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61. Expanding Credit Access with Jeff Keltner

61. Expanding Credit Access with Jeff Keltner

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Key takeaways

  1. How AI simplifies and qualifies data to reach a wider consumer segment.
  2. Every digital transformation needs to start with a process reengineering.
  3. Where digital transformation falls short in lending and WealthTech.

This week on WealthTech Unwrapped, Ned is joined by Senior Vice President of business development at Upstart, Jeff Keltner. Jeff is also a podcaster who hosts Leaders in Lending, where consumer lending executives discuss a series of topics that impact the future of the lending space. They discuss the digital transformation of both the lending space as well as wealth management. 

Jeff speaks about the gap in the lending space where AI/ML has the potential to fill. What the industry has done was to merely digitize their services rather than use innovative digital tools to fundamentally change and improve processes. As traditional lending is based on a few simple metrics, consumers who fail to meet these requirements are systematically overlooked. Jeff suggests that this is an opportunity for tech to better categorize and serve these forgotten segments appropriately. 

Speaking of the inertia for institutions to undertake digital transformation, Jeff posits 3 challenges. Firstly, large institutions are highly regulated and conservative which systematically slows down innovation. Secondly, their systems are often outdated and are not built for interoperability. Finally, there is a challenge to poach technical talent, especially for smaller organizations, when large organizations like Google and Meta can afford to pay more.

Meet Our Guest Speaker

Jeff Keltner


Jeff Keltner has been in the tech industry for nearly 20 years and has been with Upstart for a decade. His experience spans across sales, marketing and business development, and is fascinated with AI/ML and the impact it has on industries. Jeff also hosts a podcast, Leaders in Lending, where he discuss the future of the financial services industry with consumer lending executives and other leaders in the space. Beyond his career, Jeff enjoys fly fishing and golfing.

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