All posts by Joshua Schnoll

Risk & Compliance Improving Small Business Lending: Q&A with Ascentium


Ascentium Capital, an innovative commercial lender, wanted to expand its growing small business portfolio while keeping risk in check. I recently had the chance to speak with Chris Miller, VP of Decision Analytics at Ascentium, on how the company makes quick lending decisions for its small business customers. Please tell me a bit more about Ascentium Capital and what makes you unique? Chris: Ascentium is a commercial lender with a focus on equipment and technology leasing. We’ve grown in five years to have over $1.2 billion in assets and to be the third-largest private-independent finance company. We see ourselves as a small business lender working on making life easier for small business owners. We do that by making access to capital easier using our proprietary finance platform combined with exceptional service. Our basic premise is we can make an application decision in two hours, though it only takes about an... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Analytics & Optimization Fast, Personalized Insurance Decisioning: Q&A with Infosistema


Infosistema, a business and technology consultancy, wanted to build a solution that would help its insurance company clients create a personalized experience for each prospect and customer. Working with FICO, the company now can build flexible and customizable auto insurance pricing and life insurance underwriting decision-making solutions, with advanced simulation capabilities, in eight weeks. I recently had the chance to speak about this with Alexandre Lee, Partner and Board Member at Infosistema. Q: Can you please tell me a bit more about Infosistema? Alexandre: Infosistema is a consultancy focused on insurance and banking. We offer web portals, mobile applications, business process management solutions and service-oriented analytics to help insurance and banking institutions all over the world. Our focus is on staying innovative by investing a lot in research and development for our products. Q: What business challenges were you looking to solve when you teamed up with FICO? Alexandre: As... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement FICO Survey: Are Millennials Embracing Mobile Payments?


Millennials love their smartphones—so much so that in recent research, millennials ranked them as more important than a toothbrush or even deodorant. It is a good thing 90% of millennials have smartphones! Of course, many of our clients want to know more about millennial banking habits. FICO’s latest US consumer research survey found that large numbers of millennials are using their bank’s mobile application regularly. Some 66% use the app several times a week, and 30% use it daily. This is great news for banks because it provides them an amazing opportunity to play a central role in the lives of their customers. I’ll spend some time in a future post talking about using those phones for different types of financial-related communications, but today I wanted to focus on mobile payments. If millennials love and have phones, and trust them to conduct banking transactions, how do they feel about using them... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Streamlining Small Business Loans: Q&A with Harborstone

Harborstone small business cover image

Harborstone Credit Union has managed to increase its small business loan volume by 250%—with no delinquencies—since deployment two years ago. I recently had the chance to talk with Jeff Ivey, Harborstone’s Senior Vice President and Chief Sales and Service Officer, about how the credit union has used the FICO® Small Business Scoring Service℠ (or SBSS℠) solution to streamline its small business loan process, making things better and easier for both Harborstone and its members. Based in Tacoma, Washington, Harborstone Credit Union serves more than 75,000 consumer and small business accounts through its 16 branches. Q: What makes Harborstone different from other credit unions and commercial banks? Jeff: Our customer focus is our prime differentiator. We’re smaller than some competitors, we’re fully member owned, and we make sure that every member gets personal attention and feels like a part of Harborstone, not just an account number on a statement. We also... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Cash or Credit: A Millennial Story


Last year Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. (Pew Research, 2016). Millennials (those born between 1997-1981) now number 75.4 million, just pipping the Boomers at 74.9 million. The Millennial generation came of age during the Great Recession and some studies from Bankrate and others, have shown they are credit averse, and favor debit cards over credit cards. However, new FICO research points to just the opposite. Yes, I’d like a Credit Card. There is no doubt that the Card Act of 2009 reduced the number of credit card carrying adults under the age of 21 which was its intended impact. Indeed, FICO’s research shows that just 64% of Millennials 18-24 have credit cards. However, older Millennials 25-34, now own cards at a higher rate (83%) than Generation X or those 50 and older. So what do Millennials want in a credit card? Millennials are particularly... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Video: Unlocking Deposit Account Profitability

Video - deposit account profitability

Are retail banks overlooking deposit accounts? Many may be missing out on higher profits and improved customer satisfaction because they aren’t taking the right analytic approach to the challenges they face—most notably, a complex regulatory compliance landscape and more competitive market environment. For many institutions, inconsistent fee waiver, or hold policies, are leading to higher customer attrition and missed profits. But with the right analytic tools and approach, these issues can be overcome to make deposit accounts more rewarding. In this video, Bruno Courbage, senior director at FICO, shares five ways that predictive analytics improve the decision-making process to unlock the profitability of your deposit accounts.

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Survey: To Uber or to Own? We Still Want to Buy Cars


“She loves me. She loves me not.” Even adults engage in versions of this classic petal-plucking exercise, particularly when it comes to owning cars. In recent years, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have become global forces. Hourly car rentals are available from companies like Zipcar, and both tech companies and automotive giants are investing in self-driving cars. Is a new generation, Generation Digital – those born surrounded by technology – bringing the end of one of our longest-running love affairs, with driving? Not so fast. While the long term has yet to play out, in the short term, consumers still want to own cars. What the numbers say After years of pent-up demand during the Great Recession and slow recovery, people are starting to buy cars again. Automotive News reports that the average number of new vehicle sales per US dealership rose 4.8% in 2015 to 966 units, the... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement Video: Keeping Auto Lending Return on Equity High


Alternative deal structures are the key to more successful auto lending. In this video, Matt Stanley, analytic segment leader at FICO, discusses how he has been working with auto lenders to close more deals by offering more financing options. The structure delivers flexibility while maintaining high-quality decision making. Alternative deal structures allow for variability in the loan-to-value (LTV) or term, not only keeping the return on assets/equity thresholds in place for the lender, but also helping borrowers get the car they desire.

Leave a comment

Customer Engagement What Does Best-in-Class Credit Originations Look Like?

Woman with Predictive Analytics Formulas

In an earlier blog post, I asked whether your credit originations was good, better or best, citing three common scenarios we see in global customer deployments: Good – All geographies standardized on a single solution, with each country or region customizing its own environment. Better – Following the 80-20 rule, each geography or region uses an environment that’s 80% standardized and 20% customizable to local requirements and practices. Best – Standardized credit application and decisioning across all geographies, with certain variables configurable to address market or regulatory conditions specific to each country or region. In this post, I’ll break down exactly what “best” means and share real-world examples of each of these three scenarios. Balancing global management and local flexibility The diagram below illustrates the combination of stability and flexibility that is common in successful originations operations, across industries and around the world. As you can see, the decision structure... [Read More]

Leave a comment

Collections & Recovery Video: Auto Lenders Collect More with Less


When it comes to collecting debt, auto lenders have a finite set of resources that fluctuate constantly – for example, agents are out sick, new accounts are added/removed or new treatment options are available such as text. The key to success is matching the right resources to the right accounts with the right treatments. In this video, Matt Stanley, analytic segment leader at FICO, discusses how auto lenders dramatically improve collections with the use of analytics and optimization technologies.

Leave a comment