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Keep it Human

Money is an intrinsically human experience and we cant lose that as technology and AI take hold. The answer is human-led technology that is personalized, contextual, and meets customers where they are.

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Good morning, and I want to welcome you again to the Money Experience Summit.

The last time I took this stage, I had been in the seat at MX for a grand total of four weeks, and thank you for being very kind to me last year when I was here because of

that. But I joined MX because of the mission.

The mission that you heard Brent talk about, Ryan talked about, and Karen talk about --- her personal story. The mission of resiliency, the mission to make the world and empower the world to be financially strong.

And a year later through your partnership, your counsel, your honesty, I believe now more than ever, we're in an opportunity that we can make the world financially strong.

Now, over the course of the last year, and you heard Karen mention that, there's terms in our lexicon that have become more prevalent. How many of you even heard of the term or the acronym ChatGPT a year ago? Not many, including me. Okay, you did. Thank you. As you go through this, I know we have here a PhD who teaches at USC about AI. So I hope that person did know. I'm not sure if, I can't see who exactly raised their hand, but I bet there's a few that hadn't.

AI, ML, augmented reality. The reality is that these things have an opportunity to be a game changer for us. They have an opportunity to really change the game in terms of us improving the money experience.

But we also need to keep in mind that for every one of us that's so excited about this transformation, there are equal amount of people who are terrified by it --- terrified from an employee point of view, terrified from a human point of view, terrified from the standpoint of, will I have a job going forward? Just terrified about it. And I think we're in a very important juncture in how we are leveraging and using technology and how this is emerging for us.

And we need to ask ourselves one simple principle that we'll always want to put in place --- can we keep it human?

Now, there's a few things that I've at least enumerated in life that are uniquely human. These are things that are uniquely things that we as human species deal with. One is politics, two is religion, three is music, and four is money. Now, if you came to talk about politics and religion, sorry, we're not gonna do that today. Save it for cable news and your Thanksgiving dinner table. We're gonna keep it today on two topics. Music --- so excited today, this afternoon to have Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic come and join us. And he's gonna talk about the humanity of music. But I'm gonna talk to you about the humanity of, of money.

And I ultimately think money is the most human experience. Think about some of the words that we use around money. Things like moolah, cabbage, bacon --- the English language has over a hundred different words and slang words around money. But money is also immensely emotional, immensely emotional.

Think about these words that come to mind when you think about money and other people think about money. Now, it's not surprising, it's not surprising, especially over the course of the last few years, there is a bias towards a negative feeling about money, negative feeling. Now, what caused that?

Global pandemic, higher interest rates, higher mortgage rates, more credit card debt. The average American is poorer today than they were in 2019, just with inflation and GDPp growth and all the different economic factors that go into their lives. Now, one of these, to me is either very interesting, also tragic, the headline said, adults are ordering from kids' menus to save money. I've had a few people tell me that's the best way to eat, but that's, that's what they're doing. But last but not least, all of us, regardless of our economic situation, probably in some form or fashion, felt the reality of the Silicon Valley Bank crisis on March 10.

Now, me and probably a few of you had to live with the reality of having money at Silicon Valley Bank and that weekend asking ourselves a very important question, will we be able to make payroll on Wednesday? Will we be able to pay the employees of MX who work their asses off? Will we be able to make payroll to pay them their bonuses? Yes or no?

Let me tell you, I've been working in money most of my life. I've never felt more helpless. During that weekend, we had friends over our house and someone came --- I vividly remember this, uh, --- there was a Warriors game. We live in the Bay Area. One of the guys came from the Warriors game and he, he's sort of in the, in the venture community. And he came back and he said, okay, guys, I heard First Republic's going under tonight. Okay? And, and there was a couple, there's a couple there. And, the wife looked at the husband said, don't we have all of our savings at First Republic? Fear. Helplessness.

It's no surprise that in 2023, as well as 2022, and I would guess in 2024, the No. 1 stress in America and around the world, as you guessed it, money. Now there's an obvious reason why money is the No. 1 stress. It's scarcity, right? There's scarcity. We don't have enough of it. We're worried about it. But the other reason that I believe is at the root cause of the money stress that we all face is this --- financial blindness.

What is financial blindness? Now, last year I talked to you about my Saturdays of building spreadsheets and trying to figure out my financial life. One year later, I'm still doing it. What does it basically mean? I don't have a 360 view of my financial life. I have no idea where all the money is in my family. And I'm sorry to admit that. I hope my wife isn't listening. But that is the absolute truth. Truth is --- our kids have money. My wife has an account. We have credit cards. We have money in Venmo. We have money in different accounts. It's very hard to understand what's going on in our financial lives. So when a financial event like Silicon Valley Bank happens or any any external event happens, it's hard to know what's going on.

Similarly, there's a challenge in having a 360 view of my life. It would be great if Bank of America knew that I had a mortgage with Wells Fargo. It'd be great if Venmo knew that I had my investments with Morgan Stanley. And so it goes. Ultimately, financial blindness in the cure to it comes down to a few basic thoughts and a few basic areas. One: accessibility of data. Do I have data to understand my financial life? Number two: is that data actionable? Can I actually do something with that data? And last but not least, if I can do something with it, is it easy for me to do something with it?

Now you've heard from Ryan, you've heard from Brent, you've heard from Karen. I think we're at an amazing moment right now. An amazing moment of resiliency, amazing moment of resiliency of how we pick ourselves up after literally getting ourselves punched in the face and how we pick ourselves up and meet the mission --- meet the mission together.

And why I love this conference so much is having like-minded people together that believe in the mission of empowering people to have a better money experience. And now more than ever, that mission needs to be fulfilled. Now many here, including me, believe AI and all the technology jargon I used earlier can be a huge enabler for helping the money experience. Now it's not just me and probably people in this room. Investment dollars are estimated in 2025 to be close to $200 billion of investment dollars around AI. It's revolutionizing industries like music and shopping, and I'm sure many of you are considering how you use AI in your businesses in terms of delivering a better customer experience or creating efficiencies.

Now, here at MX, we've always been a pioneer in using AI, ML and leading technology. But we need to remember, we need to remember that that technology needs to be embraced with human empathy. AI is what it is. Artificial intelligence. It's based upon data inferences that basically puts a human in a specific box and sets out predetermined outcomes based upon that. AI is only as good as the assumptions that it's made. It's only as good as the data that feeds it. It's only as good as the inferences that have been trained for it to make.

Ultimately, I believe AI has the challenge to dehumanize the money experience and further exacerbate the financial blindness. We firmly believe that AI and technology need to be coupled with the human element. Now, the other challenge that we have is creating the haves and have nots --- Those that have access to technology, those that have the ability to understand it. History has shown us that when power is in the hands of few, it's not surprising who wins and how the balance of power shifts. And ultimately having few people having controlling technology puts us at a risk from my point of view, of not being able to serve humans at scale.

And so together we have to combine the best of technology with the human experience. And we believe we can create unprecedented access to financial data and, and cure financial blindness. Now I want to run an experiment for you.

So I want you now to imagine you're in your day jobs and you're leading a company and you have a customer, potential customer. And you're gonna ask yourselves, based upon the facts and data that I have, how am I gonna serve this customer? And how am I --- what products am I putting? What are the context by which I'm going to serve this person? Now, this customer is a real person. Some of you may know her or you think you know her. Her name is Crystal Anderson.

How many of you would think what you're gonna put in front of Crystal Anderson based upon just her name? Some try to. Now you know her zip code. She lives in Utah. Now you know her FICO score. By the way, she self-proclaimed, says she has a perfect FICO score. We can ask her later as we go through this. So you think you know Crystal Anderson now, and for, our history or more recent history, we basically have made decisions predicated on name, FICO score, and where they're located. And we've said, all right, we're gonna serve you. Now, ask ourselves, why do we have financial blindness?

'cause do we really truly know Crystal Anderson? Now let's learn more. Now, unfortunately, a few years ago, Crystal's sister took her life. She took her life because of the stress of her financial life. Crystal has devoted her life to financial wellness. For 16 years, she worked at H&R Block. She then came to MX, all devoted around financial wellness. She is very philanthropic. She, in her community, has donated millions of dollars to the Children's Hospital of Kansas City. Crystal's a bit eccentric, if I may say. Now, many of you probably have a library at home. If it's mine, It's sort of stuffed with books. And you just kind of put books up there and you hope nobody sees them or comes to your house or it's on the back of your Zoom. In Crystal's house, she has all of her books organized, not by genre, not by author, but by the color of its binding.

You think you know Crystal. Crystal is the chairperson of our Women's Initiative Network, and she's a big Kansas City Chiefs fan. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce you to Crystal Anderson. Thank you, Crystal. The question I have for you as I enumerated different things about Crystal Anderson, what did you think? Did you think, oh, I thought you said perfect FICO score. Awesome. Let's give her everything. I heard about tragedy in her family. Did that make you think differently about her? I learned about how she organized her books. How do you think you'd serve somebody like that? I don't know personally, but I think you got that.

But I think the challenge that we have to think about in today's world is Crystal is not a data point. We have the challenge of ultimately making assumptions about Crystal based upon information. She's more than a zip code. She's more than an age. She's more than a gender. She's more than a Kansas City Chiefs fan. She's a unique person with a unique story. And there are more than 8 billion people on planet Earth that need to be treated uniquely because ultimately, each of them have their own dreams about money, their own fears about money, and deserve to be supported at a human level. The question that I want to ask us is simply this.

Will we lead technology or will technology lead us?

I'm voting on we leading technology and ultimately, human-led technology is going to unlock the best money experience. Human-led technology is going to take the best of AI and all the empathetic nature that we have as human beings and unlock a better money experience.

So what does human-led technology look like? First, it sees me for who I am. I'm not, I'm not a cohort, I'm not a zip code, I'm not whatever you want to make me up in terms of a demographic. It sees me as my whole self. It ultimately treats me as one out of 8 billion.

Human-led technology is contextual, not creepy. It meets me where I'm at, not where you as a provider want me to be. Human-led technology enriches my life. It makes my life better. It makes it easier for me to live my life. Ultimately, it provides insights that pertain to me as a human being.

Last but not least, human-led technology works. It has to work. It has to work when the human wants it to work. Now, we at MX announced earlier this year, the advent of something that we call the MX Intelligence Platform. And, as part of that, we announced the initial feature was something called Data Access. And what Data Access does, it allows you as financial service providers to better understand where your data is being shared. And today, we're gonna announce the next phase of the MX Intelligence Platform.

It's focused on creating actionable human intelligence within your organization. And also we're announcing the next phase and the, and the launch of our new Personal Wellness capability.

So ultimately we can keep it human.

So I am very excited to introduce you to MX's CPO Nandita Gupta, who's gonna share the next stage of this journey. Thank you very much.

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