like in Europe, the initial the the initial regulation round open banking was relatively narrow and scope in terms is saying, okay, information only flows from point a to point B and then can be utilized. I think what we are really looking at as things are evolving, is this idea that consumers information sits in all aspects of the ether and should be able to go by directionally and that the innovation should be able to happen across all of that data spectrum. And so our focus is actually on s specifically enabling this multidirectional data access. But we which we think is somewhat unique in the, you know, in the ecosystem, in the way in which we've been able to do it, and of course we've been able to build this really tremendous network of really awesome partners for us. But we think by doing that will continue to unlock financial freedom for all and be able to provide differentiate data, which I think is the key to continue the innovation. And so, you know, I think you will see us continue to iterate on this idea of what universal data access means and continue to build products on top of that. I love the bidirectional points. So, for all the FIS listening, you need to start thinking about how you exist as a consumer and utilizer of data in the open banking environment and not just a furniture of data. That's where you're that's where your leverage is right. That's where you can act like a FINTAC and pick that, not everywhere, but pick the places to really take advantage of that. And I keep trying to tell I flis want to talk to them. You should view this as an opportunity, not just a threat, and, like you know, figure out where the opportunities are for you here, because I think there are many, especially if you...

...to start about by directional data and because he was having lots of different places interact, you can. You can really participate in that in a more rich way. Totally agree. All right, rode. Well, I've got three questions. I asked everybody to in the in the PODCAST, so I'm a throw them at you now and and you can answer however you like. But first, you've had an interesting career because you're you know, I'm always curious how people get into finance. I don't think anybody grows up going I'm going to be a banker, and you kind of ended up both both in fine in the financial world and the fintech world. So I'm curious. You're my first quest always what's your best piece of career advice? And so you've got a lot of different I guess parts of your career from which to choose your best piece of advice? Yeah, yeah, it's a great question. The the best advice I ever received and that I try to provide to anyone on my team as this idea about own anything. It doesn't matter what is presented in front of you, even if it is the tiniest, smallest thing, own it and try to make it your own. Quite early on in my career I had the opportunity to work on an initiative that effectively nobody wanted to touch at the institution. I redact the name right now, but basically it was a it was a product that basically had gotten no traction, that was kind of being abandoned a quickly by the engineer supporting it, by the product owners, by crossbarknal people. It was kind of just hang on by a thread. And I raise my hand because at that point I didn't have any piano ownership. I said give it to me, let me see what I can do with it, and I think that actually was the launch point for most of the success of my career. So I would just advocate for anyone who is kind of sitting there trying to figure out hey, like, I don't want to do this thing because it sounds like it's not great. Like just go on it, make it your own, see what you can do owning something. I like that. That's it's a first I've I'm where I keep worrying that my career advices are going to overlap and I feel like everybody providing a new and different perspectives. That was great. Pick something and own it fully. All right. My second question is what's the best piece of advice around the consumer banking or consumer lenning space you've gotten? I've just it seems like you're dispensing quite a bit, but I'm curious about the best advice you've you've gotten in that space. Yeah, I think this will be pretty aligned with the theme that we've been talking about, but ultimately, for me it's just enabling what consumers want is going to be the North Star that drives everything. So we get to talk to, you know, a lot of financial institution as a lot of Fintax and often times by the their road maps may not be directly aligned to what we think is right for consumers, but what we've seen time and time again is if you build to the most optimal solution for the consumer, regardless of you are the actual driver of that product or if it's The a partnership or if it's be a some sort of expansive tap into the ecosystem that actually drives the hearts and minds of the consumers, which ultimately is the most important thing to sustain the grip of your business. Sell enable what consumers want. It always reminds me that, I don't you ever saw this image the how silic valid like Tech Company, ship their org charts and they've got the org charts for like Microsoft and Google and apple and Amazon, and they end up like not shipping what the consumer wants, but ship what their organization has built. That's always a great reminded like, ultimately the consumer decides and if you are focused on giving them what they want, then you've got a good chance to be a winner. Not those companies done two great things, but you can see in all their product there or turn you can totally see it. So absolutely its Sumer at the middle. Give the consumer what they want. And the last thing. Give me what's one bold prediction for the future? Yeah, I'm being to give you to do. I like it to for one one's going to be a yeah, yeah, what one's going to be a little bit of a cheap because it's oriented around what we're currently doing and it's really this idea that the future state for Consumer Financial Services is going to be operating from one like from one hubband spoke model, where everything, no matter what the provider is, is integrated in one place, and that I believe pretty firmly that this idea of open finance is actually a tea driver into almost all of the new technologies that we're talking about and hearing about, from decentralized finance opportunities to existing open finance opportunities,...

...to connecting Fintech to traditional finance and all the above, and so I think that's that's going to be the way in which things move. The Second Bolt prediction is I'm a I'm a huge University of Michigan wolverines football fan, and so I'm going to predict that Jim Harbor stays with the University of Michigan Rather Than Takes The raiders head coaching job, and that will lead us to the promised land for two in a row, over a higher state, tune row or Ohio State, with Jim Harbor for the Michigan Wolverines. You know, my CEOS a big Michigan Wolverines Fan. Only doesn't reforms and if they have end up ever playing Washington because he's little their Washington Fan. But you will'll earn some point with our executive team being a bit in a Michigan fans. I like it all right. I'm harbon. I'm forgoys. A hard by you. You know, you took him from us, but I think he's been a good coach, so I like that. It's a good prediction. He's a reason why I wear khaki pants, so it's perfect. Didn't exactly invent them, but he's certainly he certainly owns and doesn't doesn't? He absolutely all right, Roger, I appreciate your joining us today. This was a lot of fun and appreciate all your perspectives. Thanks so much. You have love being here. 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. UPSTARTS AI landing platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models, which 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 leinning programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into insolution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile, with all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servosing. It's all possible with upstart in your corner. Learn more about finding new borrowers, enhancing your credit decisioning process and growing your business by visiting UPSTARTCOM Ford 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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