How technology is changing lending
Fundbox: One of the ways that we’re able to do things so quickly is because of our machine learning risk models, removing some human intervention from the process. Do you have any thoughts in general about the ways that machine learning, artificial intelligence, or other technological innovations are going to continue to affect the future of lending?
TM: Yes: smart contracts. I think our industry, in particular, is behind on realizing how close we are to the future of commercial financing. The whole industry landscape is changing. I think, as a broker and as a funding source, whatever you are, if you’re not looking into smart contracts, machine learning, and AI because you think it’s just a sci-fi story, you’re going to be in for a big surprise.
Fundbox: When you say smart contracts, can you explain what that means?
TM: Take any physical equipment contract that you would normally sign or DocuSign, and program that into software that’s dynamic. That’s a smart contract.
TM: Soon, most of the equipment and lending world will get to using smart contracts. The question is, are you going to be ready for it or not? The smart contract is essentially what you have accomplished with your [Fundbox] portal. Machine learning, automating reading the bank statements, and certain credit parameters, whatever your risk model is, and you’re spitting out an assessment.
TM: You’re never going to totally replace the need for people, there’s always that need for personal attention to every client. But the more you can automate the tedious tasks, the more time you can spend with the customer. That’s what’s important, your relationships.
Fundbox: Right. I think most people wouldn’t want to replace the personal attention. We have automated key things in our business, but not everything. For example, our customer support, we think it’s really important to have helpful human beings who are local and available to talk on the phone, and people appreciate that because there are some things that you just need human-to-human communication to get done.
TM: Absolutely. I agree with you 100%. That’s another thing I love about Fundbox: If I have a question or a need, Porter or Antonios is one call away. While they may not answer my call every single time that I call, I’m guaranteed to get a call back that day or the next day and have that human interaction.
Fundbox: That’s really important. As our industry becomes more automated and faster, that we don’t lose that human touch.
TM: That’s why we get paid the big bucks.
Fundbox: Absolutely. Thanks a lot for the kind words and all your insights, Taylor. Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
TM: I appreciate you, thanks for giving me the stage and the opportunity. Lastly, I would like to mention the American Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, the number one association for Commercial Finance professionals to network and provide the tools and resources necessary to grow.
Fundbox: Thanks Taylor. Cheers to the AACFB and cheers to you!