Friday, November 14, 2008

Can Surface Save Retail Banking?

Surface is at BAI Retail Delivery Conference in Orlando. I am looking forward to seeing what they have to say.

This morning's press release has me concerned: http://www.itnewsonline.com/showprnstory.php?storyid=21869

"It's cool" isn't a B2B value proposition...especially when there's a big, topical opportunity that will line bankers up around the block:

National-level command and control of home loans.

The loan decision process is a muddled mess. 20% of initial loan applications contain a significant error. The approval of many of these bad loans, combined with over-leveraged national banks has caused of our current credit crisis.

Essentially, the generals failed to keep the soldiers in check. Credit ratings and income statements be damned. Home loans are based on some local loan committee's gut about inaccurate applications.

Hard boiled, quantitative validation is a fantasy because the people selling and approving these loans are compensated on volume, rather than quality...an institutionalized scheme that is unlikely to change.

The current system works well for the local sales team. It fails the bank and it leaves consumers frustrated by consistent human failure and lack of honest feedback.

Surface is the first interactive system I have seen that has potential to intuitively streamline the loan application process and increase order accuracy.

Inputting loan applications on Surface will enable the NATIONAL standardization of the loan validation process. Subtle, interactive techniques (like progressive disclosure, contextual prompting and cross referencing) can automate vetting.

This will:
1. Increase the accuracy and truthfulness of applications.
2. Provide a better, transparent metrics-based decision process.

Consumers get a better experience. Sales teams make better loans. National decision makers gain necessary control over local processes and improve the quality of debt packages by decreasing the unknown unknowns.

That's a value proposition banks can get behind.

If this tickles your fancy, email me for our white paper "Consumer Lending and Microsoft Surface"

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