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10 Bold Predictions from the Leaders in Lending

At the end of every episode of the Leaders in Lending podcast, the host Jeff Keltner asks his guests to share their bold prediction for the future of consumer lending. We’ve compiled some of this year’s top predictions below.

Breaking Down Industry Silos
“I think we can break down industry silos in the consumer lending space. If you think about it, you’re not underwriting a product. What if we thought more about underwriting a person? Therefore, you have so much ability to borrow. Do you want it fixed or evolving, card access or don’t you, do you want to secure it or don’t you. But underwrite the person? We talk about that a lot in the industry. We’d say, we get a mortgage, of course you can have a credit card. But we don’t have an easy mechanism to do that for the client, and I think that we can make it simpler and easier if we tried to think about it from underwriting the person instead of the product."
Cathy Myers Circle-1
Cathy Myers
Executive Vice President
First Financial Bank
The Future is Data
“The bold prediction is that the use of data in a positive way will greatly take friction out of the whole consumer experience. To the extent it can be adopted broadly, it will open up choices, and it will open up the ability for the consumer to give more time, make better decisions, and to really understand what they’re doing and how it affects them in their financial lives. Remember The Graduate, ‘the future is plastics’? The future is data."
Jim Deitch
Founder & CEO
Teraverde Management Advisors
Embedded Finance is the Key to Success
“I truly believe that embedded finance is going to be a huge share of the entire pie when it comes to consumer lending. Really, there’s two main areas: embedded finance and embedded fintech. Embedded finance is the integration of banking services into non-banking websites and applications. I believe that embedded fintech is going to be the main area where banks can really compete. I would urge a lot of bankers to listen to this podcast and really explore embedded finance and make sure that you are making those strategic partnerships to set yourself up for success in the future as consumer preferences continue to change."
Matt Gallman HS-1
Matt Gallman
VP, Enterprise Risk Officer
Drummond Community Bank
Significant Disruption is Coming
"I think that banking in particular is very ripe for some significant disruption. When the people that are in charge are getting close to retiring, and the next generation gets an opportunity to lead, we are going to experience some significant disruption. I think it will cause a lot of changes for products/services and even the way that banks are structured. COVID really helped accelerate that, but I think that in ten years, we will see some shifts from the banks that are currently holding a lot of the power. Some of them might be even stronger, but I’m pretty sure a lot of them that are in really strong positions are no longer going to be in those same positions.”
Gary Fan Headshot
Gary Fan
Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer
Gateway Community Bank
Customers Will Rule
“I think customers will rule. I mean that. We see that in so many--every case. I would challenge someone to show me a case where we’ve advanced and the customer isn’t driving more and more of their own destination. It just tells us that the more we empower our customers, and we’re really focused on empowering them, the more they will self direct, and that can be really frightening for some companies if you don’t see that. The future is about empowerment.”
Nate Longfellow
Nate Longfellow
Head of Digital, Product Strategy and Change Delivery
Home Lending at Wells Fargo
Banking with Drones
“I am interested in the overall introduction of drones into banking. I was talking to a banker who shared how drones will be used more widely for both commercial and residential appraisals. I haven't been in a ton of meetings at the ABA in the past 5 and a half years around drone use, but I think that’s gonna pick up."
Rob Nichols Headshot
Rob Nichols
President & CEO
American Bankers Association
Banks and Credit Unions are Here Long Term
"Credit Unions will continue to do really well. I think they'll do extremely well, in the lending space. I think a lot of the fintechs that are creeping into the space won't be here in five years. And then we'll be the credit unions and the banks that will still be here. And that's the reason that partnerships within fintechs are so incredibly important. I bet you 98% of them are gone. 2% of them remain. But banks and credit unions will always be here."
Dan Berger-1
Dan Berger
President & CEO
Rapid Conglomeration
"I think we're going to see a rapid conglomeration of both lending institutions and dealerships within the next 10 to 15 years. You're going to have less mom and pops. And you're going to have a lot more midsize to large companies."
Anthony Capizzano (1)
Anthony Capizzano
SVP - Direct Consumer Lending
Axos Bank
Credit Scoring is Dead
"I think credit scoring is dead. In terms of consumer lending, specifically, I think five to 10 years from now, we'll have half the credit unions and banks in the country that will still be in business."
Nathanael Tarwasokono
Nathanael Tarwasokono
President & CEO
Firstmark Credit Union
AI Powered Lending
“I think the future of all lending will be AI powered and that it is coming within the next decade. The institutions that figure how to leverage that technology through partnerships or directly are going to win in the marketplace.”
Jeff Keltner Headshot
Jeff Keltner
SVP of Business Development
Leaders in Lending Podcast

Upstart launched the Leaders in Lending podcast in 2021. The podcast looks at AI lending in the consumer credit and lending space and the impact of digital transformation on consumers and institutions. This is a show for lending professionals who want to grow their consumer lending programs and improve their consumer experiences. This is why we bring on leaders in the lending industry to share their insights, interesting perspectives, and provide some actionable ideas for other leaders in the industry to take advantage of.