Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode · 1 year ago

Digital Banking: Bringing a Human Touch to a Branchless Experience

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Digital-only banks face a particular challenge:

How do you create that human touch without having the physical human touch?

As a branchless entity, Axos Bank has been tackling this tricky problem for the last 20 years.

Anthony Capizzano, the institution’s SVP of Direct Consumer Lending, joins the show to share the different ways they maintain a high-quality, high-touch relationship with their consumer base.

We discuss:

- The importance of soft touch points in a digital landscape

- Employing product specialists rather than customer service reps

- How electric vehicles are disrupting auto lending

- Upgrading systems incrementally through smaller value-adds

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

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

You implement something and then you find out it's not as fulfilling to the consumer as you wish. That's why getting the Voice of the customer is critical for whatever you implement in technology. 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 one let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders and lending. I'm your host, Jeff Kelner. This week's episode features a conversation with Anthony Kappazzano, the svp of consumer direct lending at access bank anything. I talked about a lot of things, but really their unique perspective as a bank that's always been no branch, and how they think about bringing high touch, personal experience into a interaction that's not in person, particularly how you get to helping people self serve quickly when that's appropriate, and how you get them to a human quickly with the right information when that's appropriate. Secondly, we talked about a couple of new product areas are exploring, including a kind of a new flavor of securities, back line of credits and what the impacts of the shift to EV's might be an auto dealerships and sales, as well as what that means for lenders. And finally, we talk about their approach to technology, with short sprints, rapid iteration, really focused on solving consumer pain points and how you don't get distracted with what your competitors may be doing, but really focus on halving your customers needs. It's a lot of great insights in here. I really hope you enjoy the conversation. Anthony, thanks so much for joining the podcast today. I really appreciate you're making the time. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Yeah, my pleasure. You know, we were talking earlier you said something that kind of took me by surprise. I've talked to a lot of banks about how they're melding their branch approach and a digital and and you guys are are a branchless bank, as I understand it. Talk people bit about it your so you're kind of you've been where everybody else is going, or at least have been thinking about the challenge of customer relationships without physical presence for longer than I think many, many banks have. How do you think about, you know, what you guys have invested in terms of maintaining that high quality relationship, high touch experience where appropriate in a world where you don't have, you know, people in a physical place that are meeting and I think the way a lot of banks have typically managed that? Yeah, look, that's a great question. That's one that we've been very focused on for a long time because, look, we were a digital bank before is popular. I like to say we were on the dance floor by ourselves dancing, and then now everyone wants to join us, which is great, but with that comes new challenges and one of those challenges is the one you plant it out, which is, you know, how do you create that human touch without having the physical human touch? Right, this has been accelerated, as we know, due to Covid and I think people are trying new things and they're trying to and I think that's right approach. But for us it's kind of an old hat a little bit. We've been we've been practice saying that for the...

...last twenty years, and so we have a wide variety of ways. Of course you have to have the digital capabilities to enable what I call the soft touch points and education points so that customers can find information easily. Off Touch for me before you get sure. Sure. So soft touches are are where they can interact with your software in a way where it's easy to find the answers that they're looking for. So it's not just think about search functionality. Like, if you ever built search functionality, it's really hard, it's not easy. And so search functionality find exactly what the customers looking for when there may not be as articulate as they want or need to be to find the answers. Right. Sometimes we just don't know. So that's that's more of a soft touch. How do you make it easy for a consumer to find the information very quickly? And I'm proud searching out. Yeah, a little something. Okay, got it. Thank you. I want to make sure you in the terms. Yeah, and then so you have that and you need to provide those littlely answers very quickly, right, but there's always this human element, right. So if you remember, if you were call, there's a lot of, you know, credit card companies, a lot of banks that went away, went ivre and they went into a virtual reality or and then they realize that they were losing consumers and consumers were aren't running back to small our banks because they could have a live human. And so what you saw so that these larger institutions were we're saying, okay, how do we how do we fix this? How do we get, you know, the right touch point about why, meaning are maintaining our efficiencies so we're not just staffing up a whole lot of people like we did, because literally we just ramp down to people. Right, by providing this, we invest in this other expensive technology. But this is how technology works. You implement something and then you find out it's it's not as fulfilling to the consumer as you wish. That's why getting the Voice of the customer is critical for whatever you implement in technical the other part that is adaptability, right, because you was the old thing like no right bottle plants or arrives first contact with you. However, you think your customers going to interact with your hollow thing? It's gonna be different. You got to be prepared to adjust the the ards and it as a fascinating example. So sorry, I don't mean to interrupt it. No, no, that's that's that's that's great point. So what we did was we were very intentional on identifying their purpose of these phone calls where they really need to someone, both on comments on our web presence and and even through complaints. Right. Complaints are very important for us. We actually we go through those on a monthly basis and say, how do we make ourselves better and does US need a human touch point? Right, and we've built entire teams that weren't contact center so much. There were more products. We call product specialists where they had enough knowledge where they could provide, you...

...know, a more detailed answer. That seemed really to work well with us. So identifying certain questions and for certain subjects where human interaction was kind of required, but also giving the option always to consumer just to get through to someone, because some people just don't like talking to computer. Right. Yeah, your point about Ivr is really fascinating to me, the kind of we we try to automate so much that stuff, and I'm curious how you think about you've identify the topics that someone might want a human touch for, and I certainly have heard this in my conversation with banks. They want advice, they want to understand. What are my different options. What are these? Lone, can you know? What am I different down payments and on and point, like, how do I think about terms in different, you know, kinds of options? But how do you identify in the moment whether someone is looking for that kind of touch or looking for a selves? Because it feels like what somebody calls in right. How do you figure out if this is a high touch required moment or if this is a, you know, a soft touch required moment, because that feels like that the crux of it. You want to get them to a human quickly. If it's a human, need it and not if it's not, so you're not wasting time hours. But how do you tell? How do you make that distinction? Yeah, so that's a great point. So it's a process, it's a journey, first of all, and it's not like a mone size fits all because we're completely digital bank. We have a different dynamic than than traditional banks who have branches, and so with us we had to go on this journey and discover those touch points and when we added a fault, we actually defaulted to, you know, talking to human that and we were very specific on our product specialists, based on the product hm so that is a whole different thing because it takes a little bit larger investment, because it behooves you to generalize right from efficiency standpoint. We did not. We have very specific. So I have it. I have a team specifically for one loan. I have another team for specifically another loan, right, depending on the volume and whatnot. Another thing we did is so we combined some lower volume and we made them on a pod structure again, so that that means, you know, they all are cross trained with with each other for those two different products and they're like products, right. So because it's so specific and that's in their product specialist does that every single day. They become a lot more honed in their answers as well. How do you think about the the layer of helping our customer choose between products, let's just say, like the Helock and a personal loan, because the specialization is really valuable when you want really good answers on one thing. But I think there's often this layer above from many consumers which just like which product is the fit for my need? Right, and how do you think about solving that layer of the the human touch interaction when you have a you know, specialized workforce. Look, that's a great question. I'd say that you have to be careful about giving advice and be very firm on your advice. You want to give options and allow that, allow...

...the customer invoice that in a way. Like, listen, if you choose this option, here's your benefits, right, here's some drawbacks. If you choose this other option, here's some benefits in your drawbacks for your needs. You know you should probably look at both and decide right, but I can't tell you one or the other. I won't put my foot down on one or the other. Yeah, because I don't see the full picture. Right. This is this is a one touch point phone called maybe it maybe it's too but I know I don't have all the information. Interesting, right. So who in the specialist world has that kind of conversations? Everybody informed enough about the different products to have that level of conversation before you go to specialist? I'm just kind of curious. No, so we you go right to our product specialist. Call in right, it's based and it's diverted there. So you go right to I mean they may think it's a customer service person, but the actually getting a product. Product specialist and so that product specialist knows exactly, you know, the benefits, the pros and cons now, if they want to talk about a Helock, for example, what we do in those cases we give a warm transfer over the helock and we have them talked to them and then and then, and do it that way because that's a very different product and, let's say, not secure alone. Right. But but one thing we also do is we set up an email saying listen if you if I didn't, we didn't answer all your calls. You know, click on this and you can call us right back or chat. So you can make it a lot easier to contain the conversation as well. That's a that's a fascinating structure, very different than what I've I've heard many places. So it should be insightful for the listeners. You're talking about product specialists. One of the things I wanted to talk to you about was like new products or areas and kind of consumer offerings where you're seeing new opportunities or new needs or demands from the consumer market. Are there things you're seeing either that you're pushing that you think or valuable to consumers that they're not asking for that consumers are coming saying, I want something different, kind of new product areas that you're investing in. Yeah, so we are actually investing in quite a few. But one that is really interesting to me is this s block and s block loan, so securities base line of credit. And basically what this is this if you have a portfolio, an investment, a small portfolio, you can have a secured loan based on the value of that portfolio. So there's a there's a lot of moving parts to it. But if you go to most banks offer this. Right. That offered a higher network means what. He's got an IRA of K, you know, a bunch of money in there and they want to a cheap planet. Right. Right, it's I think of that as a more well to do client need, where I'm leveraging my investment portfolio to get you know, as opposed to Healck, you've got my k, just give me a securities backed line. Right. I kind of thing that. That's typically I think. But you guys are viewing it a little differently than the high net worth play. Yeah, we are. So you're right. It was pretty exclusive. It is very what we call cheap money. It's lower, very low interest rate money, but tiply the the minimum of the finances like two hundred Fiftyzero in the securities that you...

...have to secure above that is far greater than that. So doesn't really make sense for the average show like you and I so well, we decide to build is something a little bit different. We're building a product that is more attainable for someone who has maybe a smaller investment. You know, maybe they have you know, they need tenzero and most our competitors aren't doing that. And what that does is that that enables the average everyday person to get access to inexpensive money, you know that they can go buy something with that. So think of it like an unsecured loan, but secured that you can do anything you want with it. But it doesn't have to be two thousand. You have to have that. You can have, you know, Tenzero, thirtyzero. You want to go buy a Ki, you can do it that way. Right. Sometimes it's a little bit more beneficial. Of course we always advise people, you know, to work with their accountant to get the proper advice that they want. But look, it is going to be a unique aspect that I think most consumers what is the twenty world. We're going to hit eighty percent of our consumers versus what that product is designed to do. Is it's the opposite, right. Are there different kinds of assets? So you find as you move down there that you're securing against? Is it? Is it Thek you know at the big firm? Is what I think of. Is the you of the typical, like it's my investment portfolio, maybe my f one cake. What kind of assets do you see are now? Are they different for, you know, a smaller dollar, more typical average Joe, you know as block, versus the kind of more more historically traditional high net worth version? Yeah, so just just low education on that. So the volatility of the stock really matters, right. So the advance a bank will give you every bank it's a little bit different. And so what the advance on that's that specific stock is going to be changed. Is changes and it changes daily, right, because the markets move and there is something called a margin call if you go below what they're willing to lend because you have a deep right. So you'll have to make up our liquidates. Some some of the stock, but that's very rare. That happens. That's not beneficial. For the consumer for us. So we try to put it in a few safe cards. But one thing that's super interesting that's occurring right now is cryptocurrency. People want to secure against cryptocurrency. Now that is a very vault stock and so it mean it ebbs and flows. And look at Bitcoin. It was in the last year. Went from eleven thousand now it's like sixty two tho. So it's it is very volatile right. And so how, as a bank, do you enable consumers, very interesting question, little to lend off of this as a secured asset when it's so volatile, and that's something we're exploring right now and we plan on doing. But it is a lot different than traditional stocks. Is Are you looking at? I know not so much in Bitcoin, but in things like a they um and and so others. Yeah, there are smart contracts where you can actually require...

...liquidation at certain price things through the contract. Are you looking at? You those kind of automated enforcement mechanisms for things like it's a really interesting idea that you can actually into the borrowing contract have, you know, liquidity enforcement options and things like that. That would be you know, have to manual are done some other way in a traditional world. So it's it's a really fascinating space to me what you can do in a blockchain that has some the smart contract elements. Yeah, so, so we have those right, and but the the idea is to prevent or a limit that from happening, because that's no one likes that experience. Right. So eleven like we're right. These things happen and that's going to be hard to bring or exactly exactly. What I think you'll see is that as banks get into this space and as some coins stabilize, some coins will qualify and some coins about. And the ones that do qualify, I'm a suspecting that they're going to have a very low advanced rate just to dip their tones started in much leverage into yeah, and then you and the biggest part of that is having banks to learn how to ride the wave. Right. Yeah, so really that's what it is. It's it's hey, don't don't freak out right now. We know it dropped, you know, thirty percent and the last you know, three months, but it will recover. You just got a hold out and that's untypical because it could be four months, it could beat two days. So you got to learn how to ride the wave. Interesting. Now, while we're on the topic of new products, I wanted to ask about another product that I think is disrupting a market and how that impact finders, which is electric vehicle. So we talked about this a little bit, but what do you think? You know, you were giving me some thoughts on how electric vehicles changes the structures for dealers and financing of automobiles, and it's Fascinat because we see so many manufacturers at least, announcing that they're on the path to pretty rapid electrification of their their product lines. How do you think that mean? If bitcoin is shifting the currency market, evs are certainly shifting the the automotive market, and I'm curious what you think the impacts of that are on kind of maybe dealers on one level, but importantly on the kind of lenders and the way they work with automobile financing and purchasing as it exists today. Yeah, I know that's that's interesting topic. I think we can talk about this all day, but they'll have to know fully right version. What tests done is, and it's live been led by Tesla, but there are many other players out there. By the way, most banks will find it some EV vehicles, but they won't finance all EV vehicles because the kind of unproven and some are newer than others so the risk is higher on those. We're actually a lot more open than that, but because we think the technology is very sound and it's been around for quite a while. However, what Tessa did is they, you know, they got the early doctors on right and now we're in the mid adopters stage and what you'll find typically is that the late adoptors come at a gradual place as well. I think that's going to be more of a cliff and we're in that. We're on the apex of that,...

...of that mountain, and what I see is that that downward, you know, trajector is going to go very quickly. Rapid shift here. It's going to be very rapid. It's going to be very rapid, and especially when you have Ford and GM and, you know, major car maker worldwide. Car makers come back saying we're going to majority of our inventories going to be ev by two thousand and twenty five. Question is future for charging and things like that. I mean it's a flywheel, right, like more people have cars, you build more infrastructure. Of the infrastructure supports it makes it easier to take a road trip in an EV and in this like yeah, gone wrong, and infrastructure has been been being implemented for last ten years. If if you look around, if you don't have an EV vehicle, look around, if you look at it partm a complex, good chance they have on. If you look at your garage at work, good chance they have some. Go to a mall now good, Ikea has that right. So, like there's all you their infrastructures. They are for the most part. Do we need more? Absolutely, to have adopt, you know, worldwide adoption, but it's there. It's good enough right now for that rapid advancement to happen. And what's going to what we're going to see here is as these manufactures like Ford and and GM, as they become fully sort of ev which are very short, two thousand and twenty five are, they're going to a majority right. It's going to be interesting about how the dealership is going to shift. Dealerships had to shift their every way they they you know, made money in the past and how they survived. This is going to be another shift, but I think it's catching people off. God a little bit. I think you need years to Change Your Business Model. You can't do it in a year or two. And I don't know if everyone's seeing how quickly this is going to happen, specially at the dealership standpoint. These are small businesses. By the way we think of dealships is a large business. They're really not. They're really just mama pop for the most part, small businesses and they can be disrupted very easily and we've seen that when we had the recession and we lost almost, you know, one, one three of our dealship population. So they can be upstrated disrupted easily and and we it's going to be interesting to watch because EV vehicles, a lot of the private center for dealerships are on the on the repairs right, on the servicing, on the service and servicing. So Ev vehicles don't have that much servicing. Do they have some? Sure, but it's got a lot lower clip right. You're not replacing breaks, you're not doing all changes right. These are your what we call Leadin's and your lead ins lead to know more things that you can help fix that vehicle make it more comfortable for the consumer. Ye, not many of those for for an ev now there may be upgrades, right, your price per meyer, per fix or per repair our Po may be higher, but it's not going to outrun all those little ones. Right. So that's literally a survival mechanism and recession, you see, the dealships that...

...survived were the ones who had a very large absorption right, anything north of seventy percent, which is absorption, equals the the money you make in your servicing pace for the entire cost of the dealership. So that absorption rates very critical. It's being interesting to see how they how they do that. What do you think they do? I mean, if you are a dealer, what would your advice be and how you deal with, you know, a future where you know maybe you're servicing revenue is going to be lower? How does a deal or like respond to that? And then how does you know, I guess, for this audience, how to the lender respond to what the dealers are going to have to do to be a part of the solution for those dealers they partner with in terms of how they continue to make money in a world where that kind of absorption rate may be lower and the servicing revenue per vehicle may just be maybe low over time. Because you're just like I. I bought a Tesla model three and, like I don't need touch the brakes, to be frank, like it breaks for itself. I don't think I've ever you know, I can imagine how long you'll take my break pads to wear out for the three times a month I use the brakes and there's no oil and like, I've never taken it in for service. I have thought about it because it's never had an issue. So that certainly feels like a future that's coming that's disruptive to that business models. I'm curious, what if you were giving advice to a dealership and then to lenders who work with the dealerships? Wild that? So it's going to put pressure of the other profit channels that they have, right. They they've the sale the vehicle. They have, you know, backend products. Deals just make a on the front, what we call the front side of the business, selling the vehicle. Most our money on the back side, right, it's the relationship with the with the bank, and it's the it's it's a back in proxy sell the consumer. Well, the consumers going to buy less back in products because, guess why, they don't need a repair it as often. So that's going to put more pressure on the lender and the other partners, like the manufacture itself, to build in additional costs. Reven are our profit centers for the dealership. So maybe there's more hold back that the manufacturer allow. Maybe the because it's too transparent. More sales with sales prices today and invoice prices. So they have to build it in the whole back, not so much in the in the profit margin between invoice and what they sell it for. Or they have to shift dealships have to shift to more of that. If you remember the Saturn model, of the carmax model, this the price is what the price is like, you know, like a leave it. But you would have to have an entire shift of our culture at United States on how we buy vehicles and not wanting to negotiate. Right we learned that the culture doesn't really like that. They liked to negotiate. They may hate the experience, but they want a better deal. They want to feel like they got a better deal, like I got something out of the deal I got, I made my I got my dent exactly in my exactly. So I don't think that's going to shift anytime soon. So there's going to be pressure, pressure on these other profit channels for a dealership to make it up, including all of our as partners with them. My one last area I wanted to dig in with that I think we could keep talking about this one forever, but in it's kind of related to sense of like how quickly can you shift your business this model or your technology infrastructure? We talked about kind...

...of the challenge of upgrading systems and, you know, kind of how do you get to that digital world? I wanted you to give to kind of share your thoughts and Max I thought was a really interesting topic. That's that's, I think, on the minds of every banker I talked to. US are looking at, you know, very old systems. Meet upgrade maybe everything, and how do I think about how I get to what I want my future state to be? Ye, look from my perspective, I would say that most lenders, or most of us, are dealing with antiquated systems. And so what happens is, even if you got systems, you know, six, seven years ago, that's still antiquated now right because technology moves so quickly. So even if you have very old systems, I was at a previous counties that it was very, very old systems and, you know, thirty years old. And what we what I really learned, they're what worked after a lot of trial errors, that big bangs, Big Bang releases. They have a lot of issues and they're very and they're very in they have and consumers are affected typically out of these things. And so what I've decided to really move towards and which seemed to work, was that is the cash the vision where we want to go right, and that vision may change, by the way, through times. So cast the vision and then you chip away at that vision with value adds the consumer. So don't look at you know, people what happens called scope creep. So they look at, Hey, we want to do you know, we want chat capability. Okay, you want check capability, yeah, but in order to have that we have to have this whole new system. I'll do you. Is there a way we can buy it off the off the shelf and like you got to look at your different options. Or maybe that chat feature specifically, is that answering everything that you want it, because maybe this a portion of that chat that that ends up being the majority of the Value Act for the consumer. Can You? Can you uncouple those things right and deliver the value add so be more interested in delivering the value it's small pieces then doing it in big banks. Big bangs are very expensive, the very long and they they tend not to have you tend to make compromises along the way and that when you get to the end you have a mediocre result. But if you ship away at it with these little value adds, you're adding value to consumer and you building towards your vision. There's no don't race against the clock. There's no clock. Yeah, well, I think your I took is as you do big bangs. There you scope creeps almost inherent in that, because it's like, well, it's a two year project. I know if I don't get it in this one, it's two, three, four more years before another shot at whatever is that I want. And so of course the natural inclination for the organization is to shove as many things into your Big Bang as you can, and that just doesn't it doesn't, you know, doesn't ultimately work well versus the kind of I think we ups are always think about what's the what's the smallest thing we can do. It gives us the most learning in the most value for the consumer right now, optimize around value add and or learning.

To your point the chap, I like, what what do people really what are they really going to use it for? Now? People talk about but what's the real value? And you try and solve the whole thing up front. It's hard. If you go let's launch the little thing and see how it see if it works, and how do we iterate from there, I feel like you get to the right place more quickly, frankly, than then you do trying to get it all out the door one yeah, so that's the that we have something Simmler's quote shortest we did at a value add. So it's we look at the value add and we say the level of fert and and you know, how quickly can we deliver that right to the consumer? And before you have to define the value add, get the voice of the customer, the whole bit right. There's some new diligenous there, but assuming that you know it, that's how we how we look at it, and so our conversations isn't about the new and shiny thing. It's more about, hey, does this, if something new comes in, is this add more value than this other thing that we're doing right. So we're looking to add value in in Max like four or five sprints. That's it. How long is this sprint for you guys? True, week, it's adult term anology. So you dot to weak. Yes, I'm a technology yeah, that's impressive. That's a fast, fast turnaround. Right. And you know one of the things you said here I like to dig intople, which is like you're talking about the value add how do you think about quantifying that? Because that's one of the things where I feel like often organization is just customers want x, let's deliver x, and the quantification of the value it provides to the consumer and, frankly, how that flows to the top indoor bottom line of the institution is the part of the puzzle that often gets mess I'm curious how you guys think about really quantifying the value being added by a new feature, new capability, because I think it's hard to do, but it's crucial if you're really in a prioritize you have to know what it's worth. And how you think about measuring what it's worth? Okay, so I'm going to say something that may be a little surprising to some. Maybe not to some others, but it's not a new idea. And this is it. I love surprised. This is it. So I would ask you to care more about what the consumer wants then staying up with the Joneses, meaning a lot of a lot of different companies. Look at what others are doing and say, Hey, they're they're successful, they have these if we get that, that's not true. Spend more time focused on your consumer. What your consumer needs. Right, the demographics may be different, it's not even one to one. So it's some mature of your consumers need. And always go back in your we're constantly going back to your consumers and learning from them. That's why we valued complaints so much. We take those very seriously, even the small ones. We record the small ones well, and I didn't like this so much, but not a hold on, let me let me dig into that. Right. So those, that's that's little gold nuggets for us. I love that and it's it's ID. The going back to your consumer. I think it's it's maybe trying silicon alley, but it's so hard to do because you see your competitor go out and they really some feature. You go should we have that feature do we need to build own? My...

God, we're behind and of course you never know, they will their product manage. Maybe some they go. I launch the future, nobody's freaking using it and we spent three years building it and now it's a total time stock and people won't even like it. You don't know that all. It's so easy to get caught up in what is going in the market. What got the press right. American banker wrote an article about the amazing thing that this guy did and like it. Doesn't mean it's actually providing value a hundred percent in your focus on what does my consumer want? What do they value? And there's also always the what they say they want and then with actually use when given, and they're not always the same. Correct that kind of focus on that. What's providing value, I think, is it's so easy to say and so hard to execute on because it's easy to get caught up with the shiny stuff and the thing that the CEO wants or that's the shiny object in the industry or the whatever, and it goes against the grain of human nature. It is. It is absolutely human nature to stay with the Jones has. I mean look, I mean you see someone buy a new car on your block. Just look, six months later, there's five of them on your block right and and it's just human nature. So what we're asking you is to fight human nature. It really create a culture with your consumer to say hey, I'm going to have multiple touch points with you and this is not going to be just a one relationship, this is going to be bilateral and I'm going to solicit your feedback quite a bit actually, because I care that much too. And if you don't answer this time, that's fine, but if the answer, if answer, you know are five times or two out of times, that's great, but in getting it. But I love your point about using complaints as a source of feedback, because they're not in some ways are more valuable because there's this natural inclination, there's a selfselection and who agrees to answer a survey or provide feedback? But when someone's going and saying I'm not happy like that's a great learning point and it tells you a lot. And it's easy to think of that as a compliance thing or a regulatory thing or a brand thing, but thinking of it as feedback about the product in the experience that you can take into your development life cycle. I think is extremely valuable and it's it's easy for procting to ignore. That's like yeah, we gotta, we got to answer the regulators about the complaints we gotten. What are our complaint levels and are we okay with them? Like that's such useful feedback. And it's not the people. There's not obviously selfselection and who complaints to, but I think it's a kind of unfiltered version of what people really think about you. That's that's incredibly valuable because it's kind of it's not a hey, I'm putting on my advice the bank had. It's just like I was trying to do something and it didn't work and like what the heck? And that's a great feedback. Yeah, if you, and if in there is a little bit humility to write, because you may build something. You have to check your pride at the door and say look, just because one consumer said something doesn't make what you've built wrong. But it does. It can't make it better. Right. You got to be willing to change it because when you toil over something, built something right, you get this pride about it, and specially it's been successful, right, and so what you's here's all these little complaints and you and you'll tend to shuffle. I'm not. I'm asking you not to Shufflem away. I'm actually...

...actually gather them and say, hey, tell me more, right, and let's go deeper. What do you exactly mean on this? It takes a lot of humility to do that. And then you got of course, it's not always no. None. Every consumer complaint is accurate. Like you. Some of go that's fine, like, I'm willing to live with that misconception, that problem, that friction, that whatever it was, but you being able to kind of it's kind of as you got to read it, then you got to sit to sleep on it over night. You can like react in the moment. You go that's just crazy, as people just does. But even the ridiculous, even the ridiculous ones where it's completely their fault, you I go back and say, HMM, what can I do to make it easier for that person to get to the information right or to to do what they wanted to do? How I make it more prevalent? Right? All of these things are very creative and but it really you. It tells you you care about the consumer and that's how you build this, this empire that delivers a lot of value. It's in chips and then you add at you chip it all the way. You have a statue. Love it all right. Well, I've got is there anything you wanted to I've got kind of three questions. I always used to in the PODCAST, but I'm curious of there's anything you wanted to talk about or expected to talk about that we missed before we get to those. No, I think you did a great job. Thank you. I think you did a great job. I just ask the questions. You got to give the answers. That's the harder part and think. Well, so here's my three kind of rapid fire questions to end the discussion. Number One, what's the best piece of career your advice you've ever gotten? It's a two parter. So number one, thank yourself less and others more like it. And number two, in leadership, you serve them, they don't serve you. I like that, as when I was at IBM I got something. I can not not, not not work safe, but they said you can either be a funnel or an umbrella for stuff that comes from above for your team. Right, you can either fun let down and stamp harder or you can shield them from what's above. And I feel like if you can be a number all instead of a funnel, you've done some good. Right. You're there to serve that team, not to not to not to be the you know, the voice of above coming down. So I like that one. I'd second question. What's the best advice about the consumer lending space you've ever gotten? That's this is very, very wide brush, light brush, but I think gives you lots of room to maneuver to where you want. Or just a good piece of advice. Okay, one the best piece of advice I got was do not be afraid of looking at the ridiculous when building products, meaning like I'm ridiculous, yeah, ridiculous. So I remember way back when when I started out of finance, like people looked at seventy two months as oh that was that's ridiculous. Sure you're going to hurt the consumer and things off these this nature and you know, don't do that. And then eighty four months came around. That was now any four months of the seventy two months right, and people looking at Nice six months and longer, and for vehicles, and there's reasons for that we can go into. But there are certain aspects of your your business that are kind of hardcoded in there. Look at the root of that hard...

...code and say, HMM, is that? Is that a good hardcode, or is that? Is that a bad heart code? Like can I change our hard code and actually go look at this rather than have this preconceived notion? Let's go explore it. Let's go explore the ridiculous. Explore the ridiculous. That's great. That's great advice. I like it's see you found good stuff. Last question. What's one bold prediction for the future? We already talked about like Bitcoin and Eve's taking over the world, so maybe you've already tread this ground, but you know, one bold prediction for the future? I think we're going to see a rapid conglomeration of both lending institutions and dealerships within the next ten to fifteen years. You're going to have less mom and POPs and you can have a lot more mid size to large companies. All right, conglomeration and dealers and lenders. Bold prediction. I like it. Answered them all they had. They appreciate the time. This was a really fascinating conversation. I appreciate you're making time to have it with us. Is My pleasure. Hey, have a great day you too. By now, upstart partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan port folios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does too. Up Starts AI landing platform uses sophisticated machine learning models to more accurately identify risk and approve more applicants than traditional credit models. With fraud rates near zero, upstarts all digital experience reduces manual processing for banks and offers a simple and convenient experience for consumers. Whether you're looking to grow and enhance your existing personal and auto lending programs or you're just getting started, upstart can help. Upstart offers an into end solution that can help you find more credit worthy borrowers within your risk profile, with all digital underwriting, onboarding, loan closing and servicing. It's all possible 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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