So far in this “Full Transparency | On End-to-End” series the defi Executive Leadership Team has provided their perspectives on three topics:
- Why now is defi SOLUTIONS talking end-to-end, when previously we talked about singular products?
- What problems do we think end-to-end allows us to solve?
- What success(es) have you had with similar products in the past?
In this next article, our Executive Leadership Team tackles:
Where do you see defi capabilities for end-to-end evolving for the future?
Participants are CEO Tom Allanson, Chief Strategy Officer Charles Sutherland, and these (in alphabetic order):
- Jason Barrett, Chief Client Success Officer
- Steve Bissett, VP, Client Services, BPO
- David Call, Chief Financial Officer
- Matthew Lehman, CLO/CHRO
- Dave Murray, Chief Product Officer
- Drew Newman, CIO/CTO
- Susie Storey, Chief Sales Officer
Tom (CEO): I’m a problem solver. When I was young, I used to take things apart to try to figure out, how they actually work. People would try to tell me how, and I was, like, “Yeah, yeah, I hear that.” But I actually wanted to touch, look, see, understand. If I could understand all of the intricate details, I could fill in the blanks and understand the big picture. I learned a lot and eventually went into engineering. And, now I have an opportunity to tackle complex problems at defi.
As for defi evolution: Let’s take it apart. First, we need to get really good at what we do today and make sure that we’re knocking that out of the park — that we’re delivering against what we said we’d deliver, that we understand the journey, that we’re visionary about solving those problems. Then we can move to the next step.
What we provide is a platform that allows the business to occur. So, if we look at just originations, I think there’s somewhere around 130 products and services from around 60 partners or providers that offer value-added services in the journey from the beginning to the end of the originations experience. We provide some of those. We don’t provide all. We do provide integrations to a bunch of them. We need to choose what we want to be good at. Stop solving for all of these one-off things that address other problems. Focus very narrowly. Blend originations platforms. Integrate with the right people. Expand our offering as we go forward and deliver that delightful, profound experience in the things we do.
Once our clients have originated, we need to make it easier for them to service a loan or lease, make sure the information flows, integrate to the back-end, and then start defining the future.
Jason (Client Success): I see us having this modular approach to the product development that offers innovation and lets a lender evolve as their business evolves, as the need in the market evolves. We can quickly take what we’ve already built, and then build something very small, very agile, very nimble, plug it in, and then maximize the value so a customer can do something completely new with very little effort.
We need to create — and we’re working on the creation of — a standard out-of-the-box solution that we can say for a fact is going to take “x number of people, x amount of time with x set of resources on x schedule with x tasks to final delivery.” It shouldn’t matter what the line of business is…if you’re an auto dealer, a window dealer, in linoleum or compost. Originations are originations. Servicing is servicing. The whole point being, once we have our standardized out-of-the-box solution and know how to implement it and support it, then we think about how we advance it in cadence with the market, or one step ahead of the market, to solve the business problems of tomorrow.
Steve (Client Services, BPO): Our BPO today is focused on specific tasks that a lender would typically do once the lease or loan is originated … through termination. There are, however, a number of tasks that lenders do before the lease or loan is originated, especially in the direct lending model. Given our positioning in originations, if we ever wanted to expand our BPO to focus on activities during the originations process, or even before the originations process, the expertise we have in the originations business could help us get that up and running faster. This would be useful in the case of direct lending where lenders are marketing to customers, and they’re fielding prospective calls from customers.
Also, our clients — servicing clients especially — are coming to us looking to reshape their offerings to their customers, especially as they relate to connected cars, autonomy and subscription models. As the industry evolves, we will have to evolve our technology. This will give us insight that enables us to also evolve our BPO to make sure that our product stays relevant, but also gives us the opportunity to focus on different market segments that we’re not in today.
David (Finance): I think we can become the dominant player in the automotive fintech space. We are better positioned than any of our competitors. We have a lot of momentum right now with some of the bigger wins we’ve had. I do see now as a critical time for the company to tap into and harvest some of the momentum. People are taking notice and asking “What’s going on over at defi? Maybe we should be looking at them.” Now is a critical time in our journey to being more than an originations provider, more than servicing, more than BPO, and having a full end-to-end solution that, either used in its entirety or chosen by product, interacts very seamlessly.
Matt (Legal): The immediate thing that comes to mind is the go-to-market strategy. The discussion that we will have with our clients up front will be much different than it is today. I think an end-to-end solution allows us to get our foot in the door a little more readily with a client. Maybe it’s from the originations track or from our servicing software or maybe it’s starting with our outsourcing services. We’ll get the client on board. They’ll see us execute and deliver, and that will, hopefully, lead to more easily adding additional opportunities or add-on capabilities that we are continuing to develop.
Dave (Product): Our clients are looking to us to be thought leaders — specialists in lending software — because they aren’t. They expect us to take the lead and to evolve our system to match their needs. Right now, we act as order takers. The client comes to us with a solution and says, “We want this feature.” We need to change the conversation. We should say, “That’s interesting, but tell me exactly what problem you’re solving?” And after they give us the problem, we ruminate on it. In some cases, they may bring us a great solution and we build it. In other cases, we may say, “Hey, we’ve thought about this problem that you have. The best practice is (fill in the blank) and we’ve come up with some interesting solutions.” So we become proactive in how the product evolves, as opposed to reactive. If there’s any one big thing from the clients’ perspective by this end-to-end push — this end-to-end digging — it’s that.
Drew (CIO/CTO): As I said earlier, from a technology standpoint, thinking from an end-to-end perspective will force us to build in a more componentized and modular form. We’ve got the market leading capabilities today. Those systems were built over a number of years and technology has progressed to the point where we can take advantage of newer capabilities and technologies. The result will be such that when a client or the market bring us requests, or we are bringing additional capabilities to our clients or the market, we can deliver those much faster. With products that are envisioned and built with end-to-end in mind, we can test to ensure the quality from an end-to-end perspective is there. We will stop duplicating internal effort, build a capability once, and share across components or functions.
Susie (Sales): It all comes back to our client’s customer, the consumer, and focusing on systems that streamline and improve the lending experience for the consumer. We will continue focusing on what’s next, what our clients need today, and what they need for the future. We will continue to consider what they need in order to serve their full lending lifecycle and how might that lifecycle be different for other types of lending. There’s a lot of area for growth. Many other auxiliary products could easily bolt on to ours, or other products we either buy or develop on our own. We’re looking for the best method of completing a suite of products that works best to serve our customer. There is a lot of work to do.
Charles (Strategy): I see our end-to-end capabilities evolving in two ways. One is continuing to improve the front-end, the borrower experience, the B2B2C component (C being consumer in this case). We collect all of that market information — from either a new auto buyer entering the market, or someone who’s renewing, or replenishing a vehicle they already have, or returning to market — all the information, all the experience, all the risk modeling and everything we understand about them, particularly an existing borrower. I think we’ll get better over time at the intelligence, and the credit decisions that happen for borrowers at the beginning of a new auto financing process.
And at the same time, I think over time, we’ll get better at the back-end and the valuing of the asset or the vehicle. I can see us getting to a point where we understand how that vehicle’s being used, so we don’t just follow an actuarial model for residual values and depreciation of the vehicle. I see the back-end (the understanding of what happens to a vehicle) feeding into the front-end and vice versa. And when we’re able to do that, our lenders will win, because they will ultimately make better, more profitable, more risk-managed decisions than will their competitors who aren’t able to see that end-to-end vision.
defi SOLUTIONS offers lenders an end-to-end, total solution for the loan or lease lifecycle. Partnering with captives, banks, credit unions, and finance companies, defi’s market-leading solution helps lenders exceed borrower expectations. From digital engagement through the complete lending process, defi sets new standards for flexibility, configurability, and scalability in originations and servicing (by your experts or ours). If you’re curious about the possibilities of a complete end-to-end solution for your unique lending lifecycle, take the first step. Contact our team today or register for a demo.