Analytics Banking Interviews

Global Fintech Interview with JB Orecchia, President and CEO of SavvyMoney

Global Fintech Interview with JB Orecchia, President and CEO of SavvyMoney

Hi JB, welcome to our Fintech interview Series. Please tell us about your fintech journey so far.

I have had the pleasure of working in the financial service space for 35 years and the fintech space for 24 years. My background in lending really influenced me to create new products in the credit score and report space. As part of the early senior team at, later acquired by Experian, we were the pioneers in displaying credit reports and scores instantly over the internet and making them easy to understand. At SavvyMoney, we took this to the next level by not only creating a credit score product that was accessible through digital banking, insightful in terms of how to manage your credit, but also personalized in terms of how a consumer could save money with their institution. At the same time, while providing financial institutions with an excellent product for their customers, we also built out an advanced analytic platform to provide valuable insights and actionable marketing tools to better service their customers. Today, SavvyMoney has over 1100 financial institutions and is integrated with over 40 different digital platforms.

How challenging is it to combine real time data with digital personalization tools? Could you explain to our readers with an example?

In the financial services industry, it’s crucial for banks and credit unions to combine real time data with digital personalization tools, such as loan application UX and real time credit scores, in order to deliver individualized experiences to their customers and compete in today’s market. It can be a challenge because it requires a robust data infrastructure and advanced analytic capabilities. Financial institutions should invest in cutting-edge tech solutions to build this strong data infrastructure. Once they’ve invested, the challenge becomes using that data properly, understanding it and protecting it. FIs should have appropriate security measures in place to protect consumers’ data and and comply with regulatory requirements as well.

Combining real time data with digital personalization tools will produce different results from customer to customer. For instance, an FI using SavvyMoney can use data to analyze a customer’s credit score. If a customer has a higher credit score, they’ll see personalized messaging based on the types of loans that would be a good fit for them. If their credit score is low, they would see educational content on how to raise their score. Intent data can also be used in the instance of re-targeting. For example, if a user is engaging with a loan product, but has not applied for a loan, FIs can use the data to target their efforts to another consumer.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Greg Oslan, CEO at Arturo

Could you explain a bit about “loan application UX” and “real time credit scores”?

Loan application UX refers to a user’s overall experience with a loan application. A frictionless UX is vital in streamlining the loan process and saving the user time to apply.  Finances and loans can be anxiety-inducing for many consumers as well as time consuming, so ensuring the process is both user-friendly and efficient is key to making the experience a pleasant one. Since SavvyMoney has most of the data to complete a loan application, its streamlined application process only requires the user to fill in the incremental information, increase application rates 50%+.

A real-time credit score provides an instant credit assessment based on a consumer’s financial data. This enables lenders to make quicker, more informed lending decisions. A positive loan application UX and real-time credit scores are both essential in smart banking solutions as they optimize the loan process for the consumer and lender.

Smart banking solutions are at their peak. What next revolution are you forecasting which might pose a threat to this domain?

An area that may continue to pose a threat to smart banking solutions in the coming years is the evolving consumer preferences/behaviors.

While many banks and credit unions have adapted to the changing expectations that come with digital transformation, consumer preferences and behaviors, along with market dynamics, continue to make it challenging for smart banking solutions to meet evolving customer expectations. Banks and credit unions need to continually adapt to technological advancements, changing societal norms and increasing demand for convenience. Staying on top of these ever-changing factors may require significant investments in services, products and people.

How is technology playing its role for actionable insights into score improvement, loan engagement, and competitor analysis?

Technology has completely revolutionized the way financial institutions analyze data, provide personalized insights and make data-driven decisions for score improvement, loan engagement and competitor analysis. By leveraging advanced analytics, real-time data monitoring, automation and digitization, financial institutions can provide actionable credit score data and financial wellness tips to borrowers, streamline loan processes and stay competitive in today’s dynamic financial landscape.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Peter Barcak, CEO and Co-Founder at credolab

How is AI contributing towards the Digital space and in other relatable industries that you plan to dive into?

As in many other industries, AI has unlocked new growth potential in the fintech space. While there are still a lot of unknowns around the role AI will play in FIs, it will no doubt continue to drive digital transformation and enhance the overall customer experience. In addition, it will play a huge role in what products to offer and when, as well as what, is the best messaging. It will allow for creativity to drive the most engagement and adoption. I’m looking forward to seeing how AI will advance and help financial institutions better serve their consumers over the next few years.

What predictions do you have for the credit solutions domain for 2030?

By 2030, I see three areas that will drastically improve over the next seven years.

There will be advancements in score models and credit-building type products. These advancements will include scoring more consumers that don’t currently have one and better assessing the risk of current consumers with a score. This can be possible by incorporating data and payment behavior into new score models like credit builders, utilities, rent, transaction data and cash flow.

Other improvements include “always on” pre-qualification for any loan product you would like to use at any time and flexibility regarding terms of loans and types of loans.

Lastly, over the next few years, buy-now-pay-later (BNP) will need to become more transparent due to its impact on debt payment ratios.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Brian Duncan, President at me&u

Before we wrap up, a few biggest learnings and tips you’d like to share with fintech innovators and leaders.

Here are some key learnings and my biggest tips for fintech innovators and leaders:

  1. Spend time to truly understand what problems you are solving at the consumer and financial institution levels.
  2. Continue to conduct research with customers and end consumers to get feedback continually
  3. Beta test, learn, and always have a process to prioritize your projects.

By keeping these learnings and tips in mind, fintech innovators and leaders can navigate the dynamic fintech landscape and continue to drive successful and impactful innovations.

Thank you, JB! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

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JB Orecchia is the President and CEO of SavvyMoney. Since 2011, JB and his team have built SavvyMoney into an industry-leading credit and lending tool that today integrates with 40 digital banking platforms and supports over 1,000 financial institutions with their goal of providing financial education and personalized lending.

JB has more than 34 years of experience in consumer finance, fintech and interactive media.He started his finance career in 1988 with 10 years in various senior roles at Household International in lending and marketing. In 1998, he saw an opportunity to make credit reports accessible over the internet and joined the original senior team at Consumer Direct. As EVP of Partnership Marketing, he led the team responsible for business development and online marketing of the first direct-to consumer credit report and score product for 10 years. To expand on his digital marketing experience post-Experian and pre-SavvyMoney, JB had the opportunity to be Vice President of Marketing for Disney Online, where he directed online marketing, CRM, research and analytics initiatives.

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SavvyMoney is a credit score solution for every online and mobile banking platform, helping people understand or improve their score.

We partner with more than 1,100 financial institutions to provide free credit scores, reports and daily monitoring to educate and empower users. Through our engaging platform people are able to understand their credit score, review concrete ideas for improving it, and better their financial health. Partners leverage our analytics platform to implement smarter marketing efforts, and help save people money. We focus on building solid relationships with clients and partners, backed by a culture of teamwork.

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