GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Keren Moynihan, CEO at Boss Insights
Innovations when it comes to lending technology have been evolving at a rapid pace and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has fast tracked new developments in this segment. In this interview, Keren Moynihan, CEO at Boss Insights talks about the future of lending tech and finance tech while sharing a little bit about her journey.
Can you tell us a little about yourself Keren?
I’m a second time founder focused on transforming financial services from a transactional-based system to one that’s based on true partnership. I’ve spent the past 12 years working in financial services and tech, inspired by solving complex problems and infusing efficiency into antiquated processes. Each business is run by people, people with families and lives. What’s exciting about working at Boss Insights is that if the job is done correctly, not only are lenders empowered to support their business clients, the businesses will be viewed on their merit in addition to their personal credit. The economy will grow in a responsible and data-driven way.
This is a time of change. There are a lot of things we can be doing better at. The future excites me because we can be the change we want to see in the world. My next step is to grow Boss Insights from a startup to a scaleup company playing in the global marketplace and connecting with as many people as possible along the way.
How did the idea of Boss Insights come about?
Boss Insights is a Tech meets Fin story. One founder, Luke Moynihan, was scaling Amazon’s internal processes while another was working as a commercial lender. He noticed how impactful it was to access real time insights and thought to democratize the access for all businesses. The fin founder, myself, having worked with hundreds of businesses wondered why the process was so painstakingly manual. With that, and a build of over 800 APIs, Boss Insights was born.
Today, 72% of SMB loans and 40% of commercial loans are declined. Of the businesses that receive loans, only half of their needs are actually met. The lenders want to give you the money, so this process should be easier for everyone. But unfortunately, the yardstick for loans is financial statements, credit scores and personal guarantees, which means lenders judge the future of businesses by looking at the past. Looking in the rearview mirror or looking to personal credit has nothing to do with the potential of a business. There are many players on the scene automating small portions like accounting software, for example. They then state that they have the issue solved and have provided 360° insights on the business. As a second time founder and prior lender who dealt with hundreds of businesses, I challenge these claims. Neither I nor any of the commercial businesses I represented were captured by a document that displays financial information. There’s a giant knowledge gap. What about the management team, operations, sales, analytics? Understanding a business is the first step in being able to serve them.
Boss Insights’ platform digitizes lending to grow relationships between banks and their business clients. Thanks to Amazon style advancement from big tech, there is a growing divide between lenders’ service and businesses’ expectations. Banks excel in regulation but operate with limited information on their business clients (out of date and gathered manually). Boss Insights’ API hub empowers lenders to bridge the divide. APIs are the most efficient way to digitize existing processes enabling accelerated service and a complete view in real time. The platform is used to accelerate SBA, SMB and Commercial Lending from months to minutes. It also supports cross-selling products empowering banks and credit unions to proactively serve customers.
Given the challenges and new demands in finance / fintech and especially the lending segment due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, how has your platform evolved to focus more on end user lending needs?
During COVID, out of necessity, lenders were willing to invest in digitization of the PPP forgiveness process. Boss Insights’ platform provided instant forgiveness calculation in 3 steps and showed that digitization in lending is easily achievable. Banks who digitize gain up to 30% increase in revenue and 10x product adoption per business client. That’s the power of an API hub, the backbone of Boss Insights’ platform. At the same time, customer expectations are increasing due to big tech. 61% of businesses want to share their data if it benefits them but only 35% of banks are in the process of digitizing, even now. There is a large divide between lenders’ service levels and customer expectations. We’re in-market working with banks and credit unions who seek to gain an advantage over competitors through digitization and improve the service levels for their business customers.
What are some of the biggest innovations in lending platforms that you feel users are going to need more of, over the next few months as effects of the pandemic still unravel?
A move from reactive to proactive service through an enhanced digital relationship.Businesses are traditionally weak when forecasting cash flow. This puts them at additional risk in the coming months. Banks and credit unions with real-time insight for businesses will be able to proactively support their clients and avoid unnecessary risk.
The API hub solves both of these challenges. By providing a real time view of the customer it empowers the bank and credit union to proactively support them. It also can enable this progress and risk mitigation without an expensive core migration or integration. APIs accelerate business lending from months to minutes and offer scalable cross-selling of products. It increases revenue up to 30% per business client.
We’d love to know a little about your thoughts on the biggest challenges and changes you foresee in this lending and finance segment in the time to come?
Since 2017, Boss Insights has been promoting digitization and data to support lenders and close the $5 trillion lending gap. With COVID-19, there is an irrefutable need to go digital. It’s no longer a nice to have, it’s a need to have that’s part of business continuity. The question is, what technology will be utilized to bring about digitization? Banks and credit unions have conflicting priorities between adopting the best and most innovative technology and working with existing large vendors. Banks are accustomed to adopting fintech solutions slowly, and vendor processes do not allow for tools to be incorporated in the market time required. The solution for this is to implement a standardized fast track program to adopt fintechs with a standard process for security, legal and onboarding and a dedicated team to shepherd the process along.
When it comes to fintech and innovations in finance platforms: what predictions do you have for the near-future?
The time for digitization is now. Banks, credit unions, and private lenders will continue to explore strategic fintech relationships to meet the challenge before them: providing mass personalization and instant gratification in a highly regulated environment. This will manifest in using big data, AI/ML, API technology and UX/UI to anticipate business needs. There’s also a move towards adopting technology that will benefit banks by bringing in non-interest revenue. As interest rates decrease, lenders will shift from a focus on deposits to ancillary services like cash management and card solutions.
As a parting thought, would you like to share specific finance management or business tips for our readers?
As a banker, I was told to grow my book of business by 10% each year. That was a tall order and this isn’t every year — it’s 2020. We need to demand more from our financial services industry. Banks and credit unions are working around the clock, in part because of the manual nature of things. Instead of giving financial statements, ask to provide an API connection to your accounting software. Borrowers and lenders will benefit by seeing an immediate response to a loan request that includes your score and approval. Most lenders are tasked with digitizing all business practices now, and business owners can be of help — if there’s a manual task that you’re not happy with, let your financial institution know so they can support you by fixing it. We are all in the financial services industry together. It’s up to all of us to ensure that the economy has longevity.
By aggregating real-time data on companies, Boss Insights portfolio management tool raises the bar on the quality and depth of information available within the start-up ecosystem
Keren Moynihan is the CEO of Boss Insights, a data platform that digitizes lending to grow business relationships. It empowers lenders to increase personalized sales opportunities and accelerate business lending from months to minutes. With a Joint JD/MBA and awarded a Top 25 Executive Leader in Lending, Keren has a diverse background as a commercial banker, wealth manager, and former founder of an impact startup. She’s a regular speaker and mentor on AI, Big Data, lending, and entrepreneurship having been featured in Forbes, The American Bankers Association, and Yahoo Finance. By creating collaborative approaches to democratizing capital, Keren envisions bridging the need-gap in the lending industry and powering the economic engine of the future: small, medium, and commercial businesses.