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EXPERT INSIGHT. TRUSTED PERSPECTIVE. FORWARD THINKING.

Increase Your FI’s Loan Originations Through Merchant Lending

Merchant lending is a simple way to increase loan volumes, create great working relationships with local businesses and help your community. We are all faced with unexpected and unavoidable expenses and financing options can be a life saver. According to Forbes, your average annual home maintenance is about 1%-4% of the purchase price, depending on the age of your home, plus unexpected expenses (Forbes). This is the prefect area to implement merchant lending at your bank or credit union, help your community live better lives when they need it the most. Today, I’d like to discuss just that, an unexpected home maintenance emergency that was saved by merchant lending through a local credit union.
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3 BI Trends Your Financial Institution Should Know About

on Thu, Oct 03,2019 @ 05:00 PM | By Yelena Kolesnik | reporting
Keeping up with trends can be difficult, time consuming, and in most cases, expensive. Think back to your teenage years when you wouldn’t be caught dead without the correct designer logo on the back pocket of your acid washed jeans, hairstyle to match Rachel or Farrah, sheep-wool lined boots from Australia, or baggy harem warm up pants that made you “too legit to quit”. Two weeks later, they were already passed up because everyone else had them or some superstar was sporting a different article of clothing. Plus, you are reminded every time you open a search engine of what is trending that day. No matter what industry you’re in, it seems like everyone is talking about Business intelligence (BI). Well, in the world of business intelligence, trends can truly be worth buying into as they can really make a difference in the success of your financial institution in the short and long term.  Today, we’ll examine three trends in BI that your financial institution should know about and try to implement.
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Digital Lending: 3 Tips to Help FI’s Combat Application Abandonment

on Thu, Sep 26,2019 @ 08:53 AM | By Yelena Kolesnik |
Having a strong digital strategy is paramount to all financial institutions. There are multiple studies that have shown that well over 60% of consumers use their mobile phones and devices for banking.  As consumers embrace digital, they also require it to be easy to use. The term ‘frictionless experience’ gets bantered around a lot these days because if it takes more effort to do a task online than what the user feels it is worth, the A-word occurs, abandonment. Duh-duh-duh-dum (ominous music plays in background as word is read).
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Custom Scorecards – What are they? And Why Should Your FI Use Them?

There is a big difference between wearing a suit off-the rack or having one tailored to your specific shape and body type. Do the shoulders fit perfectly?  Are the sleeves the right length?  Do the lapels lay perfectly flat when the jacket is buttoned? Do the pants or skirt fit in the waist, and if so, are they too long or too short?  If your priority is only to have a wearable outfit in your closet regardless of its fit, the answers to those questions may not mean a lot to you. However, if your goal is to look ‘damn good’, impress your friends and colleagues, and really stand out from the crowd in all that gray flannel or pin-striped worsted wool, having those alterations done to perfection is probably very high on your list.   The question of fit can also be applied to the scorecards that your financial institution uses in your loan decision process. Just like suits, not one scorecard fits all.  Generic or bureau models may get the job done but a custom scorecard allows for a higher level of auto-decisioning, more analytics-based underwriting rules and more profitable loans all while keeping your institution within its risk appetites.
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Does Your FI’s Loan Origination System Need a System Administrator?

Several months ago, I started receiving appointment reminders for various spa services that I did not schedule. I have been at this spa previously but was certain I hadn’t booked anything in the near or distant future. The first two reminders I politely called to notify them of their mistake. I felt the messages I left were clear and concise with enough information provided to correct the error. However, when the third reminder came two days later, I became more than slightly annoyed. This time I made sure my conversation was now with a live receptionist and was much more direct and to the point. I requested that all my contact information be removed from their database. I didn’t hang up until she confirmed that it complete.  And, to be quite honest, I could have used a good neck and head massage afterward to relieve the tension the ordeal had caused me.   Automations are great and create a lot of efficiencies, but they need to be managed. Your automated processes require consistent review and auditing to regulate and keep them current. Loan origination systems are excellent examples of just this fact. They are mission critical to successful loan programs with a plethora of automated features, functionality, options, and third-party integrations and data mappings, and testing that need to be regularly maintained. Welcome to the world of the System Administrator.
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Business Intelligence Misconceptions Within the Financial Institution

on Wed, Aug 28,2019 @ 04:59 PM | By Yelena Kolesnik | business process management
Last September I took a trip to Tanzania, cue The Lion King soundtrack, I did go on a safari. We did a two-day safari through the Tarangire National Park and around the Ngorongoro Crater. Based on what I had read, pictures I had seen, and television shows I had watched, my perception was that these parks would be crawling with wild animals or at least they would be clustered around watering holes. In reality, it took a lot of driving through the park to view small groups of animals sporadically. While still an amazing experience, it turned out to be so different than I imagined. Unfortunately, the only area that was really crawling with animals (mostly monkeys) was the picnic area which resulted in half of my lunch being hauled away by a small monkey. When experiencing something completely new that you have studied and prepared for the first time, there will almost always be some ’perception versus reality’ issues. Just like the African wild was to me, business intelligence (BI) can be new frontier for most financial institutions. In order to better understanding BI and create the right expectations, there are two common misconceptions that need to be cleared up.
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Key Components that Every LOS Should Have

on Wed, Aug 21,2019 @ 03:14 PM | By Yelena Kolesnik | Loan Origination Software loan origination system
I like to assume that I’m a decent cook, maybe not THE FOOD NETWORK worthy, but good enough to where I present something that looks and tastes good most of the time. I do need to work on my epicurean consistency. My usual downfall is not having one or two of the recipe’s necessary ingredients. I then assume that I can make a pantry item substitute (like baking soda for baking powder) or, feeling lucky, omitting the item all together (like Parmesan cheese in lasagna). Unfortunately, more times than not, the experiment doesn’t end well, and I’m left with a C+ dish. It’s edible, but it could be so much better. With every cooking experience I am learning what ingredients are mandatory to include and what should never be substituted. Although, a loan origination system (LOS) is no home-cooked lasagna, there are features and functionality that will make or break the product. Let’s review four important items that you should be in your LOS pantry.
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Digital-First Approach to the Consumer Experience, Does Your Financial Institution Measure Up?

As a millennial, I’ve spent a big portion of adult life with technology that allows me to do, surprisingly, a lot from the comfort of my couch, with my iPhone in hand. It’s fascinating to see how many staple processes in our culture have been completely flipped upside down as a result of technological advances.
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Important Items to Note When Investing in a New Loan Origination System

Several years ago, I was unexpectedly faced with the decision of buying a car. Not at all ready, I aimlessly read articles and bombarded everyone I knew with questions about their cars. And just like an internet review, the feedback was either overwhelmingly positive or negative. Through this process, I did receive one piece of great advice. Simply put, there is no perfect machine out there and not all features and factors are of equal value to everyone. It is important to identify your key needs and important features before you start the shopping and test-driving phase.
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Compliance Corner: 4 Essential Elements of Any Loan Origination System

For all of its advancements over the past decade, social media is still the Wild West in terms of trying to police behavior. The days of anonymous posters spouting off and trolling others are far from over, but that doesn’t mean that efforts to moderate content are not making serious strides. In fact, Forbes published an article over the weekend suggesting compliance scoring as a way to automate moderation. It’s a very interesting idea and worth a read if you haven’t caught wind of how big data and AI can be used to gamify social media to reward positive interactions and behavior and punish negative or destructive behavior. As a result compliance to sites’ policies and guidelines would be much more transparent than it is today. As technology continues to evolve, doors are opened that can lead to more sophisticated compliance measures. This is also true in the lending industry as loan origination systems incorporate more automation, reporting and other functionality to help financial institutions comply with regulatory standards.
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