GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Scott Cornell, CEO at SilverCloud Inc
A renewed focus on streamlining overall customer experience, as well as being able to use API’s and connectors to be able to facilitate ease of use for customers to conduct their financial transactions has been paramount for SilverCloud during this ongoing global crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Catch this complete interview where Scott Cornell, CEO at SilverCloud shares some thoughts:
Can you tell us a little about yourself Scott? We’d love to know a little about SilverCloud and how it is solving core operational and other issues for financial institutions/banks and credit unions.
I am the CEO of SilverCloud, our platform works exclusively with banks and credits to help them deliver better support. Whether that is automated support in their digital channels via chatbot and other interfaces, or enabling their employees to easily find, follow and manage their complex policies and procedures. We help these financial institutions with some of the most fundamental challenges they are having right now, during this ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Ask yourself these questions and you will see what SilverCloud does – we are right in the mix of all of this!
- How do you make your customers happier?
- How do you help your customers?
- How do you reach those customers that are remote?
- How do you help those customers, the first-time users on to mobile applications?
- How do you facilitate all of that?
- How do you facilitate those remote employees and constantly changing policies and procedures?
- How do you help them when they are overloaded in their call centers and staff, and getting them the information that they needed to be able to do their jobs effectively?
What are some of the biggest product platform adjustments that have been made given this ongoing pandemic?
We’ve been doubling down on connectivity with other systems. Truly streamlining the customer experience, as well as being able to use API’s and connectors to be able to facilitate either handoff to other systems, this has been paramount. What is important is just making it as easy as possible for customers to conduct their financial transactions.
How do you see emerging tech play a key role in how newer fintech innovations are built/developed, especially banking and finance management apps?
At SilverCloud we talk about conversational banking which combines three core technologies: Artificial Intelligence (AI), APIs and other interfaces.
API’s must be able to connect multiple systems together and messaging interfaces, specifically text-based interfaces (like chat and messaging) with which customers are working. Voice interfaces will also come on strong, but right now, we are referring to text. And then linking systems and processes together with API’s and AI. If you complete those three things, combining AI, open API’s, and messaging interfaces, you can almost totally automate the entire customer experience. That is conversational banking. At SilverCloud – that is one of our primary focuses.
Addressing end user challenges like finding the right information at the right time when it comes to finance products and features is a common concern for newer fintech startups, because, with the innovative features in new technologies – it is also crucial for end users to stay updated or understand what new tech can do for them: how would you advise this segment as a whole to fix this or address this lag better?
That is really what SilverCloud does. We help and support customers and employees as they are engaging with the bank or credit union’s technologies, looking for products or services. We help them find those products and technologies, use those products and technologies while finding the information that they need quickly, but also in a way that is intuitive as well as easy to understand and follow. When our technology is embedded in those technologies, whether it is account opening, a loan application, call center software, or a website or mobile app, it just becomes a seamless part of those environments, to support the users (customers or employees).
How according to you will the impact/growth and demand for finance apps/ fintech platforms evolve in future, given the current world situation?
Given this current situation (that no one could have truly expected), it is going to really accelerate, and there is going to be more demand. There already is more demand for all things digital and all things mobile. The expectations are going to continue to get higher and higher, and financial institutions must keep pace. Also, these technologies need to be working more closely together. We are going to see more automation (across all lines of business), and a lot of process streamlining, from systems and interfaces. That will just continue to see exponential growth for the unforeseeable future.
There will be a rise in personal finance management apps say some experts, what are your thoughts?
Personally, I am not a personal finance management app guy, but I do know quite a bit about apps and how they should work. My belief is that it is not going to be more personal finance management apps but instead it will be personal finance management as-a-service.
You are going to have one streamlined interface that a user is going to use. It might be a voice interface, or it could be a text messaging interface. Finance management will be one service in that interface for that consumer. If you want to streamline the journey, you must have a streamlined experience. Consumers do not want to jump from one app for personal finance, then to another to transfer money or to yet another for whatever business they want to conduct. It is just one interface. It might be Alexa. It might be one app. But personal finance will just be a service.
What are some of the top features that newer/upcoming fintech apps or SaaS platforms for finance management will need to have in order to enable better finance management, for businesses and end individual users alike?
Frankly, what is missing today, in all of these applications, is support, service and context. You can do all the transactions, and you can do all this cool analysis. There will be more analysis that can be done and there will be more transactions that can be done, but it will just be additive. The missing link is support, service and context for these transactions. It is the ability to not just provide tools, but to provide context, recommendations and advice just like you would get with an in-person branch interaction.
And what is that support going to look like? Moving forward, there will be some text, video, audio, voice, live human interactions, and you will find that AI will begin to play a prominent role. That is what needs to happen to improve the overall experience to reduce costs at these institutions as well.
Given the current world situation, what would your top tips be to B2B/Global tech (product) companies and in general the remote global workforce to secure their transactions and work as well as prevent fraud when using apps at a time when there is an increased threat and cybersecurity issue playing out due to the pandemic?
Security is not my forte but again – I know it is important in all aspects of any banking or business transaction. The best thing that can be done to increase security and reduce cyber threats is focus on educating your employees as well as your customer base. That should be the number one priority for anyone. There are all these other ancillary technologies that can be used to monitor fraud and all related activities, but education is paramount. That is actually our primary focus for our employees at SilverCloud. We have technology in place to monitor, but our number one focus for cybersecurity is educating our staff and making them aware, ensuring they get the proper training, while also running internal phishing tests. This is where contextual knowledge will really help. So, in those applications where threats can happen, and in those situations and those interfaces, bring it to people’s attention. Educate them.
Tag (mention/write about) the one person in the fintech industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read!
Wade Arnold. He is a pretty funny guy! Not to mention he is just brilliant. He has started several FinTech companies over the years. A true entrepreneur, I would love to hear his thoughts on FinTech today and where it is heading.
Your favorite FinanceTech quote
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs
Would you like to share specific finance or business tips for SaaS Marketing and Sales teams struggling through this uncertain time?
Get back to fundamentals, get back to the basics. Get back to what you do really well, and get bold. Get aggressive, and put a sense of urgency in your conversations about what you do exceptionally well and how it will be beneficial to help your people and your customers.