Skip to main content

Welcome to the seventh edition of Accrued: After Hours 🎙️! This weekly newsletter will provide you a short recap and the main takeaways of each episode from LoanPro’s Accrued podcast series on Fintech Confidential.

Hosted by Tedd Huff and LoanPro’s CMO, @Colton Pond, Accrued explores fintech through the lens of lending with insightful conversations from experts and leaders across the industry.

Listen to the Accrued episodes on the following platforms:

Today’s newsletter will cover season 1, episode 7: Passions to Purchases – Financing Your Next Adventure Starts Here w/ Mike Dushane.

In this episode, Tedd and Colton talk with Mike Dushane, Chief Product Officer of Octane® , about what it takes to create a frictionless lending experience and how Octane is achieving this by leveraging technology and a collaborative team culture.

Here’s what went down

“Turning people’s passions into purchases”

Octane’s mission is to connect people with their recreational passions and dreams with financing that is seamless and accessible. Mike begins the episode by sharing his own passion for automobiles and his early career experience working as an digital editor for an automobile publication. Coming into Octane, Mike felt that it was a natural progression for him to step into powersports lending and that the fun, raw experience of powersports vehicles is an exciting opportunity to provide customers.

Buying a new powersports vehicle can be an exhilarating moment, but if the buying process is a stressful and time-consuming experience, the excitement can quickly turn into anxiety. To prevent this, Octane has developed its own platform that allows them to manage the buying and lending process end-to-end so that buyers can receive a loan in minutes rather than days. Mike explains that Octane’s suite of tech tools joins their OEM partners and dealer partners to drive customer trust by qualifying them for loans instantaneously in an accurate and compliant way.

Assessing risk

How do you join a rigorous, financial culture with a technology culture so that you can build products that produce great financial returns, but also bring customers in the door because of a great product experience?

Mike Dushane

Mike emphasizes that their collaborative, team culture allows them to break down the barriers between risk and technology that opens the doors to solutions that will satisfy their risk and compliance appetite while also satisfying their customers and partners. “It’s the team that’s building it,” Mike explains.

Octane’s product and engineering team work closely together with their risk team to find innovative ways to assess risk. Mike touches on cash flow underwriting and how Octane focuses heavily on data and modeling that lets them expand their lending box. Octane’s underwriting solution creates better offers because of the different data attributes they are seeing from their customers beyond FICO scores.

Empathy through the platform

How do you create empathy between you and your customers through a technology platform? Mike explains that they brought on individuals to the Octane team that have a lot of experience in loan servicing to get insight into what is going to give customers the best experience that will empower them to repay on their loan. With those insights, Octane is able to systemize their platform to meet these needs and decrease default rates.

Mike shares a practice that Octane’s team does to provide them with greater insight that helps them build empathy through the technology. They discuss what the customers “hopes and fears” are in buying powersports so that they can have clear direction in how to address them. One example Mike gives is providing partners with a prequalification product and embedding it into the manufacturers website so that a customer can use it in their home and be instantly qualified, making it more of an exciting experience to apply for a purchase.

Key takeaways

You have to be radically empathetic. Mike describes his experience with empathy in his career as a way of understanding what people actually want, going out of your way to give them that, and then looking at it all from a business perspective. At Octane, they’re leveraging data-driven insights to make better decisions in meeting customers needs, which is vital for sustainability.

Empower your team. Throughout the episode, Mike gives many shout outs to the team at Octane and credits them more than the technology on why they’re able to do what they’re doing today. He believes that your success in business is all about the people and the team. Octane’s focus on their team culture and collaboration across departments (engineering, risk, compliance, etc.) along with the tech they’ve built are key parts in their success as a company.

“Data rules the world.” There are many instances throughout the episode where Mike talks about how data and modeling that is used in the right way can bring better results. Whether its optimizing your collection strategizing, increasing lending accessibility, or understanding a customers hopes and fears, data is a key factor in driving the decisions and strategies behind financial innovation.

Spencer McWilliams

Product Marketing Specialist