Leaders in Lending
Leaders in Lending

Episode 53 · 7 months ago

Maintaining the Value Chain through Front- and Back-Office Operations

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The key to navigating the changing tides of customer preference and the digital transformation of the industry lies in understanding your value chain.

Understanding that makes finding the right partner easier, a third party who may be able to add value where it is needed along the chain.

Alex Balagour, EVP & Chief Information Officer at Citizens & Northern Bank, recommends that bankers not lose sight of that value chain because that knowledge can help you make bold choices that will propel your business forward.

Alex talks about the value chain and shares his thoughts on digital technology, customer experience, and the future of banking. 

We discuss:

  • Offering fewer, more flexible banking products
  • Obstacles preventing a truly frictionless digital experience
  • Areas to invest in digital technology
  • The tremendous value of in-person customer interaction

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.

There is a value chain and not losing sight of that in banking is pretty important. I think if you lose sight of it, you turn into an also ran, as opposed to someone who's not afraid of Fintax and able to Pardner for them with the right part of the value chain. You're listening to leaders and lending from upstart a podcast dedicated to helping consumer lenders grow their programs and improve their product offerings. Each week here, decision makers in the finance industry offer insights into the future of the lending industry, Best Practices around digital transformation. In more let's get into the show. Welcome to leaders in lending. I'm your host, Jeff Keltner. This week's episode features my conversation with the CIO of Citizen Northern Bank, Alex Bealgore. Alex has a really interesting journey into the financial services space. We've kind of go through the shifting mix of products and maybe products that we need to be offering consumers value of offering frictionless experience. How you meld that with the human touch of a branch or a call center and one of the real interesting conversations what is and isn't a Fintag? How are they different than traditional partners? Are fies? I think it's a really interesting conversation for anybody who's really curious about the technology in the future of technology in the banking space. Please enjoy this conversation with Alex Balgore. Alex, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for taking the time to join us today. Thanks, Jeff, glad to be here. So I've started asking all my guests the same first question and I've really enjoyed the answer, so I'm going to stick with it, which is, you know, most of us, when we were kids that grow up dreaming of being bankers or working at a bank. I think so. Tell me a little bit about the path that that brought you to where you are today. Honestly, it's a connection when somebody in Grad School and coming out of Grad School, I went back to the industry where I was at that time and a few years later I got a call from a classmate saying hey, listen, why don't you come work for me? And my response was I know nothing about banking, and he told me more that I will figure it out together, and that was about ten years ago now. So since then I've moved on't to different bank, obviously, and I'm currently in a ceio roll of Cina Bank.

Interesting. So a call from a classmate drags you out of another industry into the banking space. The stories of how people end up in banking are really fascinating to me because they're all they're all different. So I wanted to start this conversation off with, you know, a topic I've talked about with a number of people, but I think for a cio in particular is interesting, which is how do you think about the kind of changing mix or product mix for customers of banks over time? I mean it's it's interesting. We see certain products on the way in, certain products on the rise. I think customer still looking for products and maybe don't exist. How do you see the kind of shifting mix or even holes in the product offering set that you have as an institution? So maybe it's a little bit of a personal bias, but I'm looking for less products and more flexible products. So in the perfect world, you know, I kind of took a quick survey of my personal financial life and I have dozens of financial institutions, multiple dozens of different account types, and I'm kind of wondering why do I need that many, because in the reality is that they all have very specific jobs, that I do it for me and like wouldn't be nice if I had the flexibility, when one account could provide at all, or at least fewer accounts? What would want to count to rule? I feel like I'm in Lord of the Rings. Want want to count to rule them all. But what would such a thing look like? What do you mean by that? Well, as I go through my day, I need to spend money, I need to save money, I need to borrow money. What if I could have an account where, you know, on the good months it's positive and I'm accumulating montonet account and I buy a house, it goes negative, I get paid, my debt is getting reduced, I go to the grocery store and getting getting increased. It's maybe it's little bit of a Nirvana State, but certainly fewer accounts is probably the way to go with Greate, a flexibility without, you know, very detail, underwriting for a miniscule lines of credit by now, pay later every store right, just more contelliation for simpler, simpler management. It is so interesting when you don't think about incremental changes to the state...

...of the world, but kind of go hey first principles, thinking like what if someone actually need and you are right that it's it's pretty straightforward. I told you the store earlier, but I'd love to get your reaction to it here, which is like I feel like so much of we're so far from that state. And so I actually called one of the financial institutions I worked with. It just kind of want of them to keep a little bit of money of my savings account, you know, for buffer, like a little bit much checking, a little buffer my savings, and just flow the rest into into my investment accounts and like, you know, could you just do that? And their response was to offer me a quarterly conference call, which didn't feel like like an impressive thing. So it feels like there's a lot of room between where we're at today in terms of ease of either using multiple products or kind of combining the capabilities of multiple into one experience for the consumer, and that kind of Nirvana state that you mentioned. Feels like a lot of room for even steps along that journey, if you will, you know, and it did. That's a very good points. When I kind of think about my role, is the head of technology. One of the jobs that I have is to make corporate world, corporate technology, business technology, more consumer alike, so that you know, things are in the office or more like the facebook on your phone. Right, nobody ever gave you a facebook training manual, right. So why should you know? Somebody Deposit Operations, a credit department have a training manual how to use their technology? But perhaps there's the opposite that's in play as well, that some of the commercial banking services that are available, like sweep accounts, why aren't they accessible to consumers? Because that's exactly what you just described. Would it'd be nice if you can have a sweep account for your personal life. Put Them Up. Having a massive bank in relationship. I would like to have a sweep account for my personal life, but I've yet to find someone off from such thing. If we set one up, can we earn Your Business? I love it. Selling on the PODCAST. That's that one up well of a conversation. I love that. So how do you think about you know, one of the other things I hear a lot about in the technology worlds this kind of the shift to digital and the desire to get I've made the point quite a bit on this podcast in other places, about the difference between just getting...

...digital and getting to something like a friction less experience right to you know, I feel like there's digitize the old way of doing things and then there's build a digital way to do the thing that consumer needs to get done. I'm curious what you think about in terms of the capacity to build not just digital versions of the current experience, but but better experience, is less frictionless or less friction full, more friction less experiences in a digital context. I think we still have a way to go. So they're clearly a lot of companies that, you know, took us forward, but I see couple obstacles. Maybe one around identity. We spend so much time verifying who you are in the digital world as opposed to actually getting you into whatever banking products you know you were looking for. That's a bit of a wish of mind, and there was some sort of central identity provider that's universally accessible. You know, we all have the at least the United States, we all have social security numbers. Not really a far stretch from using that as a universal log and yet it does not exist and in the network effect is lagging so if there was ever some type of blockchain based universal identity finer, that would certainly take a ton of friction out of this on winning experience. Yeah, it has passing. How much of the is tied to identity verification and getting that right? How do the blockchains an interesting way to approach that? How do you think about that as a solution? That's maybe we got. If we got some entrepreneurs or some entrepreneurial bankers listening to the podcast. Here's a business idea for you. But what do you mean by like doing something on the blockchain regarding, you know, identity management? Let me think through that a little bit. It just they the, I guess, the whole concept of private public keys and they blocks themselves that are not changeable over time and the ability to have a little bit more verification of what's in that blockchain is opposed to like a regular database. So they're actually couple startups there are doing identity prom provisioning all the blockchain. They just lack the network effect, like there's just not enough volume of people with their identities on that blockchain. So then we'll...

...take a little bit of time to build up. It's one of the classic I think two sided marketplace kind of problems, right, where a consumers not going to come and put their information to such a blockchain claim their identity, so to speak, unless there's a set of services that they can access an unlocked for doing so. And the flip side, the service provider doesn't particularly want to integratedto such a blockchain or such a blockchain or not any kind of solution like this, unless there's enough consumers are to make it. You know, the what's my sales guy's favorites phrase is the juice worth the squeeze. Right, you gotta gotta have enough, enough people there so that you can actually expand your the number of people using that frictionless experience. I don't know. That's a difficult catch twenty two kind of problem to solve, so I don't quite know how that happens. I do not know either. I'm optimistic, though, that people smarter than a U and I trying to figure it out. Do you think people want that? I mean there's this question of like do we value privacy? How Much Do we value privacy? Am I willing to have kind of a unique identifier? Do I want to split my identity up and not of one kind of thing that connects me all over the place. What's your sense of where the consumers privacy preferences or, you know, what the what the privacy kind of implications is? Something like that would be that. That's an interesting question because personally I tend to guard my data as much as I can, but I kind of marketing instructor in Grad School who was the complete opposite. His promise was, I want to tell everybody as much as I can. A buy my preferences so they can market and sell to me better. That's going to make my life easier. So I think there is a spectrum of individuals out there and it actually I think you pointed out that it's a matter of expressed preference versus communicated preference. Right, so when somebody that asks like Hey, I'll give you two percent off for your social security number, all of a sudden people will volunteer that information. Yeah, people tend to state that privacy is very important to them when surveyed by journalists or whatever, but then when it comes time and facebook asks you for something, some piece of information, somebody asks you your mother's maide name to set up an account, it turns out that we're we're pretty willing to...

...part with relatively sensitive information for relatively low value, which tends to maybe there's a lack of understanding of the real cost of that exchange on the back on the part of the consumer, but certainly the revealed preference for consumers would seem to be closer to the value that you're marketing professor had in terms of I'm willing to give up quite a bit for the value added service capabilities that I can receive in exchange. And maybe we're, maybe we're two dismissive of the value of what those things are, because people seem to, at least at a practical level, be willing to make the trade pretty ready. So what's your perspective on Fintech as an industry? We were trying about this earlier. I thought it was a really interesting discussion. Your Your Tech Guy and a Finn Company to use the standard terminology. What's your take on Fintac and where it's place in the ecosystem is? Now? I'm kind of curious to know how many of the Fintech founders know where the first computer that went into commercial operation was placed. Wasn't Google? Bank of America, not Google so the first commercial computer in operation was a bank of America. So by definition, banking industry with a genel allergic, going electronic is kind of like the grandfather one ball of intax right then. And frankly, this day and age, what company is not a Tech Company? So the entire Fintech as the label doesn't quite make sense to me. It fits into the category of, you know, we drive on a parkways and we park on a driveways. I don't quite understand that, but it's really just a round. It's a different way of outsourcing. Right. So a bank, I think it would be pretty smart to partner with a number of Fintax as the means of outsourcing certain jobs that the bank is not willing or capable of doing themselves and with as an industry. We've been doing this for decades, right, as long as the industry been in operation. Yeah, I'm curious why. I totally agree and I get this very interesting. Make two good points, I think. One the kind of fintext viewing themselves as somehow totally different than what's gone before. We're in vality. You know, there have been, you know,...

...many tech forward financial institutions for a while and maybe there's a difference in degree, but maybe not as much a difference in kind is as many like to believe. The other to me is this interesting point that there have been technology partners to financial institutions as long as there has been technology, you know, even to I would say that the original Fintex were probably the big core providers, and banks are very comfortable not building that software in almost every institution I know is acquired a variety of software solutions to help them outsource parts of their business. And yet there seems to be a different reaction to the current wave of Fintax in terms of banks comfort and partnering with them to outsource or leverage for certain capabilities. I'm curious why you think that is. It feels to me very different than what we've seen in the past, where there's a lot of utilization of third party service providers. It's don't call them Finn Tax Right, and now there's as kind of like Fintech as the enemy versus as the partner perspective. On the behalf of many bankers. It feels, you know, to your point, like haven't we seen this movie before, and why does this one feel different than than what we've been doing for the last, you know, thirty, forty years. You know, just getting my opinion, which may be, you know, different from others, but it's probably because the current in current wave of outsourcing, the technology of partners are smarter in claiming their share of the revenue. Small I think they're just better position and negotiation or saying, you know, where the ones bringing you customers or our part of value chain is more valuable. And you know, at the end of the day, the Bank cannot outsource everything right to actually you to do something to collect the you know, economic for their service. What do you think of that? Like when you when you think of is your institution or your vision kind of over the next year's at's CNN see and and I don't want to like, I say, senns different, different institution. What is that core for you? What is it the thing that you feel like hey, this is the thing we have to do to add value, that that separates us, differentiates us and gives us our part of the value chain versus where that context is that I can go and find a partner outsource however you want to think about that. You know, our story may not sound...

...very different from a good community bank, but certainly relationship and knowing our customers is a big part of it. I am now with a bank that's a hundred sixty five years old, like no, not many businesses can claim that type of heritage and that that I find personally very fascinating. But at the same time, how do you not lose sight of you know, two thousand and twenty two, that the definition of community is shifting. You know, for example, my my significant other, is spending more time on the ridgeback facebook or groups then with our neighbor's next door right. So is the definition of community shift? How does the Community Bank adapt to that to maintain the relation and relationships that we so value in the digital sense? So that's our challenge right now and that's we're trying to solve. I'm curious to throw it back to kind of the first the first topic we had, which is how much do you see the innovation the institution needs to do being on the technology used to provide the the service or product versus on the product or service itself? And we've kind of started off with this kind of like why can't I have one account to rule them all, or at least some seamless integration of different kinds of accounts, as that, as a consumer, I kind of want to have the my pot of money, and to me that feels like that's innovation on the actual financial offering that you're making, is an institution, versus on the technology that's used to originate, deliver service that product. And I'm curious if you if you have any constructor framework in your mind for where you think about innovation on the actual offerings and how we make them simpler, more streamline, more valuable for the customer, be the commercial or consumer, versus on the kind of technio. I think so much of what we think about as a technology used to deliver the product being innovative or different, versus the actual products and offerings being, you know, something that are shifting themselves over time. Yeah, I think it's both, and I would also add maybe regulatory framework right and that, you know, the regulations have done a lot to kind of keep consumer safe and keep the institutions and the entire network...

...of financial system safe, but at the same time they introduced artificial constraints which makes it harder to innovate on the product side. So you know, and not not until too long ago that limit of six withdrawals from a savings account per month. Right, I'm sure there is a reason for that. It's fifty years ago, right. What is the reason for that today? Ye, I'd always so, what's the differences your checking acount and savings account? I thought it's like how many times I can withdraw from the account. In today's consumer preference. It makes no difference trade. I would love to have one account that pays decent interest rate and I can write checks from it. Will make my life easier. Yeah, I actually had one guy. Not to totally distract, but you kind of said, you know, you can run a positive balance on a credit card, so why don't you just combine the credit card and the depository account and just like put your paycheck and run a positive balance flow it down when you're you know, like which to your point is I think he was kind of pointing towards the same idea of now it's one pot of money and sometimes it goes positive, and maybe he wasn't talking about earning interest on that, but it's sometimes it goes negative when you spend more than you have, but it's like a singular account that is going to flex at least on the on the natural spending one way or the other for you very easily said. I think it's really interesting to think about. Are there ways our regulators going to help us find ways to kind of simplify the product mix and capabilities, because that's that's a really interesting area of innovation that I think is sometimes left on the table when we get down to like user experience, mobile first and we're really talking about the delivery technology vehicle for a product, when some of the interesting innovation opportunities really on the product itself, on what we're delivering and how we're delivering it and how, however, providing value that customer. But then no, I definitely see there's a lot of technology application opportunities right when we are early in the cycle. Would probably have another decade before it comes to like truly nirvana state. Yeah, I agree. Do you have predictions about what the next or advice on areas? To a vest I feel like there's that Gardner hype cycle curve and I feel like you know, digital banking technology as a about to enter the trough of...

...disillusionment, which is actually, according to the guard high cycle, where a lot of the value is actually created this kind of like the overhype. Then there's a like tough work of actually building all the stuff that adds a real value over time and it feels like hey, nothing happened, and then, you know, that's when a lot of the actual value is created in the work is done. And I feel like we're going to be down that period of like, you know, we got to go do it and it's not trivial, right. So I'm curious your your advice on areas of investment or key projects or priorities in terms of that application of digital technology which, as you say, we're long ways away from taking that to the Nirvana state. Just on the application of technology for delivery, where do you see the the kind of low hanging fruit of the the things that are most valuable to be investing in now? I guess there are a couple areas. The first one that just jumps to mind is just the efficiency of the back office operation processes. Just so many community banks out there still that have a lot of people manually do things in the back office and frankly, that maybe they're constraint to growth. Right, like if you can solve those challenges you can grow easier. Without having to find it. We all know, we all hear the you know, master resignation in town is hard to find right. So that's not just tech talent, you know. It applies to inteller in a branch. So having the processes that are more optimized so you can grow without having to hire ten people. You can hire me, but just to and still grow the same pace. That that's one. It's only data and analytics like you can ignore that. There's just so much to master and it's another area of that outsourcing. Right, that contect partnership or creative outsourcing of what you do, because you know that requires a certain compute, processing and scale that many community banks cannot afford on our own. And I think I'll be silly to not mentioned customer experience. So if if your banking APP is still from the ad well, I don't know if they were working apps in the S, but if your banking APP is from k time frame rates and you know, phones like that just not going to cut it. Sooner or later you're...

...not going to get new customers. People do switch because they can take the pain of interacting with your organization. I got to say I love that answer and I love that the first two part of your three parts, because you give us three things are not the consumer experience, and not that the consumer experience isn't important, but I think it's kind of I describe the Derangement Syndrome, and so can value the kind of shiny object and I feel like the customer experience is the Shiny object for a lot of digital transformations versus the back office operation simplification, which, by the way, can also mean reduction of friction for the consumer. If I'm automating ID verification, I'm making my consumer experience better, not by focusing on the consumer experience but by focusing on the back office, the integration and I think that date and analytics layer is so critical to real success. And yet there I worry those are areas that get underinvested in because they're not as you know, they're not as shiny right, they're not as bright and new and and obvious. It's harder to take into the board room. Where I can look at the new, great new mobile APP, it's easy to take that into the board room and like, look at my new data analytics platform. It's so much faster and I got five data sources integrated for much better. Like it's not as easy a story to tell, but it may be more valuable over time as the infrastructure you have to get right. So I love that you start with those answers and get to see. I'm not trying to downplay the value of customer experience either, but I do think if you don't lay the groundwork for the things that can make a big difference in the business, than then that's not going to be sufficient. To just focus on the customer experience and the digitization effort. It seems like a lot of the customer experience when you hear about technology companies focus in customer experience. A lot of it is about all boarding a customer as opposed to servicing a customer. And in the banking back office that's where the customer experience breaks down. Right the first time you have to call a why do you have to call right? But the first time you have to call and it takes a long time to resolve your issue, that's a negative forepputation hit right. So that's as much part of the customer experience as getting the customer into the bank. So how do you think about the value of customer...

...interactions and the digital world. Like the human interactions is what I'm talking about, and be they, you know, in person, I think branch oriented or call center or chat or or whatever like. How do you think about you know what that means, the value of that and the way you support that in a digital context moving forth? I think it's really interesting question of like are we all going to move to where it's it's just the phone and I just I interact with just an APP, or is there a place for that human element, and even that in an element as we build out the digital future? It's kind of hard to take in person enough to last two years. We had certainly more personal like these, but I think it really depends on the customer preference and what situation they're in. You know, they want to just check the balance. It's on their phone. Nobody's going to want to call and talk to somebody about their balance. But as the kind of like the risk profile of their need or the criticality of their need goes up, sooner or later they want to either chat with someone or get an answer real time. That's impossible to get on your phone or frankly talk to someone and say hey, listen, I'm about to do this complicated thing. Can you walk me through their process and those things? You know, they may never be all on your phone, depending on what that situation is, and there's a lot of value to that and you know, frankly, as the consumers or customers get into a critical situation, that's where we can shine. My wife has been to a branch once in the last ten years when her purse was stolen. Right like she wanted that immediate gratification of talking to a person and having somebody tell her that she's going to be okay and nothing is going to happen to her account. You can't get from now. You know, I live outside of Philly. I was run Walnut Street in Philadelphia, which is, you know, I guess, many years ago before the pandemic, kind of like this walking restaurant place. So I found a debit card and I pick up the debit card and I'm a banker, write something like cooking. Well, this is not good. I try to call that institution so that they can tell their customer that their debit card is safe, maybe reissue the car before the customer even call them. I couldn't do it.

It was wanted to Fintech, dimit cards and the only way can be communicate with them st their APP. I would have to install the APP, have an account and chat or do something like that. I couldn't call them to inform that I found it debit card the ground. And this is just you know, this is an example taken to the extreme right, and maybe you know. One Way I think about it is that tech companies love their tech banks love their customers. Right, like there's a slight default. Think how you see the world. That's a great phrase. Bank company, that companies, all their tech bank companies of their customers. I think it's so true and one of the refrains I hear that I think is fascinating, as like, if you deploy technology right, you make it easier to talk to somebody when it's needed. Because, to your point, like people stop calling in to ask about their balance in simple stuff because they don't want to talk to something. They're going to take the easy path that you give it to them. And the way to deploy that capacity is often to make it when you do need to talk to somebody, it should be equally fast and easy, right. It should be like hey, I actually need to talk to somebody out I should be like a quick answerer, not a fifteen step Ivr and a twenty minute on hold the way to whatever like. We can make it easy to talk to a human when it's necessary. I think there's your point. Tremendous value. Those moments are very valuable to the consumer and if you can meet them and meet their needs in that moment, I think they really do remember that. Any other thoughts on the roll of the branch? We talked about this a little bit, but I'm curious, like, do you see that going away from more virtual human, you know, human touch in a more phone video conference? Where me? We're here. I'm not in Philadelphia, obviously, so we're not talking facetoface. I haven't done a pot we were talking about doing a podcast episode in person. I actually don't how to do that, like I don't how do we set up the microphones. I've never done a podcast in the same room with the person, which I'm sure is doable, but we've never done it. What do you think about the role of the physical branch and that kind of in person human interaction versus, the more you know, technology mediated human interaction? Kind of wondering if a branch could be a good location for a podcast, right, bring two people together. We should try and dry. I really I was like, I really want to do this, but I don't who which camera do we use? We have two microphones are one. I don't know what to...

...do in the in person setting. It's kind of strange. Yeah, when I when I, you know, hear about banks that have like thousands of branches, that kind of like puzzles my mind a little bit, but at the same time it's hard for me to see a world where there are no bank branches that they're certainly going to change how they look and act. Again, nobody's going to come to a branch to, you know, check their balance, right, but which I think they may have done in the past, right, and that took before my time. But I do think maybe as a community center, and I'm not talking about you know coffee shops model where you know you can get a lot to a with your check and account but you know, could that be a shared working space? Could that be venue to bring people together when they need to? I think we need a lot more creativity with kind of yilize that real estate without Ata saying we're going to get ready of what we don't need it. It's certainly a great billboard space, but there's more to it that smarter banks are figuring out. I think it'll be a fascinating thing to watch evolved, because I agree with they I don't think it's going away, but it's not even now. Not only what I'm not going to a ranch to check my balance, but when I do something like an ATM depose and they're like, would you like us to print your balance on the bottom, like no, I don't need to to prep my like you know, I've got that on my phone. Whenever I want, I can see my balance very easily. So you know, the needs are changing and I think it'll be interesting to see how we shift with them. All right, as we're coming to near the end of our time, so I'm going to I've get the same three questions that I ask everybody at the end of the podcast, is like the one I ask over the front. So let me let me throw those at you now. Number one is what's the best piece of career advice you've ever gotten? It was really kind of like no, use strength and weaknesses and play to your strength. Then don't try to overcompensate and spend too much time energy on your weaknesses, find somebody who can round you out and you just keep flown forward when you get at that's fascinating advice. I do. So often we hear about being well rounded and focus on your weaknesses, and I I think it's great advice, like focus on your strengths, what are you going to be really awesome at, and and find ways to compensate for your weaknesses, versus trying to shore up the area as well. You're never be best and not focusing on really becoming best in class the things that you're really good at's a fascinating maybe...

...countertuitive to the most common sets of advice that I hear, for at least some of my two kids and things. What's the best advice you've ever gotten about the banking industrybute law, you you were brought into this through a phone call from a friend ten years ago. What's the best lesson learned you've gotten about the industry real large? You know, really was kind of like don't forget your experience from other industries, right, because other industries tend to look at the value chain and break it up and and banking is similar. There's no inventory right, there's no supply chain management, so to speak, but yet there is a value chain and not losing sight of that in banking is pretty important. I think if you lose sight of it, you turn into an also ran as opposed to someone who's not afraid of vintext and able to partner, for them with the right part of the value chain. Understanding your value chain certainly critical to running any business I've ever seen and where you're adding value and where you can find partners who who are veter at providing value in certain portions. Great Advice. And the last last question. What's one bold prediction for the future? I'll stick to banking future. All right, all right, I guess I'll go with you know, in the I think the importance of phyco score is going to continue to diminish every time. Maybe not the most popular opinion, but there's so much data about who we are and PHYCO score only takes actually been into account unless that score itself gets greatly rewound. It's a fascinating topic, I think. While many people would would not disagree with you, I think the credit policies and most institutions would would indicate to you to tew. There's IT. The that is still a pretty intrenched in a relatively bold prediction about the reality, because I think the sense of that's possible versus the reality that we've substantially moved beyond credit score and valuation of credit are are very different things. That's probably an interesting time to watch those two things converge on One side of the other. So I like that will. Certainly we had upstart agree with that prediction. So I am not going to disagree with you on on our prediction that credit score has become less central the credit to determinations over time. Well, Alex, I appreciate your making the time. Thanks so much again for join us. I really enjoyed the conversation. Think, Jeff, this was a lot of fun. Thanks for...

...having me. Upstart partners with banks and credit unions to help grow their consumer loan portfolios and deliver a modern, all digital lending experience. As the average consumer becomes more digitally savvy, it only makes sense that their bank does to upstarts. 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 learning 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 Ford 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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