Credit Unions

Deploying AI For Loan Growth: A Conversation With The Experts

Zest AI team
February 22, 2022

AI-based underwriting is catching fire among credit unions for its ability to produce better, faster loan decisions and boost funding rates. Why is this taking place? And what role does technology play in the business of lending?

Zest recently hosted a live conversation with Jason Buchanan, Chief Credit & Risk Officer of Blue Federal Credit Union, and Don Arkell, Principal & Owner, CU Lending Advice, to get a sense of loan growth trends in a rising rate environment, how AI-based lending works in practice and how it's being used across the industry.

Blue FCU has recently put into production Zest-built models for auto lending, credit cards, and personal loans. The goal? Saying yes to more members and making its lending faster, fairer, and more efficient to compete with fintech startups and big banks.

"We are definitely focused on user experience and competitive processes and instant decisions. But while volume becomes competitive to obtain, it's key that we do not compromise our lending standards," says Jason.

Blue is in the middle of its journey to becoming a fully digital lending organization, and definitely sees the importance of being able to give members instant decisions when they enter information into a web application. That's what consumers have come to expect. "Speed to decision is so important," says Don Arkell. "Credit unions need to shift their mindset so that they ARE digital-first, even if they still have a deep affinity for branch experiences."

Other key takeaways include:

  • How AI-driven lending works
  • How it’s different from traditional lending (and how it isn’t)
  • How to make sure AI lending is compliant with all the rules and regulations
  • How to kick the tires of an AI vendor
  • The impact of AI and automation on industry jobs

Enjoy the conversation, and if you want to talk to someone at Zest, reach out to us here.

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