Compliant and agile. It’s a combination of characteristics that seem incompatible when it comes to transforming digital lending. Chasing after these (nearly) mutually exclusive operational strategies can feel a bit like trying to build a fence that is both imposing and welcoming.
At this year’s FinTech Ideas Festival, Blend’s CEO, Nima Ghamsari, was clear about his approach to development: “As a technologist, I want to find ways to move fast. If we have to sit technology on the shelf for months to figure out a way to make it work, that makes me deeply unhappy.”
It would have been easy to maintain our speed focus, leaving customers to worry about compliance challenges. But at Blend, solving tough challenges like the compliance-agility problem is one of the many reasons we come into work every day.
In digital lending, how we work matters
By addressing the compliance-agility dichotomy, we ensure that we are providing exceptional value for our customers. We move fast, so our product is constantly updated with timely features, services, and value. Simultaneously, we empower our customers to remain compliant in a highly regulated industry.
To arrive at our current — successful — model, Nima had to slightly shift his technologist’s mindset. Rather than focusing on “what we build,” we adopted an ideology of “how we work matters.” The rest is history.
Compliance and speed in concert
In an attempt to marry the valuable processes of tech with the necessary oversight from our compliance team, Blend adopted a three-tier strategy. Together, these three strategic philosophies maximize speed and empower lenders to prioritize compliance.
1. Compliance by leadership
Build a leadership team with experts whose focus is on regulatory compliance
2. Compliance by design
Build a product design process that prioritizes input and oversight from our compliance team
3. Compliance by default
Build on what we’ve learned and operationalize it in our automated QA systems
A digital lending platform that empowers compliance
As it turns out, you can have a fence that is both imposing and welcoming. By focusing on how we work, we have created a culture within Blend that integrates compliance thinking into everything we do.
Our processes empower our customers to be compliant, but still allow our development teams to create at a speed that is defining the future of financial services.
Image courtesy of Bank Policy Institute