How to Balance People and Technology to Provide an Exceptional User Experience With Jeff Keltner of Upstart



Jeff Keltner

Episode Summary

Digital transformation isn’t a project – it’s a never-ending pursuit. What’s more, digital transformation is cultural as much as it is technological. There are no easy answers and there are no shortcuts.

In this episode of Digital Banking Podcast, Jeff Keltner, the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Upstart, joined host Josh DeTar to discuss the impact of digital transformation on the growth of community FIs. He also explained why failures are as critical as successes and how achieving a balance between people and technology is the key to providing an exceptional user experience.

Key Insights

Digital transformation is never-ending. Industries are going through significant operational and cultural shifts. The finance space is no different. However, as Keltner explained, digital transformation is the ongoing process of innovation. “If you think the goal is digital, you can ‘check the box’ without really doing the work to get the advantages. And I think, increasingly, one of the things digital will do to FIs (and every business) is increase your level of competition. You used to compete with the FIs who had branches near your customers, you’re now competing with FIs all across the country who have a digital presence, and they’re all in the app store.”

⚡ Every failure is a lesson. Failure can be as valuable as – if not more valuable than —  success. Bad moves and poor business decisions, when approached properly, can help improve your business and bring in fresh perspectives that enable you to do things differently in the future. “I don’t like the phrase ‘fail fast, fail often, fail quick’ — whatever it is — because as long as you’re learning, you’re not failing. Hey, maybe this is a product that nobody wants. That’s learning. Maybe we need to tweak it these three ways, and then it will be what we need. That’s better learning. That’s a success. Even if we don’t meet our business objectives, we’ve met the core objective of moving the business forward and learning.”

⚡ People plus technology equal success. Even though automation can clearly enhance the accountholder experience, consumers still want to talk with a person when a problem occurs. Digital success means finding the ideal balance between high tech and high touch, That in turn means that finding the right partner is a matter of both technology and culture. “It’s really hard to do well, but the opportunity is there. And so, if you can find the right partners or build the right models, there’s a tremendous opportunity to increase that. When you look at what’s possible in the digital world, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of signals coming at you, all of which tell you a little something. And the magic is in combining them all to understand the whole picture.”

Guest At A Glance

Jeff Keltner
Senior VP of Business Development


Find Jeff On:

Keltner is also a podcast host. Guests on his Leaders in Lending podcast are consumer lending executives and fintech leaders. They discuss the future of lending, digital transformation, and how new technologies like AI are changing the finance industry.

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