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Hosted by top 5 banking and fintech influencer, Jim Marous, Banking Transformed highlights the challenges facing the banking industry. Featuring some of the top minds in business, this podcast explores how financial institutions can prepare for the future of banking.

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How All Banks Can Now Offer Industry-Leading Digital Mortgages

Most mortgage experiences are overwhelming and full of friction, with outdated processes that includes a stack of paper forms and multiple in-person meetings. And, while many financial institutions would like to provide a better experience, resources are scarce.

New mortgage-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions allow smaller financial institutions to utilize best-in-class technology, while still retaining personalized engagement. This enables local banks to compete with larger financial institutions for the most important household relationship.

My guests on the Banking Transformed podcast are Jonathan Price, EVP of Q2 and Sam Schey, EVP of Rocket Mortgage. They are going to explain how a bank can combine an industry-best digital mortgage process with a bank’s existing mobile and online banking platform.

This episode of Banking Transformed is sponsored by Q2

Today, digital banking is more than a channel—it’s how financial institutions deliver their brand, manage customer relationships, and grow their business. Q2 helps FIs wherever they are on their digital transformation journey, with a portfolio of consumer and commercial solutions that help customers save, spend, borrow, and engage.

More at Q2.com

Jim Marous:
Hello, and welcome to Banking Transformed, the top podcast in retail banking. I'm your host, Jim Marous, founder and CEO of the Digital Banking Report, and co-publisher of The Financial Brand. Most mortgage experiences are overwhelming and filled with friction. With outdated processes, they include a stack of paper, forms, and multiple in-person meetings. And while many financial institutions would like to provide a better experience, resources, especially today, are to say the least, pretty scarce. A new mortgages service platform now allows smaller financial institutions, or big financial institutions, to use best-in-class technology while still retaining personalized engagement. This enables local banks to compete with the largest financial institutions for the most important household relationship there is. My guests on the Banking Transformed Podcast are Jonathan Price, EVP of Q2 and Sam Schey, EVP of Rocket Mortgage. They're going to explain how a bank can combine an industry best digital mortgage process with the bank's existing mobile and online banking platform.

Jim Marous:
So welcome to the show today, gentlemen. Digital mortgage lending has seen a rise in recent years, making it more difficult for community banks to compete. The need for in-person applications, document submissions, and long processing timelines has really made it so the customer has higher levels of frustration and application abandonment as they get into the process and realize it is way too overwhelming. A new mortgages service partnership between Q2 and Rocket Mortgage solves this challenge by providing financial institutions of all sizes, the power of Rocket's industry, best digital experiences combined with Q2's award-winning digital platform. Jonathan and Sam, let's start at the foundation of what we're dealing with in the mortgage marketplace. With few exceptions, the mortgage process is worse than even going to the dentist. It is painful, it takes too long, and there's a lack of transparency as to where they are in the process. Why do you think this is so in the mortgage marketplace still, given all the digital innovations that have gone on in the market? Jonathan, let's start with you.

Jonathan Price:
Yeah. I mean, certainly Sam's more of an expert on this on a day to day basis, but from our perspective, I think it's just a function of how do we get more efficiency in the processes and the experiences we deliver to our customers. Whether it's the banks themselves from a middle and back office perspective or to their clients from a front end experience perspective. And certainly there's a lot of cumbersome elements to the mortgage application process and the cost associated with it. But we'll talk more about it here today, but at the end of the day, we're trying to deliver more best in class experiences to our banks and credit unions. And with this partnership, we're going to try and do so with Rocket. So I'll let Sam tackle a little more from his background in the mortgage space.

Sam Schey:
Yeah, I think when I think about the industry, I think about a lot of uncertainty. You mentioned, Jim, for customers, but I think the uncertainty really exists for providers post 2010 with Dodd-Frank and all the changes that came out. You've seen really the banking credit union share of mortgage dip from say 90% in 2008, 2009 to south of 50% last year. And so then you had providers like Q2 and other providers who are really fostering digital transformations for these same institutions. They're questioning is the investment worthwhile but at the same time their clients, these banks and credit unions are questioning if the investment in offering mortgage is worthwhile.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting, Sam, obviously Rocket Mortgage has been the forefront and probably has caused as much disruption to the industry as any organizations. You've really changed the entire experience for the consumer. I myself have gone through it before, and it's really astounding how quick it is, how easy it is, and actually how you've really blended the human aspect with the digital aspect. Can you explain some of the advances for those that may not be familiar with some of the advances that Rocket has brought to the mortgage marketplace?

Sam Schey:
Yeah, absolutely, Jim, and I appreciate that. I especially appreciate you mentioning the combination of the human and digital first. People think about Rocket and they think, oh, this is digital first process. And the reality is for a lot of Americans, this is the largest financial transaction of their life. And so when they think about applications, 99%, more than 99% of our clients talk directly to bankers at Rocket throughout the application process. What we've done is we've leveraged technology to really enhance the life cycle of the experience. As you go through the origination cycle, knowing that your appraisals in it came in at value, having a single portal you can come to and e-sign documents, upload documents that are needed, having push notifications for your phone when other qualifications need to be met or changes in status occur. And then we continue that process.

Sam Schey:
Yes, an application through origination, but then thereafter throughout servicing, and as a digitally lender, we differentiate ourselves with the strength of our servicing book and the strength of really that experience because that's the long tail experience, right? Getting the mortgage is very much transactional, but that long tail of the relationship for the next 10, 15, 20, 30 years with the client, I think that's where we differentiate ourselves. And we take that a step further beyond our own technology. We've worked to influence, really during COVID, influence the market working county by county, across the country to really drive and open up digital closings for our customers. So no longer do you have to go into the title office and meet the seller at the same time. You can actually do that digitally in almost the majority of counties across the country. And again, Rocket has played a leading role in facilitating that change.

Jim Marous:
So Jonathan, it's interesting. Now that we have the foundation upon which we're building, it's kind of interesting that this hasn't happened before, but can you share a little bit about the new partnership that Q2 has put together with Rocket Mortgage?

Jonathan Price:
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think it stems with the thesis of what we're trying to build with Innovation Studio, which is find the best in class digital players around the ecosystem of banks and credit unions and bring them inside of the digital banking experience so that we provide and our partners provide banks and credit unions with more digital engagements, more opportunities to work with their clients, drive non-interest income revenue generation opportunities, and really just be able to deliver innovation faster. If we're being honest with ourselves as Q2 and we think about all the integrations we built for banks and credit unions, we have been a bottleneck as a vendor in this space to delivering innovation faster to our clients. And that's with products like the mortgage product where I would argue most of our banks and credit unions don't represent a material share of the space in the United States, but there's great value in that engagement with their clients.

Jonathan Price:
So how do we go and help them drive value through the mortgage experience if it's not core to their business, or if it's, let's say ancillary to their business while a deal like what we've signed with Rocket Mortgage allows us to embed what is a best in class digital experience within the home buying process, as Sam said, from the application experience through ongoing servicing and have that be part of the engagement because we believe that banks and credit unions need that to compete. And delivering innovation is paramount, and doing it quickly and efficiently is the most important thing.

Jim Marous:
So what you're saying, Jonathan, is that as opposed to a consumer having to act in a traditional partnership where a consumer would have to leave their app to get a Rocket Mortgage engagement, even if there was a partnership with a financial institution. What you're saying is Q2 is now allowing the organization to embed the entire Rocket Mortgage process within the app that they've gotten from Q2, correct?

Jonathan Price:
Correct. This would all happen natively behind the authentication into digital banking. And so everything is within the banks channel within that experience that they're providing to their end users. So it makes it a very compelling proposition for the financial institution to offer this and without having to have exits out of the channel, all interior to the digital banking experience.

Jim Marous:
So Sam, obviously this provides Rocket Mortgage access to a vastly expanded marketplace that still wants to work with their local bank or credit union. When a customer or member starts the mortgage process from a partner institution perspective, will they get all the benefits that Rocket offers its own customers?

Sam Schey:
That's a great question, Jim. And the answer is absolutely and then some. So this is a parity plus relationship for both the institution and their customer. And that's really the value proposition, right? We're coming to financial institutions, to bank and credit unions with longstanding relationships with their local communities, with clients within their local communities. And we're allowing them to offer mortgage without being in mortgage. And so what that means is we have a responsibility to ensure that experience meets the standards of those financial institutions.

Sam Schey:
And we do that by having dedicated partnership banking teams, operations teams that are dedicated to these financial institutions exclusively. We do that by offering enhanced, really enhanced pricing to these financial institution customers so that someone who walks into their front door into their bank branch will actually have superior pricing that they walked into Rocket Mortgages front door and will continue to focus on really, as Jonathan talked about, bring these aspects to life within digital banking so that they can interact with Rocket, but really interact with their bank, whether that's through digital channels or tomorrow walking into their bank branch after they've closed the loan and scheduling a payment on their mortgage.

Jim Marous:
Wow. So Sam, what you're saying then is really the branding of the mortgage process will still remain with the bank or credit union, but it'll say something along the line of powered by Rocket Mortgage.

Sam Schey:
That's exactly right, Jim. So let's be clear. This is Rocket paper. We are taking on all the origination activity, all the responsibilities that come along with that from a regulatory and compliance standpoint. The bank and credit union always has the opportunity to portfolio loans thereafter later on in the process. But ultimately we'll take on all of that, and we'll allow for that bank or credit union to offer mortgage under their brand, within their digital and physical domains. And do so, as you so eloquently put it, powered by Rocket.

Jim Marous:
So Jonathan, what we said here, and I'm just going to make it more and more clear because I think it's important from the financial institution perspective, the customer then does not need to leave their mobile or online banking app that is provided by Q2 to make a payment or to find the status of the mortgage or the entire process is really going to be embedded within the Q2 platform within the financial institution overall platform. And that they'll be able to engage continuously throughout the entire customer journey on the mortgage app within the Q2 platform. Correct?

Jonathan Price:
Correct. And I would say even go one step further and say, if you think about the friction that's involved in onboarding a new client and going through the mortgage process, the beauty of the data that we sit on top of is that we can actually eliminate some of that friction and some of the abandonment that occurs during an application process by pre-populating data fields, the benefit of knowing who our clients are and being inside the authenticated digital banking channel allows us to eliminate a lot of what leads to friction and onboarding. And Sam probably knows better than most around how challenging that can be if that friction leads to somebody leaving the process and then trying to get them back in. We're doing everything we can to make this easier on the end user. And that's good for the banks. And obviously it's great for Rocket.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting, you mentioned that because as I mentioned, I've gotten involved in the Rocket Mortgage process before and compared to traditional financial institution, I would assume without any doubt that the abandonment of the mortgage process at Rocket is so much lower than a traditional financial institution, because Rocket quickly asked the basic fundamental questions about what you're looking for, and they will pre-approve you, but as the process continues, there is always a customer service rep that stays with you and says, by the way you look like you're having a challenge with this area, it looks like you need to do more in this area. These are parts of the mortgage process that I also went through a traditional financial position recently that really falls through the crack. That unless you bring it up, a lot of times you don't know where the status is.

Jim Marous:
You don't know if you've missed something. You don't know if what you've given them is enough. And as we all know, a lot of times we're using a lot of paper. And I think that's one area that a financial institution really benefits from in this partnership is that really the abandonment rate, the likelihood that the customer that applies if they get approved is going to most likely close it with Rocket's partnership, which is really nice. And Jonathan, along this whole dynamic then, would you say that this will actually build a new layer of engagement between the finance institution and their customer, even though it's a partnership with Rocket?

Jonathan Price:
Absolutely. I mean, when you think about one of the things we're really trying to drive with our banks and credit unions is the more points of engagement they have with their end users and the more valuable those endpoints are within the financial journey of their customers, the better it's going to be for them in terms of retention in terms of profitability. And so, as I said at the beginning, when I think about our customer base in at large, they don't have most of them very large strategic mortgage portfolios. Some don't have any at all. Some I would say are smaller or subscale or sub strategic. And then there are a few that have meaningful portfolios, but on mass, this brings an incremental engagement opportunity. And if you think about points of stickiness within their base, they're looking for more and more of those.

Jonathan Price:
And that's our job to deliver that optionality, to deliver that innovation. And I think when we started with Innovation Studio last year, we sort of realized that we can't deliver everything. We don't build everything that matters to the financial journey of a consumer or small business. So the whole point of this open platform, this open ecosystem of innovation studio is let somebody like a best in class digital mortgage provider like Rocket come and embed their application, those experiences inside digital banking and not us try and be all things to all people, but let the ecosystem ride the rails to take advantage of what each party does best. What the banks do well, the credit unions do well, but also what great apps like Rocket does well.

Jim Marous:
It's interesting Sam, on this podcast, we all are talking about the importance of speed and scale of innovation that financial institutions really need to innovate in the digital world faster than ever before, but they also need to be able to scale up in order to serve all their customers and maybe even beyond their traditional customer base. Is this type of mortgage as a service partnership, the future of mortgage servicing for organizations that don't want to manage portfolios or don't want to go through the entire process of upgrading their systems?

Sam Schey:
Yeah. I mean, that's a complex question for a lot of banks and credit union to answer themselves. What I'll say is this. I'll break that down. First of all, Jonathan spoke about innovation, and Q2 is the perfect partner to partner with because as a partner like Rocket, our technology team's able to do a single integration to a well built out, well-documented technology base. They're really partners with a bunch of the clients that leverage Q2 are some of the most progressive banks and credit unions in this country. They know they have to be digitally centric. They know they have to be digitally first. They know they have to innovate to extend their solutions outward, to attract new clients through like a Helios or conversely to really curate best in class services. And Jim, you spoke about the mortgage process, right?

Sam Schey:
It can be both an opportunity and an absolute weak link in the sense of mortgage has historically been a moat, right? It's a moat around primacy of checking accounts. And when I capture the mortgage, I know that checking account isn't leaving me. So it's a deposit moat for retail customer basis of these institutions. On the flip side is if that experience towards getting on the other side of that moat is so painful, there's a high propensity to leave, to walk down the street to someone else who may do it better.

Sam Schey:
The unique aspect about Rocket is we are here to maintain the integrity and actually enhance the relationship between a financial service partner of ours and their client. And we're going to do so by protecting their data, we're going to do so by giving them best in class experience with high pull through rates. You speak about scale. We'll allow them to scale out to new geographies maybe they otherwise didn't service because they didn't have boots on the ground, if you will, in those areas or expand their product offering. A lot of the institutions who may offer mortgage today on the Q2 platform, they won't offer FHA or VA because those are two costly, too prohibitive for them to originate at scale. We allow them to now open up that door really to their entire customer base, and again, be able to offer mortgage without being in mortgage.

Jim Marous:
So along that same line, you said we can expand to a new market area, things of that nature. Is there also the possibility to segment where not every consumer, customer is offered this service? In other words, can you work a dual system where a financial institution may keep some of their mortgage process in house, but may partner with Rocket on additional services for some of their marketplace, their mortgage customer base?

Sam Schey:
Yeah, it's really going to be up to the financial institution. Nice thing about the Q2 platform is it allow us for hyper direct targeting to customers, whether that's geocentric or whatever the attribute may be. And then if you think about, we were talking to an early bank on the Q2 platform who has their own digital only brand that allows them to really expand beyond their GFF, the geographic footprint of their branch network. And so maybe it's a solution for their digital only brand, but they want to keep mortgage for their brick and mortar branches. So it's really up to the financial institution, how they think about mortgage, what's that long tail look like, do they want to keep and stay in the origination game? And often when we at Rocket are having these conversations, it's always around how do we scale or enhance or accentuate an existing offering? And oftentimes that flips to a you know what? If we're going to do this, let's go all in.

Jonathan Price:
When you think about that opportunity for like a sidecar offering the ability to have a direct targeted brand or approach that they have with certain customers, and then offer this digital partnership with Rocket for a sidecar, it really does open up the TAM for these institutions to target and access more of their client base around examples like Sam just gave. So I think it's really important for us to think about how do we go widen the aperture of who these banks can service. And just because they have an existing mortgage portfolio doesn't mean this also doesn't make sense. And I think that's especially true, and Sam can talk to this, in what is today a very complicated backdrop for home lending and home buying, whether it's net new purchase or the refined market.

Jonathan Price:
A lot of our banks and credit unions have major exposure to a refinance portfolio. And I think that's going to come with some direct challenges over the coming months or maybe even years. And so how do we think about providing optionality in a business where they have a heavy operational overhead and not necessarily the best macro backdrop over the near future? So I just wanted to add in that point about the value of that.

Jim Marous:
And Jonathan, same with you. Is there any financial remuneration for the financial institution to agree to this partnership and are there any costs?

Jonathan Price:
Yes, there is financial remuneration costs. I would say there's costs from a marketing and a program set up perspective, but in general, our approach to the Q2 marketplace within Innovation Studio is we stand it up for free. The integration is pre-built by Rocket to the SDK. Banks, credit unions can pull that down. And then we have essentially a model that's driven off of what are the marketing playbooks that these institutions will run? And based on the level of marketing and the size of the institution, the financial remuneration is determined from there. So a big part of the thesis of marketplace has to be not just the engagement and the speed to innovation, but also driving that non-interest fee income back to the bank. It makes the bank healthier. It makes them think about new ways of driving business and without some of that credit risk. And especially when you think about the mortgage opportunity, one of the big benefits of this is that they alleviate themselves and abstract themselves from the operational burden of managing a mortgage portfolio. So that non-interest fee income that's part of this model is super critical to that.

Jim Marous:
So Jonathan sticking with you, who owns this new mortgage customer then? Can Rocket cross sell other services that they offer to the customer of the legacy banking partner? Or is it pretty much the mortgage is Rocket's and the rest of the relationship stays intact at the current financial institution?

Jonathan Price:
Yeah, it's the latter. And I think this is where it shows the strength of the partnership between Q2 and Rocket. Because when we went into these discussions, this was one of the most fundamental and important considerations on our part of how do we protect and ensure that the end users of the banks and credit unions aren't compromised by this co-branded dual relationship between themselves and Rocket. And that's where Rocket's been a great partner. The guardrails are very clear. This is a mortgage experience that's, co-branded. You can never stop someone from going out to an external website and doing whatever they may do. But the ability to cross-sell other products from Rocket inside the digital banking channel, isn't there. And Sam can talk to it, but they've been an amazing partner on that front because as we went into this, without a doubt, that was our biggest concern is how do you ensure that we're protecting the bank and credit union and their end users from that potential cannibalization risk inside the channel?

Jim Marous:
And okay, this is going to go to both of you. You already have a financial institution, I believe, already signed up. But beyond that, how long would it take a financial institution to get up and run on the Q2 platform with the Rocket Mortgage partnership? And secondly, how do you see these financial institutions marketing this new relationship? I'm going to start with you, Sam.

Sam Schey:
Yeah. And I'll touch base on the last point because I think it's something we need to hammer home. Non solicits, these customers, these are the customers or members of the banks and credit unions. So we put in place an absolute non solicit. That doesn't mean in the future, we can't evolve our relationship through the Q2 platform with these institutions by offering those complimentary services as adjacent product offerings powered by Rocket. And that's the opportunity for us long term, but look, we've got a 10 year plus relationship with some large financial service companies doing a form of this in our past. So we absolutely understand and appreciate the value proposition to the institutions and really the sanctity of their relationship with their customers. Let's pretend this is October 3rd, which is our targeted launch date. And October 3rd, I'll tell you about 24 hours, but the realistic timeframe is about two weeks.

Sam Schey:
So we can check the box on any internal operations, internal trainings, make sure kind of the initial marketing is tucked in. And then you mentioned marketing itself. And that's really the foundation of what we asked these financial institutions to do. A vast majority of that marketing, that direct marketing is to be facilitated through the Q2 platform. They've built up the tools for their banks and credit unions to market within authenticated and even non authenticated spaces. And so a lot of it's be digital, but we've also got in branch signage, plasma television signage, et cetera, that we kind of put into the package. So the intent is for this to be omnichannel. It starts with digital because that's where look, that's the age we're in right now, but this needs to be an omnichannel solution. And as we evolve this partnership, we'll be working on capabilities to really empower frontline team members at banks and credit unions to service their customers directly on behalf of Rocket. So they can answer questions, like I said earlier, set up payments, whatever it may be all through the Q2 administrative platform.

Jim Marous:
So it's interesting, Jonathan, you're in charge of the Innovation Lab. So I would imagine when I asked about how long will it take, it's probably not dissimilar from a lot of the other things you do at the Innovation Lab is that really your ability to turn on a financial institution to an application such as this is a lot quicker than most institutions are ready to do it for various reasons. Financial institutions, customarily are slow for various reasons, legal, compliance, but even working within their own organization to see how they can deploy it. So would you say that while you can turn it on in two weeks, that organizations actually, it would behoove them to, even though the starting date is October, that it probably isn't bad for organizations to start thinking now about doing this and putting the pieces in place internally. Correct?

Jonathan Price:
Correct. Now I would say you hit on two of the biggest challenges or barriers that we have to overcome to help banks and credit unions be successful in this new model, because you're right. In an older paradigm, this would take somewhere between six and 15 months between the sales cycle, the integration, the testing, and the GA process. We've abstracted all that now, but organizational readiness and end user marketing, those are the two big things that we have to get right, rocket, Q2, and with our technology platforms and tools to help our banks and credit unions be ready to change and move at a different speed and also to market effectively to the end users because changing consumer behavior is difficult. It is not something that happens easily, and it doesn't necessarily happen when a marketing isn't your core competency. So yes, I would agree with that. And it's something we were all focused on doing.

Jim Marous:
Change in behavior of finance institutions is not very fast either. And again, in many cases you may be working with an existing mortgage team. You may be not working with a mortgage team that maybe as an organization has never offered a mortgage before. Either way, there's going to be a learning curve. But it looks like you've combined together, both between Rocket and Q2 to build almost a plug and play environment where a lot of the questions, a lot of the dynamics from the marketing tools to even the implementation tools have already been put in place to make it as seamless and as painless as possible, correct?

Sam Schey:
We've worked together to pave a roadmap. And ultimately that decision to step out a mortgage, it's not mine, it's not Jonathan's. That's on the bank or credit union themselves. And once they're ready, we're here with solutions to help foster that.

Jim Marous:
So finally, Jonathan, it's my understanding that the partnership between Rocket and Q2 is not the only partnership that you've created in the Innovation Lab. Can you explain some of the other integrations you've done to enable what I'll call a seamless collaboration between FinTech providers or other third parties and your finance institutions that are clients?

Jonathan Price:
Yeah. I mean, when you think about Q2 Innovation Studio, we launched into GA broadly across our customer base in June of '21. So just over a year ago, we started with about 20 early financial institutions and about seven partners. Today, we're north of 85 partners in the ecosystem, and it's really the way we approached it. And I should say we're north of 250 financial institutions. So in just a year, we went from, call it three to 5% of our base to north of 50% of our base that is leveraging Q2 Innovation Studio today.

Jonathan Price:
And when you think about the explosion of that partner ecosystem two broad buckets, how do we solve for the financial journey of our banks and credit unions with consumer apps and small business apps? And then within consumer and small business, what are the areas of the financial journey that matter most to the banks and credit unions and their end users that are relevant, that we don't necessarily solve for, that the bank's core products don't necessarily address, and things like alternative lending, like mortgage, buy now pay later, crypto, insurance.

Jonathan Price:
Areas of financial services or the broader journey that we don't necessarily plan today but that matter to our banks and credit unions when they think about how do they get incremental engagement and incremental innovation in the hands of themselves and their customers faster or new revenue generating opportunities. So it's been interesting to watch this thing develop over the last year. And again, we're really focused on this mission of how do we get more innovation and experiences into the hands of our banks and credit unions faster. That makes it more competitive.

Jim Marous:
These partnerships really have made it so that you're making it as easy as possible to turn on a functionality, whatever it may be that your financial partner or institution partner may want in such a way that again, it gives you the ability to have innovation and speed, which is so important. So Sam and Jonathan, if a financial institution is interested in this and they're a Q2 partner, or if they want to become a Q2 partner in order to have this relationship, what do they do next? How do they get ahold of you?

Sam Schey:
Call Jonathan.

Jonathan Price:
No, I mean, what I would say to that is we are all with Rocket with the Q2 innovation studio team and with the broader sales organization of Q2, our customer success organization, our net new sales reps. We are seeing Innovation Studio and our marque partnerships like ones with Rocket have an impact in our discussions with prospects and with existing clients. And so whether it's a bank and credit union and your customer success rep, you want to talk about this, let them know if you have relationships. Most of our banks and credit unions do with the Innovation Studio team that's out there and trying to facilitate the marriage between the partner products and the financial institution. Reach out to any of us. We have a full court press on with regards to getting early adopters signed up for this Rocket partnership, but also driving success within when they make that decision.

Jonathan Price:
Because it's one thing to sign up a partner. We talk a lot with the Innovation Studio team, and it applies perfectly to this Rocket relationship. We've gotten to the point now where we're at 85 partners, we're going to end the year, well, north of 100. And that far exceeded our internal goals, but the reality now is adding the hundred and first partner is going to be less valuable to everyone involved, including ourselves than making the first 100 really, really successful. And so that's what this is all about now. How do we get these products in the hands of our banks and credit unions? How do we ensure that when they take up the integration that they're using it the right way, they're marketing it, they're successful.

Jonathan Price:
One of the things that really differentiates our SBK and our Innovation Studio, and I think Sam can attest to this just based on the work the teams have done together, is not just the technology, but the team and the operating cadence around the Innovation Studio. That's support. That's the ability to handle one off things that come up from a technical perspective, from a support perspective itself. So it's really the entire model around Innovation Studio that I think is unique here beyond just the ecosystem itself.

Sam Schey:
I'll echo Jonathan's point. At Rocket, we have a saying, an ism, if you will, innovation is rewarded. Execution is worshiped. And so this look, this partnership is about innovation, but the real test comes when we go live. And we take that responsibility very seriously because we know the value we're driving to these institutions is saying, you've got a client promoter score of X, we're going to pour rocket fuel on that over the next months and years, as we really elevate this experience for your customers, elevate the game on their behalf and allow you to really drive what you do best, which is giving specialized value to your local market, to your local customers that you know better than anyone. And so, every day when we go, we think about, okay, technology is enablement tool, but it's really the process of human beings behind that, the dedicated teams we have to deliver on that promise. And that begins in October, and we're looking forward to this challenge.

Jim Marous:
It is interesting too. We talk about in this podcast quite often, that in a time of economic uncertainty, trying to allocate resources, both people and money to implement something new, you really can't afford to do everything yourself. It's too difficult for even the biggest finance institutions. To partner with the organizations that have already run this path already, it's like the GPS of financial services, which I rely on that term quite often to be able to use the learnings of others to build a better platform, but in these cases to do it with minimal financial outlay, with minimal time outlay, but to still get the benefits, this is the future of banking. The future of banking is not doing everything yourself, but embedding the experiences from others that are doing it the best to bring best in class solutions to the marketplace in a way that takes the least amount of time, because I know for most institutions right now, the biggest challenge they have is getting today's work done.

Jim Marous:
It's not necessarily going and trying to build this brand new back office system to drive mortgages or any other service. So, gentlemen, I really appreciate the time today you spent on the podcast and really exciting to hear this new implementation of a process that is painful. And I made a joke, I think it was about a week ago, to somebody that said, I believe that the mortgage business is the only reason copiers are still being sold, because if you ever see what happens behind the scenes or you're involved in a mortgage process at a traditional organization that does traditionally the number of pieces of paper that run through the machine is the only thing keeping the paper business and the copying business in place. And as I said, I've gone through the rocket process, and I don't believe I have ever had to transfer PDF. So again, gentlemen, I really appreciate your time today. Thank you very much.

Sam Schey:
Thank you, Jim.

Jonathan Price:
Thank you, Jim.

Jim Marous:
Thanks for listening to Banking Transformed, the winner of three international awards for podcast excellence. If you enjoyed today's interview, please take some time to give our show a review of a five star rating. Also, be sure to catch my recent articles on The Financial Brand and the research we're doing for the Digital Banking Report. This has been a production of Evergreen Podcast. A special thank you to our producer, Leah Haslage, audio engineer, Sean Rule-Hoffman, and video producer, Will Pritts. I'm your host, Jim Marous. Until next time remember, more than ever solution providers can help community banks use digital tools to deliver customer experiences that they're known for at scale.

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