In July, we proudly took part in the first ever Digital Humans Day, including taking part in the panel discussion, which was hosted by Daryl Reva, our SVP of Marketing.

One of the experts we were thrilled to share a screen with was David Lykken – 43-year veteran of the financial services industry, owner-operator of three mortgage banking companies, go-to voice for likes of FOX Business News and CNBC, and host of his fantastic podcast, Lykken on Lending.

Hear what David has seen in the booming mortgage industry, what he says is the greatest opportunity for digital humans, and see a bold, 10x opportunity for financial services businesses.

Daryl: So, David, let me switch over to your expertise in the mortgage industry. And obviously, the amount of technology that has come into that space has been extremely rapid over the last several years. But let me get your thought process on artificial intelligence and how that relates into the mortgage business.

David: We’re also starting to see a lot of AI showing up and it’s having a big impact on how we interact. For example, AI can be a good thing, but it’s also interesting AI has had some unintended consequences because we deal with fair-lending issues, so if you take an artificial intelligence, if you run it through a rules-based engine, which we’ve been doing for automated underwriting of mortgage loans or credit decisions for some period of time, what we’re finding is the human element has still needed to be there, whereas AI has actually gotten this and tripped over because it was following a rules-based system. It actually tripped over some regulatory issues. So you use a machine to follow the rules and you violate something.

So we have this disconnect, but we’re using it more and more. And where we’re having the greatest success of artificial intelligence is the interaction, the relationship, answering those questions that are repetitive. And that is something that’s needed – especially in the day and hour where we are right now, where interest rates are at the historical lows, volumes going through any mortgage company, anywhere you’re doing any financing right now are at historical records. And as a result, we have an overworked staff and everyone’s desperate for a solution. So we’re open for it. We’re ready for it. And for financial industry – which is usually a laggard in most of this high-tech world – we’re actually seeing some significant advances.

Daryl: It’s I think it just goes to show that time is one of the most important assets that we that we have today. Right? And so if we can integrate technology into a business process that allows us to be more efficient, increase productivity, those would all be welcoming aspects of where that technology is going to be driving us. 

Obviously the mortgage industry is taking off. I think it’s one of the most successful it’s been in quite some time, which is kind of interesting at this point in time. But how do you see creating competitive advantage in the current situation and climate?

David: Well, there’s two ways primarily that I see, especially when I look at UneeQ. First of all, it’s a consistency of delivery when you’re dealing with the kind of workload volumes that are going on right now and you’re working the ridiculous hours that many mortgage lenders, loan officers are working, your patients get “short”. So when you look at having a digital human that has a consistent response, no matter what time of the day and hour they’re calling. And so the other advantage it has is you can get a consistent experience and here it is 24/7. So if you’re a borrower wanting to get a status on your mortgage loan, you wake up in the middle of night, you can’t get a hold of your loan officer because he’s finally getting a few hours of sleep. Now, you could log into the system and get a consistent response – and it’s an emotional response. I think that’s the part of the UneeQ formula that I’m probably most excited about is it brings an emotional component.

We use the Alexas right now, Alexas of the system right now, for “hey, bring up this file. What’s the status of this loan?” And you get that computer voice. It’s not got the emotional component. What I love most about what UneeQ is bringing out with the digital human is a little bit of humor and mixing that in. It’s going to create a significant advantage for anyone and any industry, but specifically in an overworked financial services industry such as we find ourselves.

“What I love most about what UneeQ is bringing out with the digital human is a little bit of humor and mixing that in. It’s going to create a significant advantage for anyone and any industry, but specifically in an overworked financial services industry such as we find ourselves.” – David Lykken, Digital Humans Day 2020.

Daryl: Crystal ball moments, where do you expect the impact of digital humans to be kind of in our daily lives over the next three to five years?

David: I think the number-one thing is bringing consistency of service and doing it in a consistent, emotional way. As I mentioned earlier, what we’re finding right now in the mortgage industry – and anyone in finance, financial services generally – is it’s difficult to hire people that have the knowledge. And so what I’m predicting as a result of the digital human coming in that we’re going to have productivity go up as much as 10x from where it’s at right now is because a lot of the interaction with the consumer can be handled in a very successful way, in a very pleasing way, in such a manner that we’re going to see tremendous increase in productivity. That’s going to drive down costs which will be ultimately good for the consumer when it comes to going and getting any of the financial services out there.

So that’s what I see. I do see they’ll be more and more interaction on the cell phone where you’re going to be able to bring up your personal assistant and look whether it’s checking the balance of your credit card, the balance of your checking account, status of your mortgage application – that is where it is going to have the greatest impact is when you could get it on the digital device and be able to pull up that status for that same kind of digital human with an emotional experience. That’s good. 

Daryl: Bold prediction – 10X productivity. I love it!

David: Yeah, I believe it. I could show you a path to it.

Getting started with digital humans – the risk-free way

We don’t need an expert like David to tell us that operating in the financial services sector is largely about managing risk. And your digital human innovation shouldn’t be risky, either.

That’s why we launched UneeQ Creator. On our world-first platform, you can design, develop and deploy your first (or next) digital human employee on a free trial. This is where you can explore your use case, and we’ll work with you to get your proof of concept off the ground.

And if you want to take your digital human experience further, our structured pricing plan makes it easy to get going. Start for free today, or get in touch with any questions.