SpringFour Partnership Named BAI Global Innovation Finalist

SpringFour Partnership Named BAI Global Innovation Finalist

We are excited to announce that SpringFour and BMO Harris Bank have been named a finalist for the 2019 BAI Global Innovation Awards for our partnership.

Facilitated by BAI—a nonprofit, independent organization that delivers the financial services industry’s most actionable insights—the BAI Global Innovation Awards honor the most transformative solutions in the financial services industry worldwide.

                

Now in its ninth year, the BAI Global Innovation Awards recognizes leading financial services organizations on a global scale. Through hundreds of applications, the Innovation Circle, a panel of global financial services innovation leaders who thoroughly review each application, determined the top submissions. The judges weigh each innovation on originality and impact on consumers and the industry. This year’s finalists showcase what leading financial services innovators in all regions of the world are doing to deliver new value to customers and employees, as well as improve efficiencies and profitability for their organizations.

We are honored to have been chosen as a finalist for Innovation in Societal and Community Impact together with BMO Harris Bank. Together, SpringFour and BMO Harris Bank have increased opportunities for financial health and have helped BMO Harris Bank customers get back on track with their payments. 

As a Certified B Corporation, we are extra proud to be named a finalist in this category. Every day our team works to ensure that people who are struggling financially have the help they need and deserve to get back on track. Thank you to BAI and to the judges for recognizing our work. 

To learn more about our partnership and why our work was recognized, read here.

Read the BAI Press Release for the awards here.

Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey

Co-Founder & CEO, SpringFour Inc.

Industry Recognition

                 

 

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The Collections Perspective – Q & A with BMO Harris Bank

The Collections Perspective – Q & A with BMO Harris Bank

Since our participation in the BMO Harris/1871 Fintech Partnership Program and the official deployment of SpringFour applications at the Bank in August of 2018, SpringFour and BMO Harris have had a fantastic partnership.

BMO Harris collections agents embraced the use of SpringFour right out of the gate.  With consistent use on every call, this team quickly experienced tremendous results that allowed them to be more effective. Customers were pleased to be offered assistance, and collections agents were thrilled to have a tool providing for immediate and actionable help.

In March of 2019, we partnered with BMO Harris Bank to survey their collections agents to better understand their experience. And the responses were overwhelmingly positive:

* 95% of agents agreed that S4pro is easy to use.

* 94% of agents agreed that S4pro allows them to provide referrals to high-quality, local financial wellness resources for BMO Harris Bank customers.

* 86% of agents agreed that using S4pro has improved their ability to provide better customer service.

* 90% agreed that BMO Harris Bank customers appreciate the referrals they receive from S4pro.

After receiving such positive survey responses, we wanted to go more in-depth to learn about the collectors’ SpringFour experiences, and gain insight into what about SpringFour was enriching the experience and creating successful outcomes for the bank and its customers. We sat down with Jennifer Mota (pictured above), Sr. Manager for the U.S. Collections Call Center, to discuss our uniquely successful relationship. Here is what she said:

We began by talking about what working with SpringFour overall has been like:

Q: Many established financial institutions experience difficulty working with Fintechs because of challenges with integration, compliance, and scale.  Is this your first experience working with a Fintech solution? If so, how has your experience been? 

A: “This is not my first experience working with Fintechs. The experience (with SpringFour) has been flawless with open lines of communication and quick responses to help guide us through set up, maintenance of program, and issues or suggestions.”

Q: Why do you think BMO Harris makes a good partner for a Fintech like SpringFour?

A: “I believe that the open lines of communication, allowing feedback, and suggestions builds a stronger partnership.  We have provided feedback and requests for changes to program selections based on what our customers are asking for and SpringFour has been quick to listen and implement changes. The communication and openness to hear feedback has been outstanding.  The support we receive from SpringFour has been second to none.” 

Q: What were you most excited about in bringing SpringFour applications to your collections team?

A: “The most exciting part has been the opportunity to provide our customers with additional assistance that was not available prior to implementation.  Our goal is to reduce delinquency and assist our customers on finding solutions to rectify any hardships.”

We then dove into how Jennifer’s agents feel about the S4pro tool, and how it has changed their interactions with customers:

Q: How has SpringFour changed the conversations your collectors are having with customers, and do you have a specific example that shows how these conversations are changing?

A: “Conversations with our customers have changed as we have increased our range of services that may provide assistance.  One specific example is an agent spoke with a customer who was delinquent due to losing their job.  That agent provided several SpringFour referrals.  We spoke with the customer again a few months later and he had advised us that he had fallen behind on his payments due to losing his job, but was going to be starting a new job soon due to the referral that we provided through SpringFour.  The customer has since caught up on past due payments.”

Q: What are you hearing from members of your team about SpringFour? 

A: “They are relieved that there is an opportunity to help our customers with the referrals and providing assistance makes the calls much easier.”

Q: BMO executives have shared that SpringFour is a win win for the bank. Can you tell us more about how you see this play out in your daily experience with SpringFour applications?

A: “Even if we haven’t identified a hardship when speaking with a customer, most of my agents will still offer it.  Offering SpringFour has opened up communication between our agents and customers. The application is extremely easy to use which allows my agents to move through their calls.”

And finally, we talked about how BMO Harris customers have responded to receiving referrals through SpringFour:

Q: What are you hearing from your customers?

A: “I think our customers are shocked that we are providing assistance and not just demanding money.  Many have thanked us for offering potential solutions that other institutions are not offering.”

Thank you to BMO Harris Bank, and to Jennifer Mota, for sharing their insights and experience with us. By taking the time to document and share user experiences, we are helping to shine the spotlight on how Fintech and bank partnerships can work together to successfully move the needle and positively impact the lives of so many individuals and families living paycheck to paycheck.

Katie Gottschall Donohue

Vice President, Strategy and Customer Engagement, SpringFour

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Sharing the SpringFour Story on the Technori Podcast

Sharing the SpringFour Story on the Technori Podcast

Our Co-Founder and CEO, Rochelle Gorey, had the opportunity recently to sit down with Scott Kitun for the Technori Podcast and share more about our work, highlight our partnerships with U.S. Bank and BMO Harris Bank, and what it means to be a social impact fintech.   

Take a listen to the engaging conversation as Scott and Rochelle delve into the financial health industry, social impact, savings, and what companies can do to help their customers’ or employees’ financial wellness and their bottom line:

They cover the past: “From the very beginning our intent was to help people, and we were going to create a product that the banking industry could utilize to help their line of business and help their customers.”

The present: “Bad things can happen to good people, and when you don’t have savings it causes problems, and we want to be the company that’s there to help. So as we partner with more and more organizations… we have the ability to scale and create great impact.”

And the future of the industry: “I relate it back to how we all understand and recognize how important it is to be physically healthy, that this idea of being financially healthy is going to stick around.”

Give a listen and let us know what you think.

Katie Gottschall Donohue

Vice President, Strategy and Customer Engagement, SpringFour Inc.

Industry Recognition

                 

 

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Yes, Financial Health Does Matter

Yes, Financial Health Does Matter

In 2005, no one was talking about Financial Health, including us.

Fast forward to 2019 and it is  Financial Health Matters Day! It’s exciting to see that there is a movement afoot that is tackling this large issue and bringing attention to the increased need to help those that experience financial challenges. And it’s about time.

In fact, it was at my very first CFSI Emerge Conference held in LA in 2015 that I first heard the term. And I had a very Oprah like Aha Moment. You see financial health is definitely at the core of our company and the work that my co-founder Dr. J. Michael Collins and I have been doing for our entire careers. We just didn’t have a name for it.

Today, we are celebrating that so many companies in diverse market segments are coming together to share that they too understand that if we are to do well, we must consider the financial health of our customers and our employees. With nearly half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, it’s time to develop concrete strategies and solutions that can truly impact people’s financial lives in big ways. We have the research and technology to do so, now let’s develop the will.

As Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO of CFSI, so eloquently states in a recent American Banker piece, “What financially vulnerable people need is access to high-quality products and experiences built to help them succeed by people who truly understand their financial situations and foibles. They need real-time advice and guidance, tailored to their specific situation and immediately actionable. They need to be able to trust that financial institutions have their best interests in mind and are working with policymakers to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent them from achieving financial health.”

So today, ask yourself, “What does the future of financial health look like to you?” And I’d urge you to take the next step and ask, “What can I do to help further accelerate strategies at my company to bring solutions forward that deliver true impact to those that need it most?”

Because it can be done and the time is now.

We don’t have to go it alone. Partnerships allow us all to combine our strengths and resources to improve the financial lives of people across our country.

Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey

Co-Founder & CEO, SpringFour Inc.

Industry Recognition

                 

 

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Why Winning Isn’t Everything

Why Winning Isn’t Everything

I am a competitive person. I like to win. However, I have come to realize that sometimes winning isn’t everything. Being part of the “game” can be enough.

Recently, SpringFour was honored to be chosen as a Finalist for LendIt’s Partnership of the Year Award (recognizing the partnership between BMO Harris Bank and SpringFour). We were excited and proud to be named a Finalist. It’s a thrilling feat and huge validation for our small, but rapidly growing, social impact fintech company.

Having just returned last week from my first LendIt Conference, I have the insight and lens from which to gauge the Conference and the Award. It was spectacular. It was huge. It was networking on Red Bull. It was efficient and worthwhile. We made many valuable connections that I am hopeful will continue and prosper beyond the Conference.

5,000 people from over 2,500 companies attended LendIt.

SpringFour was one of six outstanding Fintech/bank partnerships to be nominated for LendIt’s Partnership of the Year Award. That in itself is a huge achievement. To break through the crowd, to see our work validated as one of the best of the best is encouraging and motivating for the SpringFour team.

Our business is built on the idea of cultivating long-lasting, high-impact partnerships. We do not offer direct to consumer products. Our strategy relies on building these partnerships with the financial services industry and others so that our products can create meaningful impact and scale. So to be recognized as one of the best partnerships with partner BMO Harris Bank means a great deal. Partnership truly is what SpringFour stands for and what our team strives to accomplish each day with our clients.

And the best part of receiving this recognition is that as we continue to grow and add banks to our client list, we are helping more people get back on track financially and that can mean big things for people. It can mean that they are finally able to buy the house they have been dreaming of or begin to build that emergency savings account because they now have actual savings to put into it. It means that they now have money in their monthly budget to pay for other household expenses because they now pay less for their necessary prescriptions.

We were not chosen as the winner in this category but that is okay.  We were a finalist for Best Partnership of the Year. And that’s pretty darn good.

Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey

Co-Founder & CEO, SpringFour Inc.

Industry Recognition

                 

 

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International Women’s Day Event

International Women’s Day Event

I had the opportunity to share my story as a woman entrepreneur and tech company founder at BMO Harris’s International Women’s Day event this year. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the panel “Trailblazing Conversations with Women Leading Innovation” along with Besty Ziegler, CEO of 1871 and Heather Holmes, founder and CEO of Genivity.  We each shared more about our involvement in the tech world, our challenges and successes,  and our experiences as women tech leaders. Moderator Leslie Anderson, Head of Treasury and Payment Services at BMO Harris helped guide the panel.

I believe that having the opportunity to share stories of our experiences, as well as our failures and mistakes along the way, helps to demystify the entrepreneur experience. Through these conversations, we show other women that anyone who has the desire can become an entrepreneur. The road to success as an entrepreneur is not something that comes fast or easy, and it requires hard work, patience, and resiliency. Those were the messages shared at this event. In sharing our stories, we also highlighted the need for increased attention and funding for women-led companies, and that with the necessary support and encouragement, more women will decide to become entrepreneurs. While the first step might be the hardest, it’s definitely worth taking. Gathering and sharing at events like this lets other women know that we don’t need to wait until everything is perfect before taking the jump, that bravery is rewarded with success.

Rochelle sharing her story on the panel.

Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey

Co-Founder & CEO, SpringFour Inc.

Industry Recognition

                 

 

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866-732-2246

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