Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode · 1 year ago

Fast, Easy, Simple: Improving Customer Experience in a Digital World

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When it comes to the future of banking, the best service may be no service at all. In other words, the best service may be self-service.


Mark Pregmon, GM of Consumer Lending Line of Business at USAA, joins the show today to share his thoughts on why building things digitally requires a different way of thinking and why making processes fast, easy, and simple is the key to customer satisfaction.

At USAA, Mark is responsible for credit underwriting, core servicing, and default management for consumer lending products. USAA has been serving military families since 1922. The company’s goal is to be the military community’s provider of choice for insurance, banking, and financial products.

We discuss:

- Maintaining focus on the quality of digital experiences

- Meeting customer needs in a digital environment

- Trends in consumer lending products

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If you build things digitally and it's just the whole different way of thinking. Make a fast, easy, simple be there when they need you. 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 and more. Let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders and lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features a conversation with mark pregnant. Mark is a general manager of consumer lending line of business at USAA and a longtime USA a member. I think it's a fascinating discussion about USA's approach to relationships with their what they call members, their customers. How they do that marks real focus. The phrase fast, easy, simple comes up throughout the conversation and I think their focus on keeping the customer the center of the conversation, they call in the middle of the room, through things like mission moments and how they iterate quickly on providing a fast, easy, simple, convenient experience across all the products, is a really great, great example of what many lenders and bankers need to be thinking about and heading towards, and I think he's got littered throughout the conversation lots of great advices and tidbits on how to achieve that within your own institution. So now further do please enjoy the conversation. Mark, welcome to the podcast and thanks so much for joining us today. I really appreciate your making the time right. You know, I've been a USA a customer for years, at least on the insurance signe. So I was excited to have this conversation and we were talking earlier and I told you you know, the two things I think about when I think of USAA are obviously the focus on supporting service members, which is fabulous, and then the kind of outlier nature of your general net promoter score that you seem to have found a way in the financial services industry to achieve a level of customer satisfaction that is uncommon among many of the larger institutions, in most banks. I'd love to get your thoughts on on that a little bit, because I think it's it's fascinating. It's something everybody's trying to do particularly as we think about how you'd manage that in the digital world and branches or no branches and human interaction versus pure digital like how you guys think you do that, because it's a pretty remarkable achievement, quite frankly. Thank you. And and I've been a USAY member of myself for over thirty years. So got it through my dad's military and serve our country. Same for me, and part of reason why to atracted me here I've because I've been a member that line. I've been in banking exactly. So I started my first job, I got my insurance on my car and I became remember my daces, you're going to get USA. It was no way fans or butts, you're going to get us. And I got say and I've been a member ever since. And what I've been in thanking for that when I left my recent bank to come here, was a lot. The mission is what really attracted me here and being a member and just the service that's provided over the years that I've received. And I think a lot of it has to do too, is it we're firmly grounded, whether it's the insurance out the company. We casual as the banking side firmly granted who we serve and while we call members versus customers because their part owners of the company. And look at it and it's a it's a big difference than I had. I had to rewrient myself. How I think I have one bank. You call it client, one, thank you call it customer, announced member, and it is a difference. It's a huge difference. I think the big thing every time we started meeting, when I stood abroad, me like whether it's like you, an update or whatever. The CEO is here update. I'm giving up to take to my team. We always start with a mission moment and will you have a pool of phone call where we serve that member or will pull something just remind them what we do and why we do it, and they're at these are just really heartfilt things. I mean, I'll even get experience on my own. I called my mission moment. It really wasn't in my daughter she got her carturre and since she's away a college and I never forget, it was a Valentines a couple of years ago and my wife says you're not going to bring your cell phone and to eat dinner. I said okay, so I've let my cell phone in the car. Yeah, I have her dinner. Come back. I open up my phone, like my daughter's called. USA is called, and this is like nine o'clock at night. Something's wrong. Okay, yeah, I just hit read dial and...

...for some of the reason, I think I hit us a. Did hit my daughter's number. I get on the phone and the agent picks up a call ser age. It picks it up on the insurance that she was Mr probably much want you to know that your daughter's okay. She's been involved with a thunder bender and we would been trying to get ahold of you. She wants to talk to you, but then she couldn't get a hold of you. You told her call us a a if you're ever to act. That she did, and they stay on the line with her until they got a hold of me for thirty minutes. Really. Yeah, Oh, yeah, unbelievable. I mean so I'll I'll never leave because of that. I'm a member for life. My what my daughter remembers that. My wife remembers that. It's like a sure she was on the call with her the whole time and while the police got there. If she want to make sure she was because she was the major accent, but you know she was shook up, but it you know. So that's a scary thing. She's away to college and so and that just everything. We start with that mission moment. And I think the other thing too is being in banking. You know, we don't have branches per steady branches is everything's online, digital, but I think would branches played in Teg role. I played that those ymes of the previous two banks that had branches, and the biggest thing aren't. We always would hear about customers coming into a branch in their loyalty and their service factor was the tenure, was the turnover, the turnover turn over, and so branch turnovers a lot, right, and now best time. Every time you saw turnover, you saw attrition rates in customers right or type of things right, more satisfaction will go down. The ten year here of the employees is huge. I mean it's like twenty three years experience. So when you have that type of tenure and that retention, I think there's a direct colation between tenure and retention. And also the skills go up right because you've been perfecting your role and your job or whatever. And the bank's been investing you, the company to invest in you and you become I think, you serve that member better, that customer better. HMM, that type of tension. It's off the charts here, which ye would attractive. I love that mentality. And the word member is interesting because you do use it, you do see it. When you call in, they what's your member number and that's it. If it feels almost like a credit union in some ways, where they have the similar kind of terminology in the focus on consumers, and I love them. The mission moments we actually do something similar where we every week at our all hands we read a borrow review and online review from from a customer and what they were doing with the money or why they needed just something. You know. It just kind of reconnects you to the mission that we're here to help, not not not to win a financial game or make a spreadsheet look better, but to help these individuals who need service. Yeah, I think that's that's a huge thing. Yeah, you're exactly right. I'm member. It's in. It's a big deal. So I remember my another dial I'm not the one that got me, the defender member season school in New York. She got a first she moved out of the door and got a first apartment. Well, of course we got a renters the shirts forget her. Her USA membership package came in the mail and it was that big. It was like like it was a big deal me to sit there look at your you know, she's like, Oh my God, open it up. You know, had to welcome to us a a the whole thing, and so it's just that that whole piece is just that that member. It's a different way of thinking because when I came from other banks, it was hey, how do you save money? You know, sometimes it's like you know how you do this. This here is like hey, how do you prove the experience? It really is about that. It's really more because I said, Hey, we want wait times to go from ten seconds to twenty seconds. We can stay a couple more million dollars. If you think about that. Here it's about that way. It's like it's that. No, it's like what can you do to improve it? And it's a just a different set and of the thinking of it, not having to do it in the you know, the traditional way of or I've come from in the past. Interesting. How do you think the organization achieves that kind of goal. I mean I think it's so often, particular, as organizations get larger, the focus on a PNL or cutting costs or improving the bottom line kind of shifts the objectives that every you know, you get get your incentives aligned improving the profit margin or something like this, and that's when let's cut the call center staff or automate this thing that we can automate. The lower it's a customers experience. How do you maintain as the company grows and you have more managers and more people making decisions that focus on quality and experience versus managing to a bottom line expectation or something that can really can be countered each other? Two years this is two years here. You say that my personal pain. I think...

...we're privately held that publicly traded. HMM. So when you try to maximize well to the shareholder, it's about dividends, it's those type of things, right, and that type of stuff. And so here's how to throw what I learned in school out, like Maximiz, as well as to show this is different their members. And so it's like what can we do to give back to our members, not get back? So you're used to. You're a USA member, and so last year is everybody the covid claims her down because because people were driving at right. So I got the JECT. If I'm going to I don't sure I got profits your back because plans were down and I'm sure you got the same I did. Yeah, so, I mean that's so that's different. So that's your dividend and a different way of being a shareholder, and so that's a gift back. Whether I do it loan pricing, we do it in in the member experience. There's a lot of different ways that can manifest it well and that's the beauty of it. That's why I like it here. It's just a different way of doing because we've always, you know, when your cut, when you're privately held versus probably trade, you're trying to Max those watch the shareholder and it's like you got a little bit more to pivot around and you got little call like playing twister. You know, you got it. Okay, you can do that, but you can't do this. And so, like you know, I don't have it's just a different dynamic. been putting the number first, really true, and you can it's a lot of it. How do you think about I mean, I think you guys in many ways mean never minor saying is they're having really been any large number of branches, like a handful here and there, but historically there aren't branches for USA, which is kind of seems like where everybody else is heading. For a long time, you know, branches were like your moat, and now they seem to be in some ways of people feel like they're the anchor, from a cost point view, at least in the being reduced and I think every all the all the bankers I talked to doing how do I maintain connection with my client? How do I bring the things that people enjoyed in the branch into a digital WELM? How do you guys think about them? I feel like you're a little bit living in the future that everybody's running towards, and so I'm curious what advice you have for those who are, you know, in the world where they relied on branches, maybe for, you know, for selling clients product as they needed them, for maintaining relationship, and you guys have done it without so what do you think you've learned along the way that that others could benefit from about how to do that. I think the whole thing is around. It's around convenience of fas easy, simple. I think when you think branches, I got to open it. I got a close or to close on Sunday. They Open on Sunday. And I think if you build things digitally, and it's just a whole different way of thinking, make it fast, easy, simple, be there when they need you. Right, you can call and get online. I think build your products for its sales and service, but the fastest and quickest channel, which is digitalcom online, those topic mobile. I think that that's the game. Time to win and I know the Banks Tru through out Kay I got to be in certain Marcus those type of things. You can't build enough branches, if you think about it, and for worldwide. So you've talking about me when you talk about when you thinking globally, is the branchton concept just you know, it's just not as important. And I think also to you make it fastiest of online. I'm used like that's same out of the mouth of Babe you learn. Think that's same dot that's going to school in New York. Get ready to go. Get an example. I like a good banker. I took her into the local branch to get her a checking account. Right. So we go in there, she's, you know, signing papers, open up for checking account, gets her card and she the whole time she had there, opened up her online and everything else. Get in the car and I go, I go lies it. What you think? She goes, and I know you work here. I don't want to hurt your feelings, and I go, what do you mean? She goes. She goes a process. Look, slap paper. Why don't you have to come in just like well, I can, I just do this all online. Yeah, and it's like she was kind of Clugy Dad, and this is a seventeen year old. It's and we think me. I think that's how I think. That's how I grew up. Yeah, right, I think that's good. I'm a banker on top of this. We tend to think that way. Right, and like a good dad, take you into the branch and side, and I was mixing. This is like a seminal moment in life, right, you get your get your first yeah, go in school and that this is Glugie. These papers aside, could you just like, how do you nobody's signature? I don't learn about he signature as a banker. It's just, you know, and they're like, you know this, said they don't want to go. They don't they want to do it from their home. They want to do it. Yeah, I get I think even more so is covid...

...is done all that too. I mean, yeah, travel lest that. I don't want to go places. They want to. It's just, you know, you can get your groceries even right. Totally. I have a great total line bys. I buy my wine. I haven't delivered, put in the back of my car because it because that the stores of messed going in that buy more things, but I don't probably don't need right. So it's like I've changed the way out I buy my wine now. I mean, do you see any any interesting trends in the usage of the call center? said, I feel like they're. There's this kind of set of things I want to do where I don't want to talk to somebody. Like I depositing a check as a great example, like I'm going to walk into a branch deposit a check. I just wanted to like have the money available on my account be done. Mobile Deposits Great. There're other things like retirement planning. What? What do I invest in? You know, what kind of loan do I need to buy a home or buy a car? What? where? I kind of feel like I need some help because I don't I'm not an expert. I want to talk to somebody to walk me through how to think about it. How do you think about where that fits? Or I'm assuming you guys do that through mostly call center interactions, but how do you think about optimizing that, that experience, because there are times when I do want a human touch, R I want to talk to somebody. If that write, if chat, there's chatting. Do you do text and stuff like that. So I think of it is is it I'm trying to build out? The things that we're building is what I call start anywhere, finish anywhere. HMM. Start on your phone, your mobile, right, you can start on your cell an application, but then there's a button click the call. Click that, and so you can finish it on the phone if you want to, and then go back to digital. So I think it's like you got to be ambivalent towards and make it fast easy for that member. And where they get start. Every Fisher they want to start with a voice Hu a couple question out. Okay, then I'm go go, go online to finish up my application and make it really I think where's that click that? Whether it's serving, you know, on the sales side of could be in the service side. We did a piece with the COVID was is that. We did the function where you can go on and you can show us up on your mobile. Hey, you have a payment, do and you can do you need help, and it's like you go, you go right on your phone. You don't have to call anybody right you or if you want call, you click the call. You know it would connect you to any don't look up the phone number and make a call and wait on hold and they look it up. You just need to hit the button. That caught you. You write it, you you get directed right to the right person. Yeah, that convenience is huge. And in the little technology things like recognizing the phone number and pulling up the members records when you call on think those things. That's your point. Fast, easy, simple, makes that phone call more convenient less. You always annoyed when you call in, like I need to ask you twelve questions to, you know, go through a touch men you and it takes ten minutes just to get ahold of the person. I don't want to do that. So I think, I think I was. I always thought, you know how many clicks you got to do you do right, it's like how many times you got to walk around the ball. How many blocks going to walk? Every click you have is like every block you have towards that that branch. So you try to mine those type of things. And and then I think the other piece that has done really well here is what caught. We caught, like you call it, member pain points or complaints, and sometimes it may not be even complaints. It may just be why our members calling us was supposed and it may that because I called about, hey, check it out, my loan sets. So I'm I want to know what. So why don't I have a pizza tracker? kind of a lot of pizzas really figure out where they're loan is in the hopper. More where's my title? And may not be a complaint, but it maybe it is, it maybe it's not. If that's the so then how do I make it to where they can stell serve online and maybe not even take the complaints but just really focus on that put that member in this sid of the room and then look at why are they calling you? Why they contact you? How do we turn that interaction so it gives you really if you don't want to call it, you can self serve. You know that's and I think the best service is no service, self service. You got lots of little tipets here mark the but best service is no service. And I love this was a really interesting coming made that the clicks are like blocks to the branch, like every click you put is like the block of the branch and we used at your I we just want to have density. No more than so far to a branch and it's it should be no more than so, so many clicks to a to a piece of information or something you want to do. So I do want to shift a little bit and talk about the consumer lending landscape in particular. I know you're the GM of consumer learning this. This feels like a good conversation and I guess my first question is, what do you see in terms of the product mix or shifts in the product mix for what can sumers are looking for?...

Is that, I know how they're asking for in terms of digital versus branches, is changing, but is are the kinds of products are their trends? You see in what's happening in terms of the actual products that the consumers are looking for and needing. Yeah, I see a shift away. It's become what I call more purpose driven, which is where we should be. We were bankers. We think Carlone, the come equity, we think insecure credit card, when really it I'm seeing a shift towards away from home equity. I think also just because of the valleys and the homes and the these just up to six other seven crisis and stuff and things with them. People I want to put their home in the life, so that that's changed to but I think it's more and I think it's because of these the FIS out there and those aggregators out there don't have a balance sheet. If you look at it, it's really unsecured. is to growth because it is more purpose driven. There's comes out there to day that. Basically, what's your purpose? I want to buy a car, okay, I give you a secure long that the price is different. I want to put some of my kid to college. So we as a bank would think, oh, you got to get a studentone right, and maybe it's the then secure because the need is just short term kind of the thing, right. So I think it's more getting more purpose driven and more insecures. Because if you don't have to worry about when you buy the buy a car where you're good for Twentyzero, do you want to buy a car? Hey, I'm secure as heck. I'm W quicker to make it's a lot of you write, and so consumers are thinking that way too as well. I think that's the changing prefence, away from that I'm gonna get this. I'm they get this specific coming in. I'm want to ask or an autolone right kind of a thing. I think that's change interesting. How do you change the way you interact with them that they're coming in that way? I mean obviously having an unsecure product which, to be fair, most most institutions either don't have or I always describe it as like there's a piece of paper somewhere in the bat closet of the branch like you have, but nobody, nobody's been historically doing it. But if people are really coming in purpose driven, without a need for product, is there a different way you interact with them to help them find you know, do I want to get an auto alone. Do I want to get a helock? Do I get I need twenty grand for an h fact I do I do a he lock? Do I do an installment loan? Do I get like a second mortgage that I you know that I take out like a cash out refly, like, how do you think about guiding that number to the right ultimate place when they're coming in more purpose driven and less product driven. I think it all comes down to is is. It's just asking a lot of questions on what the trying to accomplish and and then doing a sidebyside comparison, because I like that. They just kind of say I want to do this one thing and HBAC on. Secure maybe the way they go. But you find out in that conversation. Do you want anything else? I don't drop a pool in the backyard. Okay, then maybe I'll back we is about a way to go. That was so likely. Now you can get that or unsecured. I mean so it's it just depends on really the purpose. I think that you ask me to about the other trend. I see and my notes here, but I grew up in the dealer side, dealer bottle any our dealers and bought paper and floor play and all the type of things. Where we're seeing now is a change, even even now, like you got the whole Tesla right, if that's a change, or where they're going around the dealer and we're seeing this more direct to consumer push that I ever saw. I always thought deal or, dealer, dealer, because that's the way I grew up and cut my teeth in the business. But we're seeing even now in the demographics when you look at what consumers are looking for, they want that Carvana type experience. They don't want to have to leave their house. They don't, you know, and dealings are doing they're adapting that. But we're as obviously a direct lend or at USAA. So if we go, we fund through the dealer like we remember, comes in, we get the check and they're going that way. But that that that's just really the buying process, and so we're seeing that's changing. And if I asked my kids, my two daughters are in college, one in Grad School, they don't want to walk into a car deal and they'd rather go direct. Yeah, I will say I mean I'm I'm somewhere, but I'm not as young as your kids. But I certainly when I go to GM side or Chevy side or whatever site and I like building price price. You get a price like well, where's the purchase button, and it's like, oh no, let me send you to somebody in town that you can go time like now. I just like can I just there's dealer franchise laws out there. So GM they all have to go through fastfoots at local dealer. I'm even seeing like there's some out there like like Volvol or looking at changing that model. You've seen I'm out there trying to drectic model and I...

...think it was. I think it's too as the electric cars come up, I think it's going to change more over time to as well. Yeah, how do you guys think about driving? You know, interest, or at least I won't said driving. Maybe as the wrong word, but you know, the challenge I hear about from lenders in the context of direct auto lending is the either the they don't come to me right, like I don't. When I want a car. I go to find the car. I don't go to find the loan first, right. So either I never come to the bank to get the long so I go to the dealer and then I'm I made an offer right and I don't. I don't think to call my institution, or maybe I'm one of the few that does go and I say hey, USA, like what can I get to buy a car? And then I go to the deal in the deals like wow, jeff, I mean, we've got a better deal for you here. We work with the bank down the street. Here's a better offer. How do you guys think about actually getting in front of the consumer at the right time to help them with the direct long so I feel like every lander I talk to is like I can grow my indirect book, but it kind of like it's doesn't make me much money in the members aren't law and loyal and it's kind of a mess and I like I love my direct business but like I can't make it grow. It's always small and I can't get enough of it and we get flipp at the dealer. So I'm curious you guys have been a little more successful in that space. How do you think about, you know, getting in front of the consumer at that right moment and getting the stickiness for the loan offer in the context of a motto? Always a their job, I think to me it just got to be a strong value proposition there. And I will tell you the loyalty of members here that are just loyal and they're just like, I don't want to stay with USA. So they'll go into that the deal will try to flip them and that's pretty, pretty typical, and I like job right they do that. But then a lot of nurs is like no, I'm not going to go now. It does happen. You know, you got to go. But it's that value proposition with can there's something there. If we can make that transaction fast, easy, simple, right, make sure that we do get a competitive right. That's gonna be another thing too, because, you know, yeah, and so and we're just trying to innovate on ways we can even just make it simpler to continue to just drive that simplification equations, like like it's we were to lock them up even before they left their house, you know, I mean it's like make it really, really easy, so we're that you always be had a chance to flip in them. You know, that's like car deal sticking this out thirty years ago. You know, put them in the car as fast as you can, because if even before they get finance, member I'm the make of the old days was like how to get them approved first, and then they walk into their branch to take it in the deal like hey, I could capitalize on this, and so put him in the car, because if they drive home on their old car and they they're going to go past another Chevy dealer, I find a nicer color and a better price. Right. So we can't say. I think the goal is as quickly as we can, whether the shopping piece provide them to shop through us, to look at we're looking at a buying service kind of a thing where there's a lot of just, I think of just innovative ways now to think to capture up front the top of the funnel when, when there may be checking on this, checking on that. I do you see technology now? We don't have a here about seeing technology now where if with their ID on their phone, if they've got your APP there, you know you do USA. Yeah, the other bank, Xyz Bank, APP on the phone and they walk onto a car dealership. We know that and we set up a target offer before they even start with, right when they walk on it. I mean I've seen that technology out there. Yeah, that makes a time. I'm and I've actually been curious if that's out there, because it seems like a natural thing for the lender to in front of that consumer at that moment. Yeah, you're in a hole, depot. Don't forget about your credit card. You know. I'm like, boom, it offer on your credit cards. You which tied into Home Depot. You get if you spent time O alls with how do you does happen? I'm there's just a lot. You think about it. It's just there's so many ways to innovate out there. You know, I think we're going to have to get progressive like that. The banks will have to get that way. You have to push, push the boundaries. Yeah, so you'd mentioned this question in the list, but I'm curious. It seems like you guys invest quite a bit and in the technology side, but if you had ten x the budget that you actually have, what would you do with the increase? Where would you where would you put it? That you think would be the most bank the buck? Yeah, so continue on that I call the Innovation Journey. How you, like I said, good best service is no service. It just how do you make that the whole process? What you get alone, you service alone, or maybe when you're in the collection part. End of the loan is you make that as easy as possibly, continue to digitize and make it simple. And this is just those. It's those type of things where you can turn...

...those transactions into self service mortually out have to worry about invested than freaking order. or it's like, but I put in the text would be get there faster. HMM. Right, it's like a cold. What's that capacity for Change? Right, you can only do twenty things, five things with all three things really well. So how do we so take that and how do I open up my band with think horizontally to you know, whether it's people, process technolog and then start test and learning those different things and bringing a market quicker, you know, just like be like just all, just putting it to market. Faster feedback. We by it stall something did we get? We thought we'd get to. We realize the benefit, not install and stalls. Like you have checked the box. We did that thing. We're realization metrics are you look at what you installed. You say, I thought I was going to reduce my cycle time by x hours, next minutes, x day. That I get that. No, I did. Why didn't I get that? More ant lits. That feeds back in conter approvement and then continue to test, learn, test, learn to you just lean that process out and prove that process. That's what I would do. That to next, I'll be honest, mark, you guys just sound like a tech company to me. Like, is this a way any any silicon valley company, thinks around consumer experience, measuring where the friction points are, reducing it, looking at not just launching a product, but then going can we launch this feature, but like, did it do the thing from a business point of view that it's supposed to do? If not, why not? If so, can we build on it? And that iterative cycle and speed to cycles critical, because your put it's a learning cycle. The faster you learn, the faster you deploy. It's like compound interest. It grows amazingly quickly if you can actually execute it at a degree of speed. Like we talked about that member focused and that put him in the middle of the room. That's that's critical. That's key and it's always been that way. And then, because we don't have branches, that's we've got to do that right. You've got to do that and people do business with people and it's and it's more you can and I think personalization of that peace. Do know who you are when you're doing that piece. Even if those all right, last thing going to be asked is like I just applied for a loan and then I come in my days later and you ask me my name, addressed the social all over again. or I work like we're just tay, are you valid? This is where you work, this is how much you so. So I think a personalization to as well, where you take that and make it as a few action as much as you can. That, I think is important. So I got a few questions his lamp before my closing questions, but we talked about one, you know, a recent challenge that you guys have faced. It is there been something that you guys have been you know, a difficult situation or a challenge that you want to can talk to you how you've been handling there's a common them to answers. I'll be honest, a last few months or this one. It's I think the whole industry went through this as well and I was just it was pretty cool to see it. I mean in the dark days of covid right, right and and happen. I think the we had some great like the Consumer Banks Association had some great round tables. We had mean daily like how we going to do this? What are we going to do? Other instry round tables out there were lend it. What are you doing assuring best practices and how are you get what do you think? How do you think about this? For you doing and wasn't trade secrets. It was more about how do you assert that customer remember? How do you get him through this pandemic? And and we install things the instant. I think banking in general. I might peers. They have a previous mon I know really well, or at to the trade associations. I think our ability to install, we're thinking very linear. We got there faster and never really good prices go to waste. Out The WHO said you are was Churchill? I don't know. Somebody said that really good crisis go to waste. Somebody said that it wasn't take it. It's yours. Now Mark it's not mine, but anyway, that's true. I think. I don't think. I think we are. We found we can install things faster, get things in and we it was like cook out. The stops to serve the customer of the members, to keep them in their cars, to keep them in their house own yet those things that as like the industry came together a regulars came together. It was like it was just a and investments that we made is shortened cycle time up because it was like we got to do this fast. I mean it was amazing. Do you think that shorter cycle time will be permanent learning for USA, for the industry as a hull, because there is a chance to like you pulled out all the approval...

...requirements, you got the committees out of the way, you got stuff done and then like the committees come back next month, covid is over, like no, no, we got a slow back down. Do you think that becomes a permanent paste change or more of a one timer? You hope it doesn't. It doesn't best, but I think just human nature is it's like bureaucracy always creeps in. So it's sort of like, you know, we downsize when we moved to this house. We had so it was disgusting how much stuff we got rid of. Like took a statement and he's going to spring clean. You just you just got give mean. So I think there's a it's a. It was a good purge right to do that to reduce cycle times the approval process. But you got to have good governance right. You got to have those things and you got to have the right guards the place. Maybe you don't want bills to suspenders, but you want good guard rails are solid, and so you get you have to have that in there. And so it means, I think, Peel back and say why we asking for this twice? We can help, we just do this one time or so and and we do. That's I think that's the beauty video. So it's like ready aim fire versus ready and fire. You know, means so, which we have straight in the past. Of all, yeah, the banking industry certainly ready aim, am aim fire does sound like pretty good description of banking approval processes. I've experience Miss Ay aimiming, because it's been a longs that you talk about you fire as you miss the whatever that that consume. Re Aim, reaim targets, moved, targets move. Guys, is there anything you were hoping I was going to ask you today that we didn't get to that you want to talk about, or did we? Did we cover everything? I just I you know, I think we talked about it. I think more on this whole thing kind of digitization and changing customer member preferences towards digital, fast, easy stumple. But I think it's personalization to just know who I am. I mean we as we send some time, but I didn't send enough time on that. But I mean just making were. I think there's that. That to me, I think, is how you differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Is that really I think they should. I agree, and this is one of the things I've been talking to a lot of bankers about, is the investments in the infrastructure level technology and really the data technology so that you can, you know, not ask the questions when you go to lone application, like we will know what's your bank account? Guy, you're my bank right. Why are you asking me this? You know, I think you know you want to refly your mortgage. Will tell me about your mortgage. I'm like, you have it, you have my we maybe see me. What do you talk about? So you know, those kinds of things I think are critical, but they're not easy investments. You have so many sideloads, systems where data resides. You call the call center and they don't see the loan because it's not in the call center system. And so that investment in technology to enable what you're talking about, the kind of seamless experience across channel. It's hard, right, and it's when I talk to people where were I invested? I would invest there, because you can build the best experiences in the world, but if you don't have the ability to share that data across I mean it's not going to work as well. And so that that infrastructure of a common data infrastructure layer technology, I think it's critical and it's what enables, to your point, the personalization, the knowing things that you already like. If there's anything, if there's any advantage my current bank should have in winning me for a customer in the next product, it said you should have to ask me much of anything's just got yeah, Jeff, we know here, here's your offer, and if you can't do that, then digital mobile isn't going to win the day because you're no better off than the other guy with the JERAL mobile. So you got to create that that loyalty. As as as how you do it, and and so I used to thank you so like the things like what never would happened. I was that one, that was that banker at one time, like you can't do two too on this. There's just no way. They I don't thank you. Come talk to me right. I remember I was another writer, other writing car alots, back, way back. One would credit models were first coming out and I looked at every single loan. There was an automated credit decisionine used the credit buils and he had a phyco score and all that kind of stuff. I'm like, YOU'RE gonna you're not. Likes me with the machine. We can machine can make a better decision than I can't. Well, you can make a thousand times better than I can't because it takes all the average. This is it just is it going right to the critical things right and it's like it's let's go do it a faster. So those are the things I've learned over the years. Like you just got to continue down that path. Yeah, I agree. All right. So I've got my my standard closing questions that we could do that. I won't call it rapid fire, but you know, I like to end with these same three questions and I get some really inside of answers.

So number one, what's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten. So I've been very, very blessed for over the years to have great mentors. I mean just have been blessed with mentors, and so I try to take fine mentors that I work with right and if that, outside of work, people I just like, people that I respect and how they raise their kids, how they, you know, have the things of that. So I've been by lest that in banking there's to two things I learned. One was more about being a leader than one was my choice of my career. So first of my choice of my career. So came up undergraduate school finance. On the Grad I got picked up by the bank and, whether they're what they call their management training program was based on eighteen months. Well, the first six months it's basically this is everything you learned in school. Forget. This is how the statement of how thanks local things. It was like you're they call your formal credit training, whether it was commercial, corporate lending or consumer lending. And then after six months you went into your rotations. And I had a mentor at the bank that I knew was a personal cred of the family, and so I was he was great to mentor a part of my career, and I remember I wanted to work with the deltas in the cocacolas of the world. I mean that's I mean go corporate lending. Those are the fly big yeah, raised, they gets by jets and I thought Consumer Lenny, it's kind of like the regular army to use that kind of a knowledge like they did. Yeah, you know, they just got hit. They didn't have machine guns. was like on the ground, not flyboys and stuff. I remember talk as I had previous experience. I worked out Montgomery wards. That's a old NAMEC seer, work in the credit department. I was making like they would come by tractor, they would come to me and I would take the application and we do the financing for yeah, I knew about credit. I argue about consumer credit and I don't forget him tell me it's like mark, don't go with those live boys. Don't don't. I mean you could do corporate commercial lending, he goes, but consumer lens where it's at. It's I'll never forget we did. You had to make your choice of what kind of track you're going out. Commercial likes like lending the car dealers. That kind of think, yeah, we're like the corporate like the deltas and the home depots of the world. Right. And then you had consumer lending. Well, you put a piece of paper down and there was like three stacks and I'm going and it's where one person up there and that with me. I was one with that chose consumer. But I'll starts commercial and corporate lending. They're like. But the beauty of that was out of the eighteen people in my class, I got more attention because I was the only one in there and I wasn't Y. Yeah, I had was time to be over that. Next rotation with I went into the branch, work of the branch. WHEW, the calls men worked in the calls, I worked in collections, I work, I got to do everything I'm overseeing today. The best of US got way back then. I could have been a corporate banker, not that that's not fun, but I'm consumer bank or not a Wall Street banker. That's just that's just too am that was a advice I got that set me on my path. Today, thirty four years I've been in consumer lending. Yeah, Sy Esicles my entire clear. The next piece of ice I got and just lending was is that I had to make a pivot decision. Do I want to run my own desk or lead people? And then my mentor said, Mark Remembers, like you got three that out and says managing people and getting to do things they wouldn't do on their own as where it's at. And so he said, I want you to remember one thing. He says you manage assets, but you lead people, and that's like a banker, the jest that you you lead people. And then he had the whole thing about servant leadership. He says that that's what I mean by sort of leadership, as you're asking your people to do something that you would, you would do it yourself. You're not asking you something you wouldn't do yourself. Right. But, and that's true, that certant leadership model the whole thing. It's not a position of weakness, is more of a position of strength and it's admitting when you're wrong. It's like it's like Hey, I'm not good at that and I don't want US people on my team, all people who have challenged me. That that's that, that's what you taught me ill, and that was when I was just young. My head held very low equ right. It's coming to school, you know, kind of step off smart and everything you know and you your s and you start managing people. And it was a big piece about certain leadership. And then you lead people and you manage assets, whether and you twitter, you switch that around. You've got it messed up. Interesting. You mentioned mentors and two mentors. It gave you a piece of advice. Do you have advice on either, you know, for younger people, finding and taking advantage of mentors, or for those who are further in the career, how you can be a good mentor? I feel like that's an area where everybody you hear a lot of like you should get a good...

...mentor, and then how to find, how to take advantage of a mentor who's there, and then on the other side, like how to be a good mentor or not. Things that I here discussed as much and I find them challenging personally, like how to go to ask somebody for advice or or to be a mentor or in invice versa. Yes, my stage I'm more of the giving back now, right, and like yeah, because that by first my twenties versus later in life. But to me I think the things about mentor is is that you do an advisor and and you can be advised, which I think is different than a mentor. And I think there's going to be chemistry there and you can't force a mental relationships either. It's either that you hit it off. You know that when you're talking to somebody. Yeah, so I give an advice to the kids kind of school, like Hey, I want to look at thanking. I'm thinking about this and like should I go on the handltic side to do this? And then some of those time over the last probably year, two years, I've had probably seven to ten interactions, other seven und ten. Majority of them have been advised just to get at once. Three of them to this day I'm still talking to because they're chemistry there and it's easy to talk to that person and the ears are open on both ends. And so I know you can't force head. Just like I'm going to find myself a mentor. I think you need to go out. I need to find one, but it made a couple people you talk to to get that fit, whether it's because you have similar likes outside of work, similar background up bringing, you got to find what that is and it's got to be more than just the job. Yeah, it can't be just the here. I need somebody who's got this role. That's going to be my guy. You got a little person relationship, but it's I think it's. It's it's you know it when it's like on the say as you know it, when you're it's like yeah, it's just, I don't know, like this, there's a chemistry. I don't know how to say, but you know what, when you talk and you just and it then in and you know my like, Oh Gosh, I got that person tomorrow, oh, maybe, like I'm looking forward to talk of that person. Yeah, absolutely all right. And my second question is always what's the single best piece of advice you've gotten about consumer lending? I feel like we spend the last forty five minutes now. I think it's all. I think you know, it's tinual learning, like you got to be a lifelong already. Have a sharpen u saw all the time. It's like keep what's going on in Dustry at consumer preferences, member preferences. I think it's always staying on that piece, just just like that art, research and development. I mean it's easy when you when you're a pharmaceutical you got research development. I'm that is that is your budget right. It's a big part of it. Yeah, and we don't think that way. It thanks and I think to me it's like always saying that a whole innovation. Maybe it's something back to do today, or you got to look at ten things, you get one nugget. You mean if that you see s there might be something here. Yeah, but I think it's always out there. Learn. That's why I love the trade shows. That's why I love the Tree Association. But mean I talked about the CBA. Yeah, I love the interactually, there's I could I could see a bunch of people at one time and understand what either talk to former bank, a banker. You know, what were you? What do you live in? Or Talk to us a potential supplier, and I could see him at one time and not have to have like a series of one off calls at take up about Monch of time. I think reading consuming. You know, I think I find another things outside of our industry, like look at a technical I mean what arefin texted? Only that, but whether what's apple doing? What's I mean in reading assuming that type of information, you can understand where consumer preferences are going or where markets are going, and not just typically banging right. I like that, idear. You need an RND budget. If you can't call an R D budget time, it's more invest in your time, right. I mean it's is, yeah, it's those. Those are things. What did the old quadrant one, two, three, four, those are quadrant to write. Important, not urgent, easy, too easy to set aside. But the critical to make sure you make time for kind of actions that are that are laying the foundation for the future, but not the not the burning fire, like in the last my last cuss always what is one bold prediction you have for the future? I call this my I can invite you back and tell you if you are right or wrong question. But bold prediction for the future, you know, comes to lending, or whatever comes to a consumer lending. I'm I think banks are here to stay, and this sounds pretty I mean I was worried about the fear. Here's I think banks are here to stay. I think I had to see it and I think then we learned a lot of the MC kind of come cook at a market, right, you got to get a remove road box, those type of things. But thanks here to stay. I th we're I think they're going to be. Consolidation,...

...absolutely, I think there's consolidation industry that comes. Yeahbe at that, but I think thanks here staying. I think people want to do a business with thanks, but we've got to do what we've got to do to they get fast, easy, simple to do business with us. Fast, easy, simple. That seems like the the mantra of this of this conversation. Marcus, will make things past easy and simplest. Easy and simples. Yes, so thank you. Yeah, we do our best. Mark. This is a great conversation. I really appreciate you're making making the time today. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. Up Start 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 models two 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 lending programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into in 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 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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