The holidays brought laughter by the fireplace, warm desserts, and the joyous sounds of caroling. But lurking outside in the frigid cold, after the tree is put away and before the first credit card bi...
I was 16 when the fifth Harry Potter book came out. My best friend and I had been total HP nerds since we were in fifth grade. Already conscious of being way too old for it, we decided to throw any hopes of being cool to the wind and go dressed in costume to the midnight book release.
Because the entire universe conspires to embarrass you as a teenager, my friend got sick at the last minute, leaving me to stand alone in line for hours. By myself. In costume. Holding a wand.
I was in line next to a ten-year-old girl and her dad. At one point, she looked over at me with all the smug disdain of a budding Bellatrix Lestrange and asked, “And who are you supposed to be?”
Luckily, you cannot actually die from embarrassment. If you’re as big of a Harry Potter fan as I am, I hope you enjoy these lessons for your financial institution from the Hogwarts School of Vendor Management Wizardry!
It Pays to Be Sensible: Risk Management and Hermione Granger
With her bottle-brush frizzy hair, dazzling witchy intellect, and mature sensibility, Hermione Granger is responsible for keeping Harry and Ron out of a heap of trouble over the years. When Harry received a Firebolt broomstick from an unknown sender on Christmas morning, it was Hermione who went to Professor McGonagall to insist the broom be checked for hidden spells and hexes.
In the Deathly Hallows, when the trio has to camp in the English countryside to evade Death Eaters, Hermione sets up protective charms each time they make camp to make sure no one can penetrate their camp’s disguise.
Hermione’s Lesson for Your Institution:
Managing your institution’s loan portfolio risk and collections can often seem like Ron and Harry are running it with no Hermione to keep them in check—it can be difficult, disconnected, and inefficient.
Effective risk management often requires multiple software systems, vendors, departments, and customer interactions, putting a burden on your staff and slowing down productivity. Your institution needs a Hermione on its team to help your institution efficiently manage your loan portfolio risk and operations by tracking insurance and collecting on delinquent accounts.
When you partner with SWBC, our compliance team helps ensure your operations adhere to industry regulations, providing a layer of security for your institution and borrowers that acts like one of Hermione’s protective charms.
Hero to Hero: Harry Potter and Payments
We all know that Harry Potter launched an epic eight-year battle to defeat the darkest wizard of all time, but one of my favorite moments at Hogwarts was when Harry led the Gryffindor team to sweet victory after a four-year bid for the Quidditch Cup.
It was the final game of the season, Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. Harry and team had trained every evening for months in preparation. The slimy Slytherins led the tournament by exactly 200 points, so Gryffindor needed to win the match by 210 points to claim the prize. Midway through a bloody game with mid-air fouls narrated by Lee Jordan’s colorfully biased commentary, Malfoy takes off in hot pursuit of the Snitch. Harry struggles to catch his arch-nemesis, finally taking both hands completely off his Firebolt to make a mad grasp at victory. He catches the snitch by a hair winning the Quidditch Cup for Gryffindor for the first time in decades. The crowd rushes the field, hoisting Harry on their shoulders as he holds the trophy high and Oliver Wood breaks down into happy sobs.
Harry’s Lesson for Your Institution:
Harry Potter was the youngest Seeker to join the house Quidditch team in a century. To catch the golden snitch, you need to be flexible, agile, and dynamic. When it comes to your institution’s payments program, you need a robust, nimble platform that accepts loan payments, allows you to collect service fees and fund new account openings, and provides multiple channels of communication to effectively communicate with borrowers.
Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and Income Generation
The Weasley twins are two of the most colorful (literally) and intrepid entrepreneurs in the Harry Potter universe. From testing prototype Skiving Snackboxes on their fellow students to the unforgettable fireworks display that chased Umbridge from the great hall and officially launched their brand, to opening their own loudly successful business in Diagon Alley, the twins always had a money-making scheme up the sleeve of their cloaks.
The Weasleys’ Lesson for Your Institution:
Generating non-interest income for your financial institution ultimately benefits borrowers by defraying costs, decreasing loan rates, and increasing savings rates. The Weasleys were masters of introducing new products that brought value to their existing consumer base (even if the value largely consisted of annoying Filch).
Voluntary protection products often take the form of small-ticket protections, such as insurance or extended warranties for cell phones, discounts, and emergency services. It also encompasses small, specific-purpose protection, such as travel insurance. Offering voluntary protection products is a great way to generate non-interest income for your institution while supporting your borrowers through hard times.
Making Magic Happen with the Total Solution
I waited for years to get my Hogwarts letter, longing to live in a world filled with magic. These days, I would still love to be able to wave a wand, recite some Latin, and have the dishes clean themselves! Fortunately, magic spells are not the only way to save yourself some hassle.
Accio, Total Solution!
By combining risk management, payments, and income generation products and services with SWBC, you solve many of the challenges that give us muggles a headache. Your vendor management team will only have one partner to manage; you'll have a stellar account service team dedicated to your financial institution who can ensure the products experts are available when needed; and your employees will have access to our exclusive AutoPilot™ Portal to manage multiple products and services. It’s so easy, it might as well be magic!
A graduate of the Plan II Honors program at UT Austin, Amanda Harr is the Content Manager for SWBC. A clever wordsmith who appreciates artful persuasion and authenticity in writing, Amanda uses a structured creative process to craft marketing strategies, develop communications solutions, and deliver top-notch content.