The Finicity team is honored to receive recognition from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) as a winner of its fifth-annual Residential Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award under the category of Market Outreach Strategies.

As part of MBA’s strategy and promotion of diversity and inclusion, the award recognizes member company initiatives that are specifically designed to increase outreach, marketing or products to attract customers from the industry’s fastest-growing market segments. The award commends the hard work, dedication and creativity of exemplary programs that focus on achieving organizational diversity and inclusion.

 

A Better Credit Review Process

For consumers to better assess and control their financial future and not be left in the dark over their own credit, they need greater transparency into and control over the data being used to determine their creditworthiness. The credit review process has notably left the most financially vulnerable populations at the greatest disadvantage, severely limiting their ability to participate in the credit market. 

The current pandemic has only exacerbated problems with this review process. In a recent study we conducted, 73% of those with a household income under $50,000 said these economic times and financial situations have made it difficult for them to keep up with bills and payments.

 

Open Banking: The Engine Driving Financial Inclusion

The credit-decisioning process needs to change to include more people in the traditional financial system. Finicity’s open banking platform is the engine that drives improvement in the lending process and has introduced several new products and partnerships to further the inclusion of more people in the traditional financial system. 

Leveraging the Finicity open banking platform’s robust data intelligence layer, Finicity Lend provides a new alternative data service, Cash Flow, that analyzes financial account data delivering a broad set of cash flow attributes. This gives lenders more accurate insights into a small business or individual’s creditworthiness. The Cash Flow analytics service digitizes and automates the capture and delivery of data that previously required significant combinations of manual and automated processes to extract and analyze. 

The use of this alternative data is supported by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as referenced in their Interagency Statement.

In addition, Finicity’s open banking platform empowers consumers to control and share their data to improve their financial lives.  And now they can share their utility and phone payment data in order to boost their credit score.  Building on its leadership position with financial institution coverage, Finicity has new payroll data sources from a leading payroll provider to its open banking platform. Providing a direct connection to the payroll provider further enhances Finicity’s open banking platform’s ability to verify consumer-permissioned income and employment — critical to many lending use cases — with real-time, direct-from-the-source data.  

Expanding the types of data used to determine creditworthiness addresses longtime consumer concerns that have resurfaced recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn. According to our recent study, 82% of consumers said they believe the current credit review process and criteria need to change to make it easier for responsible borrowers to prove their creditworthiness and increase access to loans.

Our open banking platform powers these new innovations as well as the vast majority of digital verifications of assets, income and employment through solutions and data offerings. These solutions empower consumers to control and benefit from their data — all at their fingertips — ultimately resulting in better financial outcomes for consumers and lenders.

We thank MBA for this honor and recognition. And to learn more about our solutions, check out our Finicity Lend solutions for credit decisioning on our webpage.  

Finicity Lend Open Banking Credit Decisioning

Today, we at Finicity are  pleased to announce the launch of Finicity Lend™, which brings in several new data services and capabilities to the Finicity open banking platform, creating a more expansive, integrated solution. This solution set enhances the current credit review system while also leveraging the tremendous advantages of open banking and consumer-permissioned financial data to better assess credit worthiness going forward. Fincity Lend’s new data services and capabilities include: Cash Flow, CRA Statements, CRA Transactions, Scoring Attributes, and use of payroll data enhancing our income and employment verifications.

Finicity Lend ensures greater efficiency and accuracy, better risk management, real-time insights, and enhanced credit-decisioning throughout the lending process. Our team wants to capitalize on credit decisioning and lending to drive forward more consumer-centric financial data and services, especially in this new era of open banking.

Cash Flow Analytics Offer More Context

The new Cash Flow service delivers a broad set of cash flow attributes to provide lenders with a more accurate and realistic view of a small-to-medium business (SMB) or individual’s creditworthiness. Utilizing the advanced data intelligence of our open banking platform, this digital service automates and streamlines the capture and delivery of data that otherwise requires significant combinations of manual and automated processes.

CRA Statements and Transactions Data Services Put Power in Consumers’ Hands

Lenders use all sorts of data in decisioning processes. With Finicity Lend, borrowers can easily permission lenders to use their financial data from their accounts  to verify information and garner insights for better decisioning. Finicity Lend delivers this data in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance requirements, ensuring that Finicity’s consumer-permissioned data meets the legal requirements of the FCRA. With intuitive permissioning and FCRA compliance, Finicity Lend offers the most consumer-centric and consumer-friendly approach to using  next gen financial data within the credit-decisioning process.

Payroll Gets a Front Row Seat

To further assess creditworthiness, Finicity has also added Automatic Data Processing (ADP) as the first of many new payroll data sources to our open banking platform. This supplies a connection to the payroll provider that offers direct-from-the-source data. Consumer-permissioned income and employment details are key information for a lender to obtain and the integration of ADP allows for easy, transparent access to this vital data. And it reduces the friction involved in manual verifications.

Digital Transformation Drives Open Banking

The goal of Finicity Lend is to make the credit review process faster, more accurate, and more efficient for lenders who offer all kinds of loans, including mortgage, auto, small business, personal, and others, to provide a more transparent and accurate view of a person’s creditworthiness.

In a recent survey that Finicity conducted, 82% of consumers called for an updated credit-decisioning process, stating they believe the current credit review process and criteria need to change to make it easier for responsible borrowers to prove creditworthiness. A majority of consumers stated that they would be willing to share current income information, payment history for utilities and other services, as well as rent history to give lenders a more accurate view of their financial standing and ability to pay back loans.

The new wave of digital transformation and open banking standards in the US are bringing about much needed change that Finicity is ready to tackle through our open banking platform.

To learn even more about the new Finicity Lend solution set, be sure to check out our virtual booth during LendIt Fintech USA 2020 from Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, or request a demo online.

credit decisioning-financial inclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has and continues to cause job and income loss for millions of Americans, as businesses are forced to close their doors or scale back indefinitely. This loss has led to the inability for many Americans to keep up with bills and payments, and for many, increased financial anxiety.

In our recent survey report, Combating the Emerging COVID Credit Crisis, we found that 55% of Americans have had their jobs or income impacted by the economic downturn. As a result, not only are many struggling to keep up with payments, but nearly all are also concerned about their ability to rebuild their credit or take out a loan after the pandemic. 

This anxiety over financial health post-COVID is especially true for lower income Americans, who we found are being impacted at a higher rate than those with higher incomes, citing higher job losses and greater credit anxiety.

This loss and anxiety presents us with a unique opportunity to usher in long overdue enhancements to the credit process, and our survey found a strong consumer desire to revisit the way credit is granted. This sentiment among Americans is not new, but the pandemic and resulting economic impact has accelerated the urgency of this issue. 

Consumers want a credit review process that provides a fair assessment of their creditworthiness by offering a more complete look at their finances and their ability to repay. 

The pandemic has impacted millions of Americans’ financial health and an overwhelming number of consumers believe that it’s unfair for a person’s credit to be impacted by temporary circumstances or something that’s out of their control… like a global pandemic. 

Another 82% of respondents said the current credit review process and criteria needs to change in order to make it easier for responsible borrowers to improve their creditworthiness, and 64% of respondents said that they don’t believe the current system gives lenders a complete picture of a person’s creditworthiness.

In addition to a more complete credit process, consumers also signaled a growing need for greater control over their financial data, and by extension, over their own financial health. The report found 86% of respondents want more insight and control over the personal financial information that lenders use to determine their creditworthiness when taking out new credit or a loan. 

And consumers are willing to work with financial institutions to achieve this. When asked what types of information they’d be willing to share if it helped them qualify for a loan or get a better interest rate, we found that 66% are willing to share their current income information, 65% will share payment history for their utilities and cell phones, and 54% will share their rental payment history. 

Control over and transparency into financial data becomes even more critical as we look again at lower income Americans, the group hit hardest by the financial loss. Our report found that for households making less than $50,000 per year, only 51% know what financial information lenders are using to determine their creditworthiness. What is especially concerning is this financial literacy appears to increase with income, as 61% of households making over $50,000 said they know what data is being used, and for households making more than $175,000 per year, 68% said they know what financial information lenders are using to determine their creditworthiness.

Increased financial literacy is essential to closing the financial inclusion gap, and it brings further into focus the growing need for transparency and control over financial data. A more complete credit-decisioning process will open the door for more empowered consumers and greater overall financial health for all Americans.

mobile sdk finicity connect fintech

Everyone born after 1965 relies on phones/tablets to connect with their bank more than computers, ATMs, or physical branches. In 2019, 73 percent of all bank contacts were digital and the shift to fintech has sped up.

Given digital banking’s growth, developers must innovate to address the mobile market. As they do, they need to understand their target customers, follow agile development processes, and implement transparent security protocols to protect against fraud.

#1 – Understand your target customers.

In addition to knowing what problem you plan to solve for your target audience, fintech developers should know what they value, what their expectations are, and what user experience is needed. It’s common for various consumer segments to have overlapping results when it comes to what they value. For example, in a 2018 study, all age groups listed “Trust” as the number one attribute that they evaluate when considering a financial institution. However, only Baby Boomers listed “Simplicity” as the second most important attribute of an offering. All other segments landed on “Digital Self-Service” as number two.

Developers who understand who their target audience well will be best positioned to create products/services that not only meet their needs but exceed them.

#2 – Customers expect agility.

Since the Agile Manifesto hit the software development world, early/continuous improvement of customer-facing digital products has become the calling card of top tech companies. After Tim Cook took the helm, Apple increased its IOS update frequency by 51 percent. During the same timeframe, the value of Apple’s stock increased by roughly 240 percent. The combination of these two factors suggests that increased updates, rather than act as a sign of quality decline, are a tool that the company uses to continuously exceed customer expectations.

Fintech developers should have an online suite of tools and associated mobile SDKs that are specifically geared towards the agile development style that customers have come to anticipate.

#3 – Identity theft is on the rise, and customers demand security.

Identity theft is a booming industry, and financial information is particularly sensitive. That’s why three out of four consumers say that security/privacy is the most important factor when choosing a financial services account.

Top mobile SDKs are grounded in industry best practices and help deliver both security and transparency to the end user. Customers should know when their data is being accessed, where it is going, and how it’s being used. Involving customers in the permissioning process with Finicity Connect empowers them to be the gatekeepers of their own data. In turn, they are more likely to trust the financial institutions that they work with.

Consumers entrust their financial services providers with some of their most important data. Developers are well-positioned to deliver great value when they understand their customers’ needs and expectations, leverage agile development processes, and exercise the requisite care to safeguard customer information.

Finicity Connect SDK is now available for Android and iOS to make integrating Connect as easy as possible for developers. Check it out in our developer portal.

vulnerable-americans-credit-covid

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have led to mounting financial uncertainty and anxiety for many Americans. They have lost jobs at staggering rates, and of those who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs, many still saw an impactful reduction in their income. But a closer look at these losses unveils a much more dire situation for American families with the lowest household incomes, who are already financially vulnerable. 

In our recent survey report, Combating the Emerging COVID Credit Crisis, we surveyed 2,000 US consumers about the financial impact of the pandemic. The survey found that 55% of Americans have had their jobs or income impacted by the economic downturn, but when we examine the responses of those with household incomes below $50,000, that number jumps to 62%, showing that the lowest income Americans have taken the hardest hit.

The job and income loss is leading to many of those affected already falling behind, with 64% of all those who have been impacted saying they’re struggling to keep up with bills and payments, but further analysis shows the lowest income Americans are feeling this pain most acutely. The survey found that 73% of those making below $50,000 per year say they’re struggling to keep up, compared to 57% of those with income between $50,000 and $100,000, and only 54% of those with income over $100,000 who said the same. 

To compound the issue, the people who are taking the greatest financial hit from the pandemic and resulting recession also expressed the greatest anxiety about their credit, with 68% saying they’re worried their credit will be negatively impacted, compared to only 52% of those with income over $100,000. 

In addition to the financial impact and credit anxiety, the lowest income Americans also signaled lagging financial literacy. Only 51% of those with a household income under $50,000 said they know what financial information lenders are using to determine their creditworthiness, compared to 61% of those who make between $50,000 to $100,000, and 68% for those who make over $175,000. 

With over half of respondents essentially in the dark about their financial data, showing the greatest concern over their credit health, and struggling under the weight of job and income loss, the time has never been better to examine the changes needed in the credit-decisioning process. Financial inclusion will come when all consumers are empowered with control and visibility into their own financial data, and how it’s used by lenders when they evaluate creditworthiness. For consumers and lenders alike, the COVID pandemic has put enormous urgency on the need to reevaluate how financial data is used in the credit review process.

For this and more on the financial impact of COVID-19, download our new report

Economic-recovery

We’d be hard-pressed to remember an event in our lifetime that has had the kind of global impact we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts grappled with how to combat a virus that sometimes grew exponentially in a day’s time, businesses shuttered their doors, consumers retreated to the safety of their home, employees began to work remotely, and the world closed seemingly overnight. 

And in the ultimate insult to injury, a sharp economic downturn and the reality that millions of Americans lost their jobs and income left us facing yet another crisis. Those millions of Americans out of work or with lower incomes are now struggling to keep current on payments, threatening their credit scores and ushering in a credit crisis.   We haven’t seen the total impact yet.

Finicity recently released a report, Combating the Emerging COVID Credit Crisis, based on a survey of 2,000 US consumers. We examined the financial impact of COVID, how consumers expect their credit to be impacted, and whether they think the current credit review system warrants a fresh look as we stare economic recovery in the face. 

Our survey found that when you look not just at job loss, but at Americans who also saw their incomes impacted by COVID, over half of Americans were left facing a financial hit. We found that 55% of respondents have lost their jobs or had their income impacted because of COVID-19:

  • 29% said they experienced a temporary job loss or income reduction
  • 15% said they experienced permanent job loss or income reduction
  • 11% said they lost commissions, bonuses or other financial resources they were relying on

This financial loss has had immediate impact, as most who experienced job or income loss said they’re struggling to keep up financially as a result, with 64% of those impacted saying it has made it difficult for them to keep up with bills and payments, and 56% of those impacted saying their ability to make credit or loan payments has been affected.

The implications of a credit crisis are tremendous. Businesses will eventually reopen and many people will go back to work as the COVID pandemic eventually subsides. In fact, the survey found that over half (57%) of those impacted say they’re confident they’ll be able to return to work or their previous income level once the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

But while retail purchases and going back to restaurants will bring some economic boost, real economic recovery will be driven by significant purchases like homes, cars and big ticket retail items like appliances. For many consumers, the ability to make these purchases is dependent on their ability to borrow money through loans or credit. 

So what happens when the financial impact of COVID job loss leaves them unable to qualify for the loans or credit needed to make purchases needed for economic recovery?

According to the survey, 62% of those impacted said they had excellent or good credit prior to the COVID-19 crisis, but 61% of those impacted are also concerned their credit will be negatively impacted because of their financial situation. 

And then there’s one of the most telling data points to come from this survey — 95% of those impacted said they’re concerned about their ability to rebuild their credit or take out a loan following this financial situation. Nearly all consumers fear they won’t qualify to make the purchases that they not only need for their lives, but that our economy will rely on as it recovers. 

There has long been a growing discussion among financial institutions that a better, more complete credit review process is needed. There has also been a growing sentiment among consumers that they need and want more control over and visibility into their own data and how it’s used. 

Now, these two needs converge in the middle of a pandemic. This opportunity is our chance to usher in change that will finally give financial institutions the ability to more accurately determine creditworthiness, and give consumers control over their own financial data, and ultimately, their own financial health. 

For this and more on the financial impact of COVID-19, download our new report here: https://www.finicity.com/credit-impact-report/

Credit Crisis

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, the widespread economic fallout and impending job loss were staggering. Almost overnight, millions of Americans faced  income loss that made it difficult or impossible to pay bills, credit cards and loan payments. As the crisis continues, consumer credit scores are likely to drop on a mass scale, making it difficult for millions to secure loans and credit needed to make big ticket purchases (such as homes, cars and appliances) that will ultimately help rebuild economic growth.

To better understand the financial impact of COVID-19, Finicity conducted a survey of 2,000 US consumers in June 2020. The survey aimed to help us understand the scale of their financial loss, how it’s impacting their ability to make critical payments and their overall credit health, and whether they believe changes in the credit review process could help. Our new report, Combating the Emerging COVID Credit Crisis, revealed a growing need for an open banking model within the existing lending process, which can help create greater financial inclusion for economic recovery. 

Job loss and low credit

At the onset of the pandemic in early March, businesses were forced to close their doors and millions found themselves without work. Unemployment hit an historic 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. Our survey found over half (55%) of respondents had either lost their job or had their income impacted due to the pandemic, leaving many behind on bills with no choice but to bridge the gap with credit.  

The loss of work and income led to strained finances and hindered American’s ability to pay critical bills, and as a result, 61% of respondents are concerned their credit will be negatively impacted. Nearly all (95%) those impacted said they are concerned about their ability to rebuild their credit or take out a new loan. 

The most vulnerable hit the hardest

Respondents with annual incomes below $50,000 are being hit the hardest financially. This group sustained more significant job and income losses during the pandemic with lower credit representation than those in higher income brackets — 62% of those with incomes below $50,000 lost their jobs or had their income impacted during the pandemic, compared to 40% of those with a household income over $100,000. 

Compared to wealthier respondents, those making below $50,000 are having increased trouble staying on top of their bills and loan payments. Seventy-three percent of those with a household income under $50,000 said the crisis made it difficult for them to keep up with bills and payments, an abrupt contrast to the 54% of those with a household income over $100,000. 

Additionally, lower-income respondents were more concerned about how the pandemic would impact their credit than their wealthier counterparts. Credit anxiety is staggering in this demographic, with 1 in 4 hesitating to rely on credit during the financial hardship, or not attempting to use it at all, as many assume they will not qualify for loans or credit. Over two-thirds (68%) of respondents with incomes below $50,000 said they’re concerned this financial situation will have a negative impact on their credit moving forward. 

Inclusive lending

The ongoing, large-scale job and income loss leaves many vulnerable in the current lending process, and the COVID pandemic is now accelerating the need for a more complete credit review process, something consumers are now also asking for. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) do not believe the current credit rating system gives lenders a complete picture of a person’s creditworthiness.

An overwhelming 82% believe a new, more comprehensive system needs to be established — one that allows more ways for borrowers to prove their creditworthiness. Many cited an expansive list of financial data they believe best represents them and their creditworthiness. Data such as current income, utility,  cellular phone, and rent payment history were pinpointed as possible considerations.

Open banking joins traditional crediting

The frustrations the respondents shared are not new, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought them to the forefront, revealing how urgent changes need to be made to legacy lending processes. To repair the economy, consumer spending must increase, and large purchases such as cars, homes and appliances will drive the recovery. Damaged credit may continue to deter these purchases. 

With many Americans lacking traditional credit data, lenders are in need of a new way to better understand a potential borrower’s credibility. Similarly, borrowers need better access to their financial data to better understand their creditworthiness. 

The current credit process also leaves lower income borrowers at a steep disadvantage, and a change in this process could lead to better representation and greater equality in the lending market. The solution to the lending market inequality and growing frustration over the existing lending process is the emerging open banking model. This model, in conjunction with traditional credit scores, allows for a more complete credit picture of potential borrowers, giving borrowers more agency over their financial data — paving a way for better financial literacy among individuals and a better economy for all. To download the full report, click here.

One of the most notable trends in consumer empowerment is their ability to access and use their financial data. Like large enterprises, consumers can benefit from their ‘big data’ to improve their lives and achieve their financial goals. Key to this is enabling simple and secure access to and permissioned use of their data.

Today, Finicity continued its market leadership in providing such access by signing a data sharing agreement with TD Bank. As an open banking vanguard, Finicity is bringing to market direct data access connections with many of the largest financial institutions, and in launching these open API connections it is building a consumer-centric, high-quality data access platform.

TD Bank joins a growing list of major financial institutions Finicity is working with to further empower consumers. Just a few of these agreements include:

Chase
Wells Fargo
Capital One

USAA
Fidelity
US Bank

 

Finicity’s open banking platform offers direct connectivity to thousands of North American banks through next-generation API connections to ensure seamless access to consumer-permissioned data. Open banking is providing consumers with the access, control, transparency and security of their financial data needed to power a wide variety of financial experiences, from budgeting to payments to lending and more. Finicity’s open banking platform not only enables fintech innovation but it is meaningfully transforming consumer financial literacy, management and inclusion. 

As new technologies, use cases and data science applications continue to evolve, open APIs will be the standard for banks, fintechs and consumers to get the data they need. Finicity anticipated this need in the industry and helped create the Financial Data Exchange (FDX), which TD Bank is also a founding member. The result is the industry coming together to standardize data sharing with the FDX API. 

We appreciate the partnership with TD Bank and our common vision of enabling experiences that empower individuals, families and businesses to better financial outcomes.

Read more about our agreement here.

Consumer Permissioned Data

Before 2020, companies pushed towards using more and better data in an attempt to be positioned at the apex of innovation. Once COVID-19 hit, putting consumer-permissioned data to use was no longer optional, as traditionally-run organizations were forced to adapt to remote-working conditions overnight and throwing people at a problem couldn’t be done effectively.

As we might assume, many expect the pandemic to “accelerate the pace of their digital transformation.” But, putting data to use at scale throughout different processes will give businesses more than just increased “immunity” to future pandemics. Having real-time data your company can trust enables agility in any business landscape, regardless of the catalyst driving the need for change. 

Here are four important reasons why your business should look to consumer-permissioned data to thrive in today’s COVID-19 world and beyond: 

1. Real-time data mitigates risk to your business.

When transacting with your customers, verifying income and employment information is important. With recent economic uncertainty, combining traditional financial measures of health that look backwards, like credit scores, with real-time transaction data provides an even better view into current financial health. Consumer-permissioned data provides a real-time view into customers’ bank accounts so you’re able to decipher today’s income streams and overall financial wellness. 

Specifically, the amount of risk assessment that can be accomplished through bank transaction data is nothing short of astounding. Organizations can pull balances; create asset reports; identify income streams, payment streams, or other recurring transactions; identify cash flow history and trends; or view KYC account details. In short, transaction data can be used to create a detailed web of credit risk and decisioning insights. This real-time data is essential for mitigating risk as you offer a new service or loan, as well as for ongoing monitoring for financial distress indicators. 

2. Data allows for easier adaptation to demand changes.

Economic uncertainty creates large increases in demand for the financial services industry. Historically, digital lenders, organizations that have introduced automated data flows into their processes, have been able to handle changes in demand volume 50 percent better than non-digital lenders. This means they can process more loans without having increased origination time. Even when times do increase, they do so more slowly than their non-digital counterparts. 

Is your business equipped to service large fluctuations in demand? Call on experts to test your system against the main constraints seen during demand spikes: scalability, flexibility, agility, data sourcing, and meeting customer needs. Defining the breaking points in your process can identify what needs to be digitized, automated, or reimagined with new data, so you’re prepared for future surges in demand.

3. Customer expectations have changed. 

Some businesses may wonder if data is truly the solution, thinking that traditional, in-person transactions will resume to pre-pandemic levels as the virus subsides. This may be a faulty assumption, as customers are becoming increasingly digitally inclined. In fact, in 2019, finance apps saw a registration increase of 71 percent. From there, the beginning of 2020 showed a 35–85 percent increase in financial app-use, largely attributed to COVID-19 and its associated stay-at-home measures. 

Regardless of the driver, it seems customers are expecting a digital experience made possible through them permissioning their data. Financial institutions that can offer the most simple or convenient solutions may absorb the customers of services who cannot. 

4. Now is the time to employ data 

Because of the tremendous business opportunities of data and digitization, many financial institutions are ramping up their capabilities through partnerships with FinTech companies. What does this mean for the industry? Businesses are improving performance by gathering better data, operating under better insights, and making better decisions (with much less risk). 

How is this accomplished? FinTechs like Finicity have already created direct data access connections with major financial institutions. These connections provide required data for third parties to connect to their customer’s bank accounts while also increasing consumers’ control over data sharing. These connections also increase security for all stakeholders. 

These financial institutions lean on the expertise of FinTechs to quickly roll out their offerings while pushing the industry baseline to new heights. 

The year 2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the world, with major forces on the economy. These pressures are driving innovation within the financial services sector, specifically in the area of data usage and digitization. As a result, businesses will likely realize the outcomes of better risk mitigation, quick adaptation to demand changes, more alignment with new customer expectations, and improved data-led performance through partnerships with FinTech companies. Whether it’s a worldwide economic downturn or simply a pivot toward a new business initiative, digitization is key to successfully leading your organization through these—and future—turbulent times.

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Goodbye to My Friend Lila Fakhraie

A career path is marked by many milestones. Great successes, sometimes failures. However, as I look back on my path, the most important aspect is not the milestones, but the people – friends – I’ve been blessed to walk it with. 

Today is a day of sadness and gratitude, as I’ve lost one of those friends in Lila Fakhraie. Lila and I first crossed paths as Finicity looked to engage with her team at Wells Fargo to discuss our solutions and our data connection with them. However, our relationship soon evolved to one where we shared a common vision of bringing the industry together to better address how consumers could be empowered to use their data. Working together, Lila and I helped to found the Financial Data Exchange (FDX), and have spent more than two years as co-chairs of the organization.

While establishing FDX is a great milestone, my partnership and friendship with Lila has made all the difference in the experience. Her insights and commitment kept us moving forward, but it was her quick smile and warm laugh that helped bind us together.

She will be missed. Yet, I will always have positive feelings and a deep sense of gratitude for having the opportunity to know and work with Lila. 

On behalf of the entire Finicity team we express our deepest condolences to the Fakhraie family.

My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Saied Nesbat and her daughters Hannah and Yasmin.