In this episode, Mike Townsend speaks with Stephany Kirkpatrick the founder and CEO of Orum, the simplest API integration for instant payouts. A digital executive and seasoned entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in companies across a variety of industries, from startups to Fortune 100 corporations, Stephany founded Orum in 2019 on the belief that consumers should have immediate access to their money. A CFP by training, Stephany has spent the last decade of her career building technology to optimize financial outcomes for Americans – first at LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual where she helped design its financial planning software and now at Orum where she is leading a team that is building the new financial infrastructure that allows money to move immediately and automatically across accounts, products, and financial institutions. To date, Orum has raised $82M from investors, such as Accel, Bain Capital Ventures, Homebrew, SVB Capital, and American Express Ventures. Orum's customers include a range of leading fintechs across, lending, investing, crypto and insurance, including Public.com, Coinflow (FKA Phantasia), Kalshi, Nth Round, Dots, and Ponto.
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Mike: My guest today isStephany Kirkpatrick. She is the CEO of Orum website is orum.io. The companyhas raised $85million to date, and they are primarily focused on providing APIinfrastructure to help businesses, financial businesses move money faster. Theyare using the RTP or the real time payments network to do this.
We talked about the ACH system, wetalked about rtp, we talked about Fed Now Zelle, wire transfers. These aredifferent payment settlement layers, and we went into detail by the differencesof how they work, who owns them, how they work created, and the downsides ofthese new settlement layers.
We discussed Orum, where they're going,where they came from, how Stephany started the company working in a largerFinTech company, and then hiring a Indian development firm in the early days.Now they're far beyond that. We talked about the current financial and bankingcrisis that we're in the midst of now, recording March 28th, 2023.
We discussed the impact that crypto hason this crisis and where we're all going. How the consolidation of bankinglooks in the future and speculated on what the implications of that will be.Hope you enjoy this conversation. Stephany is incredibly knowledgeable. In herexperience, both in running Orum, but also just more broadly in how the bankingsystem, the financial system works.
And lastly, we touched on financialadvisors. She was one in the past, and so we discussed what makes a greatfinancial advisor what to look for, and if you have any feedback, thoughts. Suggestionsfor new guests, please send them in. Otherwise, any thumbs up or sharing ofthis podcast is greatly appreciated.
Without further ado, here is StephanyKirkpatrick.
Mike: All right, Stephany.Thanks for jumping on today. I'm excited to get to know you more, get to knowwhat you're working on. Why don't we kick it off there.
You guys at Orum have raised a bunch ofmoney, seem to be doing some really great things. Tell me just briefly why youstarted the company and what you guys are trying to do in the world.
Stephany: Mike, my story startsback in Portland, Oregon, which is where you happen to be these days. So, whenI kind of think about the childhood, I had the influence. I had torn up, been ahousehold where my dad was an immigrant, came to the US with, with literallynothing. So much of my life has been shaped by the desire to spend time helpingothers who have less, have more.
And at Orum we are the simplest a p iintegration for instant payouts, which means that we can start working on andhelp people solve the time to money problem. Right? And it, in my mind, is oneof the most critical aspects of the way we think about the American wallet, theway small businesses. Even the way the global supply chain is impacted by theability to actually speed up the way money moves in a 24 7, 365 format.
And so when I think about all the thingsthat are important to me as a founder and also as a certified financialplanner, which is what I was doing before I was in tech, I think about the opportunityto have reach and magnitude, reach and impact through what we're building. Andso as a cfp, you can reach potentially hundreds of people.
But through technology of theopportunity to go beyond that, from thousands to millions to hundreds of millions.And at Orum, as we are building the most unique payment stack in the industry,specifically around instant payouts, you can integrate with us in two days orless, and you can build a full payment stack.
They're quickly, no prolongedcompliance, no major overhead to go direct to a bank. We do all of that for youand then you. Customers build incredibly new rich products, a lot of whichdrive both new customer acquisition and ultimately different forms of revenue.And then, we're in a position to grow with our customers and help them figureout what are they gonna be working on next in service of how to continuouslyembed instant and faster and better payment into the ecosystem of what they'rebuilding.
I think most of what we do at our own,centers on this idea that if you could speed up the way people access theirmoney, Wouldn't have to spend time thinking about the complexities of paymentorchestration. You could solve a wholly different set of problems. And that iswhat I think ultimately is the unlock of spending time in this part of themarket gonna be, is I look ahead to the next decade, which, is probably thejourney that we're on as a company in order to really make tremendous amountsof impact.
Mike: And so how,
how did you make that career transition?I mean, you're, you're now running this company and you were doing. Financial,you say financial planning. Planning, yes. So yes. What happened?
Stephany: I, I'm, I'm, I thinkI'm, I'm not the traditional founder in a lot of ways. But I think a lot of itwas just driven by curiosity, which is a core value that I have personally andthat we have at the company.
That one day, literally I have the blueand little CD ROM product, which tells you about how old I am. For the firstjob, I had stopped coming and it sort of blew up this company like you. I canremember walking around the office and everyone like, what are we gonna dowithout this software we're so used to having?
And I basically raised my hand and said,well listen, as a financial planner, the math behind this software is prettysimple. I learned how to do it on my fancy calculator, so why don't we justbuild an app that could do the math in a way that's really consumable? And thatwas the beginning of what became my interest and passion for building throughtechnology, better solution.
But at the time, I had no idea what Iwas signing up for. I went to a platform at the. That is now Upwork, and thencalled Elance. And basically just found an American who was building a developmentshop in India and wrote him a note and said, here's what I'm trying to solve.And he goes, you're gonna have to send me some wireframes.
And I was like, quickly Googling, whatare wireframes? Right? Like I, it was just from a financial planning background,like so not in my d n to know how to think about technology, but it camequickly this idea that you could build better experiences. That was the firstpart, right? Build a better experience. That ended up getting sold into a bank,and then I came to what I'm gonna call a more official startup called LearnVest, where I had the opportunity to really double click on the zero to oneexperience of being in tech.
And we sold that company to NorthwesternMutual back in 2015 and at Northwestern Mutual. All of a sudden, you see insidebig financial services, the time to money problem, money in, out and acrossfinancial services platforms is slow. The system that we're built on ECH wasbuilt 50 years. And just like of the, any other part of, outdated infrastructure,roads, bridges, whatever it may be, this infrastructure wasn't designed forwhat we are doing today.
It wasn't designed to contemplate theway people engage digitally with their money. It wasn't designed to contemplateurgency and speed of accessing money, and it wasn't designed to contemplatefast moving fraud steams that are ever more complex as a result of how AI haschanged and the way that the fraudsters are working.
And so it deepened my curiosity. Tocontinue to build and work in a space that was gonna be high impact and thatwas ultimately gonna be solving a problem that I think from my childhood intomy early career and all the way through my tech years has just been importantto me and remains top of mind.
And I think it's why ultimately a lot offolks do come to Orum with a conviction because they themselves have seensomething in their life where time to money, right? Getting paid, getting aninsurance claim paid out, and having access to money that's in a brokerageaccount that you need back on a Sunday.
All of those. And more end up beingreally clear pain points that draw in folks who really wanna work on solvingthis problem and, and frankly, rebuild the infrastructure that financialservices is built on in the first place.
Mike: yeah. So, okay, so I,I wanna make sure I, I get where you were psychologically at LearnVest.
So you're working, your company wasacquired from, by LearnVest. You're in this large business and you say, I wantto. Work with this Indian development shop and build out a new product becausethis large financial company and many others like it, can't figure out how toget paid faster. W was there a particular technological insight that you saw?
Because on a superficial level, movingmoney faster is a very obvious problem. That is, front and center for manyisn't an obvious problem. I think so. I think that when it comes to movingmoney, I think people want, people want a guaranteed to go where they want itto go. So if I send someone a bank transfer, it has to go to their bankaccount.
And the only other attribute of thatpayment, well there's two right there, would be speed and cost. So I can send awire transfer about risk. I think of risk as the first one, risk is it has togo to where I want it to. . It has to be cheap and it has to be fast. Socompanies that I talk to, and I've talked to a bunch of 'em, they tend to befocused on one of those three, like cheaper, faster, better.
So fast is definitely an appeal. Butwhere, where were you when you were at this company and you said, I wanna be, Iwanna focus on speed.
And did you see something, I mean, didyou see like, okay, if we stack ACH transfers, we could front load them and.credit people's accounts fast. Like what was the, what was the insight thatmade this possible technically?
Stephany: The first insight wasactually watching people get access to financial advice, because financialadvice guides you to do something with your money, right? Don't, don't just sitidle, put it somewhere, put it somewhere better. And some of those places thatcould be better than sitting idle, especially in today's market, would be likea, high yield savings, but maybe it's not at the bank, you banquet, so you haveto move it somewhere.
and when you want it back, it's gonnatake three, four, maybe even five days, depending on whether or not it's anight, a holiday, a weekend. When you go to initiate that bank transfer, youput it in a brokerage account into a crypto wallet. Places where it could growexponentially, potentially, but you need it back.
And so the kind of mindset that peoplecarry is, well, I'd rather not put it in these better or optimal placesbecause. What if I have an emergency? What if on Saturday when the bankingsystem is closed and ACH and wires aren't operating, I need access to my money?What if? And so it leaves people in a position of essentially fear, even thoughthey know that the math says, Hey, this is a battle path.
So the first insight is really from afinancial planning perspective, seeing how people behave. It's not like theydon't know where they could put money, even if it's small dollars, right? Itdoesn't have. Wealthy High net worth, right? What we were working on at LearnedVest initially was for the 99%. It's about that insight that says, what holdspeople back?
Well, they can't get it back at night oron the weekends. Why? Then you start to unpack what's going on with the ACHsystem and why is it only operational nine to five? Why doesn't it work onSaturday? Why is the best innovation in taxes my own money, the atm? Why hasn'tanything else happened since then that actually speeds that money movement?
And so it's interesting hearing you. Ohwow. It's an obvious problem. Speed is an obvious problem, but it hadn't beenuntil very recently a very big topic of conversation. Banks were designed tomanage risk, and they were designed to operate only during certain constrainedhours, and that worked until it did.
And so my insight, my aha, was watchingpeople choose not to do something that could build wealth, could build safetynets, could build stability, could grow their dollar, because the systemunderpinning how their money would go from pointing to point B didn't. Theneeds of the actual use case of it's my money.
I need it to be accessed wherever,whenever, how, and I need to access it. So that's what I need to think a bitmore about, like what's going on with the infrastructure? Is it even possibleto change it? Yes. And the answer is, it is possible. Right? And today withRealtime payment rtp, the network that Dixler and Cal Brands and Fed Now, whichwe're excited to be partners with the Fed to launch later this year, you havenow two new ways to move money faster, better, smarter, instant.
The challenge isn't that they exist. Thechallenge is that you have to be able to optimize using them where they are ableto deliver that instant experience. And so what used to be a simple framework,to your point, if you needed to go fast, pay a high C for wires. If you want itto go slow five days a week, can you can use ach?
Well now the complexity of the optionsis greater. So what we do is a little bit like what Amazon does for CMDdelivery. In the bank transfer world, you could do an ACHs, M d, ACH and RTP orwire. That's all under our unified yet. And we orchestrate how it goes frompoint A to point B. With Amazon, you order a package.
You don't pick FedEx X for the deliveryoption, right? You just pick the window in which you want it delivered onAmazon. Is the one actually optimizing? Should it go, postal service ups, allthe varieties of ways that it can get to you. And that's how I would thinkabout bank transfers.
Is that in an effort to speed them? Tomanage for the three key pillars of speed, risk, and cost. The configurationand orchestration actually becomes really critical. So it's one, it's aboutaccessing you and modern ways in the infrastructure space to move money. Andtwo, it's piecing together the complexity of the decisions that go with thatmoney movement so that when you or anybody else consumer or business isthinking about money movement, the certainty that it's going to the rightplace, the conviction that it will get there on time, whatever time that may.
And the optionality to have choices onwhat you pay so that you could do something instant that doesn't cost $50,which is what a wire often costs, opens up a whole new set of opportunities forhow people build products in and around and adjacent to payments and financialservices.
Mike: Gotcha. Okay, so it,it sounds like the insight that you had technically was that the Fed launched FRTP real time payments.
Was that kind of, you're like, Hey, thisnew system is coming out that'll make it possible to send money faster. Let'sgo build a company around that. Was that like long and short of it?
Stephany: That was part of it. Imean, that was certainly part of it. That's part of the inspiration for saying,let's design a system that feels like Sloan Day delivery for Amazon, butcontemplates money movement.
Because when you introduce new systems,the clearinghouse and its real-time payment solution, the Fed and its fasterpayments product called Fed Now, you have so many more ways of doing it thanyou did before. And they don't all cover the same territories or the samebanks. They operate slightly differently.
So there was definitely inspiration insaying, Hey, this new thing is out there, but it's being really underutilized.Right? For the last few years, almost nobody was talking about real-timepayments, and now every day, that's a topic of conversation, and it's franklywhy our pipeline of customers is at an all time high because the demand to dosomething instant.
Has grown tremendously in the last fewyears. The capability to use it has been around, but the interest in leveragingfaster payment systems has really been something that I think we've seen moreand more of in the last really three years. As I think more and more folks haveturned to digital solutions and have really thought about, Hey, in the otherpart of my life, I can get everything instantly.
Why with my owed money can I not getaccess to dollars to move? To trade them, to exchange them to receive somethingfrom a business, right? There's so many use cases there. And so the inspirationis, is long, long-term thinking in saying like there's a revolution happening.How do we propel that revolution faster to get better adoption so that whencompanies are building products, they aren't asking.
The question on speed of money movement.They're focused on actually building value around all the other things that sitin front of getting the funds moved from point A to point B.
Mike: When was this R T Psystem lodged? Do you know? And, and is it managed centrally? Like it does thefederal government manage this, this thing, and.
I was curious, designed. Yeah,
Stephany: go ahead. It wasdesigned over a series of years. The RTP Network is owned by the clearinghouse,which means it's owned by about the top 20 banks. So it was designed to superserve large banks on the retail side or on the business side. And it waslaunched in 2019 and it was expected to be groundbreaking adoption, but itultimately only had Hapo banks that were on it using the network initially.
And so, like anything, think back toApple. Right. Early days, apple Pay, how many times could you double tap andjust pay? Not that often. So you whipped out your phone or your watch here andthere. Now, literally almost everywhere, apple Pay is full ubiquitous. And sothe banks that owned the Clearing House had an adoption challenge, which is notthat the idea isn't innovative and interesting, but as a bank who operates nineto five on a batch based system tied into a deep technology called.
How do I possibly become a real-timebank? How does every bank, how do $11 at financial institutions in the US gofrom nine to five, Monday through Friday to 24 7, 365? The technology, thepeople, the operations, that's a lot of work. And so initially banks were slowto adopt use of rtp, and now we're at a kind of tipping point where there isabout 300 banks on the RTP network, which doesn't sound like a.
When you think about the fact that thereare 5,000 banks, 11,500 financial institution, but from a zero to oneperspective, it's a lot because it covers about 70, 75% of consumer bankaccounts. And so 75% of the time you can make an a transfer instant. I'll takeit at the starting point. Yeah. And every month, every quarter, every day thatwe work on this problem, the awareness rises, the demand from consumers andbusinesses rises and the technology leaders.
Companies like ORM are building arefurther enabling simplicity of accessing the networks in a way that previouslywasn't a capability in the market. And so I think all three of those things arepowerful push to an inflection point where instant becomes the norm.
Mike: And, and is, Is the RT P Fed now ACH wire, Iselle another payment network?
I know that they, Absolut. Yes. Is thatlike, are those the five major ones? I mean, do you think about this from a,like a systems perspective where there's like mm-hmm. , the ACH system, thewire system, RTP system, fed Now system like do banks need intermediarytechnology companies to be able to utilize these systems like that?
That's your strategy? Or how does. Getrolled out because in the case of Zelle, I think they were similar to yourexample here. They were owned collectively by a bunch of large banks and theyintegrate them right into the app and they have a third party design and buildit, but they own the ip, so they have kind of incentive to adopt it, and thenit's better, right?
It's better for their customers causeit's faster and easier to use than sending ACH or. Is that like, how does R T Pand Fed Now position relative to Zelle and Yeah. Really just Zelle.
Stephany: So Z'S network effecthas been really interesting to watch, right? Because to your point, it is alsoowned by consortium of banks.
PS it's the same banks that own mm-hmm., the clearinghouse that own R t P, the systems were really designed for, forfundamentally different purposes in a peer-to-peer transaction. I paying you.The back and forth exchange of funds is pretty straightforward and it's veryspecific to inner big transfers that don't go above a certain size, let's say.
So, much like Venmo where maybe I'mpaying you back for a birthday party or trip or a brunch together, small dollarfrequent transactions versus being able to transact, let's say up to a milliondollars in real time, which is what the RTP network does. So they'refundamentally different.
They have different messaging standards,different settlement standard. Which is again, why I think the complexity andwhere ORM sits in the market is to orchestrate payments across all thesedifferent kinds of solutions is really powerful. Z is cool because it takesyour name or your phone number or your email, and it identifies you.
You don't actually have to have youraccount in routing number. It ties to a directory in the backend that looks upthe right bank information so that Stephany's email address can be correlatedto a bank account. Thus an. Seemingly instant transaction can occur. Now, thereare downsides to that, which is my email and my bank account have a one-to-onerelationship.
But it is a very powerful thing to beable to say, wow, I don't have to go find into my account routing number. Idon't need an aggregator like Plat or MX or Ity or anything else. I can justuse something I common use every day that I think is really powerful in theworld of payments because it's like, what's in my head?
What do I automatically know so I canprovide information to receive or send a. So Zelle has actually been superinteresting to watch because it did create a pretty big ground swell ofadoption and the use cases grew from peer to peer to include more b2b. So the networkitself has grown tremendously since launch.
It is distinct from R T P and R T P isdistinct from Fed. Now those are on new settlement frameworks that require,again, being able to manage money movement in real time. What happens at 2:00AM on a Tuesday? When the banking operations center and the fraud andcompliance teams are not working at a bank traditionally, how do you then bringa technology like that into a financial institution?
Partners like Orum can do it reallyseamlessly because we help bring the entire structure of how to keep track,which is what we call a ledger, how to identify risk in the system, how toblock bad actors, feed up more good actors, and ultimately how to manageoperat. if something does go wrong in the middle of the night on the weekends,on a holiday.
So it's an operating model that's reallyinteresting in part because it's leveraging something that is available toeveryone, which is just time, right? But banks themselves as providers fasterpayment services don't all have the resources to overhaul their systems,overhaul their operation. So partnering with technology providers is a greatway to advance the agenda of faster.
And beyond what is maybe possiblewithout technology that can streamline and simplify it?
Mike: And how long and howmuch does it take to, you're selling to banks, right? So you're pitching themon, is this a 12 month sales cycle that costs them some resources on theengineering side and like I imagine risk and legal assessment, all this stuff.
And then they say, okay, go ahead.Stephany, let's, let's launch Ora. Like what do you have to do to be successfulselling into a bank? Technically speaking?
Stephany: Well, to be successfulin payments, technically speaking, you have to make sure that 100% of the timethe payment goes from point A to point B exactly as planned.
So that's our first kind of highestorder priority. We think of our customers really as sort of more industryspecific, right? So banks are certain. Potential partners for, but what I getreally excited about is unlocking access to all these complex and frankly, verypowerful forms of money movement for people who are not banks.
Because people who are buildinginnovative technology, not exclusively in FinTech, but across the techecosystem, they're the ones who most need the ability to do something better,smarter, faster. , and frankly, they're the ones that aren't gonna have the 75million budget to invest in some sort of technology upgrade, right?
So the fact that we are turnkey, a stinkAPI that unifies all of those transfers, that orchestrates all those paymentsyou can integrate to us in literally two days. So our payment stack is simple,straightforward, are api, they're easy to use. That is a forced multiplier becauseyou can get many companies who wanna operate in financial services but are notbanks to have the superpower of instant payment.
Which can drive them further fasterbecause to your point, the cost and overhead of lots of engineers focused onall the payments back in doesn't have to be true. So the plug and flee natureof what we do ends up being a real amplification for companies who know thatpayments are gonna be important to their strategy, but their actual businessmodel isn't to be a payments company or even to be a bank.
And so things. The factoring industriesand things like cr creator economy, things like earned an early wage access, orreally interesting places where there's a ton of development, how people getpaid, how they pay. All of that sit at the intersection of why we like solvingthe time to money problem, right?
And the time to money could be 15seconds when you're using something like R T P versus five days on ach. Thoseare the kinds of force multipliers that I get really excited about when we canwork with somebody who's building net new products and services that touchpayments are definitely adjacent to, but are, hold the innovative solutions intheir own right.
Trucking logistics. I mean, I could goon and on about yeah. Industries and use cases where incid becomes reallypowerful.
Mike: You, so I'm gonna justtake a guess and you correct me where I'm wrong. So this is what's technicallyhappening. You have an API where a company will I. Your API into their techstack, and then it will make an API call to the, the host, the bank of theperson who the company is utilizing, like an employee or a contractor of thatbank.
And it'll say, send a RTP payment tothis other bank account. And so your API gets two bank accounts details, andthen it sends a request to the RTP network and says, make this transac. . Andthen RTP comes back and says, status Good. And, and then mm-hmm. money is movedon the RTP side. Is that basically how it's technically working or how wouldyou modify?
Stephany: It's a very simple,straightforward way to understand it. And I think you touched on somethingreally important, which is R T P immediately sends back the signal. Good. Hmm.Not good, bad. Right. And it can identify because as a messaging layer, what'sactually going on where that ach, that the manual process.
Three days after the transfer to sendback any information about why that transfer maybe wasn't a good transfer, badactor, bad account, not enough money, right? There are many reasons why. And soknowing instantly did it go through or not, and what happened is also importantbecause of all of the additional overhead and fraud vectors that can beinserted when there's a time lapse between the request to transfer money andthe actual settlement window, and the longer that is, which on AC to typicallyat minimum of three.
The worst, the scenario is for everybodyinvolved in the transaction, and it's why in the, in the consumer mind, we likecredit cards, right? I swipe, I walk into Starbucks, I swipe Starbucks noteinstantly at point of sale. Am I good for the money or not? Starbucks doesn'tget the money when I swipe my card.
It all settles on bank rails later. Butthey have the certainty in that moment that they're not gonna be defrauded andthat that transaction is a valid transaction. That, and that I, Stephany, havefunds. Think of RTP as similar, which is what can't be used today to check outat Starbucks. It can be used to send money out of an insurance account to pay aclaim.
It can be sent from a brokerage orcrypto account back into your checking or savings. In all of those instances,the certainty that it got there, which is again our number one priority, Atransfer goes from point A to point B on time with certain. That is why rtp,one of the reasons why RTP is so powerful, right?
The message and the timeline that itoperates on are fundamentally new and different.
And the a c H system, it's old, youmentioned it's manual. I'm assuming people are not literally doing anyhuman.
Stephany: Human. I wouldn't beso, I wouldn't be so quick that there's no humid. In fact, there's large teamsthat work in banks whose job it is, is to run through and review transaction,look for novel.
Communicate information back and forth.A lot of the work is manual. Wow. It's a file. Yeah. ACH is a flat file. Right?Wow. It is a flat file of information sent at certain intervals throughout theday, and you could open up and send the intervals on the weekends, I suppose,but that doesn't change, that it's manual and that it doesn't settle instantlyand it doesn't carry data alongside the transaction.
And so there's a bunch of, again, justsystem designs that you would do differently. Today, which is why RTP and Fednow have so many more of these modern contemporary frameworks than 50 years agowhen people weren't sitting on their phones yet to be invented and doing,digital account opening yet to be invented, to have a neobank yet to beinvented.
To move money, right? Yeah. So, so manythings have changed and yet the one thing that underpins all of that moneymovement, 75 trillion of money movement was built 50 years ago and literallynot changed. And so that is one of the reasons why this is such a like momentin time.
Mike: Yeah. And so R T Pinvented by or, or created by, funded at least by a lot of large banks.
The Fed Now program is the intention tosupersede the ACH system. So the ACH will just stop working, and then the Fednow will be the predominant like settlement layer underneath all US domesticregulated bank transfers. Is that. Like general direction.
Stephany: The easiest likeanalogy to draw is FedEx and u p s. They both cover like every zip code in theUS these days. When they started, they did not, one I think would deemthemselves more like grout area rate ups was really in the ground business andFedEx is really in the air freight business now. They ultimately cross over insome areas, but they do specialize.
And one is typically a little moreexpensive, FedEx, because it's usually for high value goods. Mm-hmm. I'm gonnaFedEx legal documents, right? High value versus ups. I'm gonna ship a largepiece of furniture. Maybe it's high value, but it can take a, longer ride toget from point point B. That's what I would think about Site.
Now at rtp, they're fundamentallydifferent. Will they eventually create ubiquity that you could get to everybank account in every part of the country? I hope so, because that's when wewin with fast for payment. Some are designed more exclusively for larger banks.I would say that RTP has been predominantly leveraged by larger banks and thefeds Fed Now products will not, not serve large banks, but it is also designedto better serve smaller banks who don't have the same technology advantage thatthe bigger banks had in designing their own system in the first place.
And so I think they're reallyinteresting. If done right, much like FedEx and ups, which started as verydifferent things and ultimately coexist very, I think seamlessly and arerequired for different reasons to both exist. We're gonna see both of thesesystems mature a lot in the next few years.
It, I've heard quite a bit of criticalperspectives on, on Fed now.
By analogy, the C B D C, like a CentralBank digital currency, while it's not released or I don't think has any plansto be released in the us, the Fed Now program has this kind of centralizedpower to it, right? The, the federal government, the Federal Reserve, Ibelieve, has direct oversight into everybody's banks, and with that power comesgreater speed and efficiency.
You can move money back and forth, butyou could also. In theory, just take money's, take money outta people'saccount, or just shut money, shut people's account down directly. Do you agreewith that criticism? Does it make sense? Do you see it differently or is itjust some, something to be aware of and that it is a greater centralization ofpower And with that we get upsides, like it's faster, more efficient, but thatwe just need to be more aware of, of that centralization of power.
Resonate with you.
Stephany: I mean, I think thatthat the question you're asking is probably less for me to answer and more likea, nonstarter for a lot of different kinds of conversation. I think the way Ithink about it is that in the places where central banks have been critical tothe strategy for faster payments, India and U P I and specifically and morerecently, Brazil and the pick system, you've seen widespread adoption withlittle downside and modern.
So by virtue of the name, a central bankis designed to govern the central and dominant form of banking infrastructurein a country in the us. I think we have historically and currently believedthat that is good for us, and I don't have any reason to believe that that'snot good for us. That doesn't counter what happens in DeFi, the fact that thereare lots of, I think really interesting protocols being created.
Probably won't replace central banktechnology, but could make some aspects of what we do today with paper dollarsinto digital dollars. Be really intriguing. I think we're a long ways out fromhaving a real sense of how whether it's governed by the central bank or notdigital currency is gonna unfold beyond what we've talked about in terms of theinstant frameworks available today.
Right. Crypto's a a bit of an unknown asto whether or not it will be regulated as an asset class, if it will becomekind of considered a currency. If a little bit of both, depending on where you.And so I think time will tell a little bit more about what's gonna happenthere. But ultimately, central Bank support for faster payments is important.
And I think from the perspective ofwhere the Fed and the Fed Now products sit, it's a good push in the US for usto get further faster.
Mike: So you, you just tell,tell me your reaction to this. These are some thoughts running through my headin no particular order, but
I think the recent Silicon Valley Bankcollapse is, A indication has exposed the massive amount of debts that bankscarry.
And smaller banks, more regional bankstend to carry a lot more commercial real estate debt and that that debt isgoing to start, start to affect the banks more seriously when commercial realestate leases come up for renewal and companies opt out. That's been recognizedand I. We, we are seeing a, a mass, so that that's one piece of it.
You have distribution of debt. SiliconValley exposing that the banks have, the number I saw was about 700 billion ofdebt cuz they bought treasuries. When the interest rates were very low, theybought long-term treasuries. So the Fed has said a few weeks ago that they willbacks. Provide unlimited deposit insurance from the F D I C for, what do theycall it?
Systemically important banks. And apparentlySilicon Valley being roughly number 20 20th largest bank is like significantenough. But you mentioned there's 5,000 banks. If I'm number 4,000 and I have500,000 in this, , I'm moving out immediately. So we're, we're seeing today a,a mass exodus from people out of those smaller banks into the larger banksbecause those large banks are gonna be backed by the government where thesmaller banks wouldn't be.
And so that makes perfect sense. We're,I would imagine we're gonna see As that consolidation happens, greatercentralized control of the banking system, and probably a decrease in thenumber of total banks that exist. So maybe in five years instead of 5,000banks, maybe there's, I don't know, 10% of that, like 5% of that, it seems likeit's gonna dramatically shrink or dramatically get more consolidated.
At the same time, we also have aundeniable effort by the government. To stop crypto to at least put a seriouswrench. Coinbase, Binance you name it. Every large crypto company is basicallybeing attacked at the same time from different angles. And at the same time,the Fed is like, oh, it's cool.
We're in a good spot. Nothing to worryabout. Meanwhile, like, credit Suisse Switzerland's largest bank basically wentdefunct. They required for pennies on the. There seems to be a real anxietywitnessing the banking crisis that we're in the midst of the centralization ofpower, and at the same time, fed now launches in July, which combined with verystrong centralization in the, in the banking industry, and if you were to killcrypto and you have massive debts, you're effectively creating a really strongcentralization of power in the finance.
In the banking industry and this, these,like, these like, what'd you call 'em? Vectors almost, they're like happeningat the same time. Give people a lot of cause for concern and there's somepeople saying, get out, move into Bitcoin now while you still can, before theyshut down the, the rails and burn the bridges.
Other people are saying it's fine, it's nobig deal. Back to business as usual. But when you look at some of the charts inthe. It's, it's difficult to see it as just being fine. I don't personally seethe smaller banks going bankrupt or going, going on runs because people,because the Fed has provided this, these swap loans, which is basically moneythat they're giving to banks in exchange for the debt that they hold on theirtreasure, their long term treasuries.
It's a little bit of a bandaid, but itseems like it's just a bandaid on top of a bandaid, on top of a bandaid. Likewe printed a ton of money when we had the pandemic, people stopped working. Sowe were unproductive as a society, really a global society for the better partof a year. And it seems like we have to pay for that somehow.
I don't know. We're all that points to,but I, it doesn't seem to me like it points to just business as. , like, we'rejust gonna be in the same spot two years, three years, four years from now.Again, I don't know what, I'm not projecting anything specific, but it, it doesfeel like a very unusually unpredictable time and especially relevant in thebanking sector, and especially relevant in what we're talking about.
Let's which is like mm-hmm. , what arethe rails on which money moves and who controls those rails? We saw in Canada,the government just stopped the bank accounts of the truck drivers who wereprotest. Whether you like, agree with them or not. I have a, I have a concernat a min, at a minimum with the government's ability to intervene and theFederal Reserve Last thing I'll say, and then you, you tell me your reaction,but the, the Federal Reserve was designed to be separate from the federalpower.
So to have the central bank and thefederal government intertwined in. We recognize as a society that's, that's areal cause for concern. So the design was separated, have the Federal Reservebe separate from the government and that present, that prevents that preventsabusing the monetary policy for your own presidential or federal political incentives.
So I know I threw a lot at you. Pick andchoose what you think is most interesting, but those are the, that's sort ofwhat's on the top of my mind and I wanted to just throw at you.
Stephany: Well, I think thatthere was a lot in there, so I'm digesting, but I think that if a few yearsfrom now things didn't look different, I'd be disappointed.
I'd be surprised how different, whythey're different. I can't really predict that. I think that's the, that's beenan evolving state actually for quite a while within banking. Whether it'sprincipal or not. What I do think is important, and this is a personalperspective, I, I, I, I, I'm not a banker but I, I actually think that.
The reason why we have 5,000 banks andwhy I think we wanna keep regional and community banks is because they serve areally distinct purpose. As much as we've been excited by the advances in,let's say, underwriting online to get a loan, opening an account digitally forthe under bank, which are absolutely advancements, when you're a farmer in asmall town and you're gonna need financing for something on your farm, you walkinto a bank branch and you talk to another person.
and the way your loan is underwritten isbackstopped by who you are in the community, what's going on locally. And thatis gonna be recreated with algorithms, at least not in the short term, andmaybe it will look different two years from now than how I'm describing it now.But the criticality of a community bank and regional bank system is super important,and I think the average depositor business or consumer trusts their bank.
And the reason that you get runs on. isbecause trust erodes sometimes for the right reasons, sometimes not for theright reasons. Banks fail all the time. They don't always make the news. Thebank that acquired Silicon Valley Bank has acquired a number of other banks outof receivership, didn't ever make the news, at least not where we went locallyin New York or Portland.
Why is that? I think it's because it'san assumed and expected part of a system, which is that small banks sometimesdon't have their resources to continue to grow or to. At a level of what'srequired, and so they fold into other banks. That's been true for decades. Idon't think that is probably going to change, but I do think changes, which isactually wasn't something that you talked about, but is top of mind for me ishow does the F D I C, how do the other regulatory bodies that touch banking orbanking infrastructure, think about the speed.
of a run on a bank in an era where youcan move 40 billion out of one bank in one day. Crazy. And you compare that towhat's happened historically, that's never been done. The biggest run on a bankwas not nearly the same size at scale, and it didn't happen in one day. Ithappened at 10 if you look back at wamu.
So I think those are really interestingquestion, which isn't how do we not have central banking infrastructure, butimportantly, how do we. An understanding of the stress test that banks mightneed to go through for evolving situations that perhaps weren't contemplated,but now we can see clearly with hindsight are an important part of thatdecision framework.
And I think every bank that it's sort ofoptimal way to make money, is to take deposits and then to lend them out and,in the indicates that they are giving deposit depositors a, an interest. Theyhave to make up the Mac software. And so in a high interest rates environment,sometimes that's easier than in a low interest rate environment.
Where do they park their cash, if not inthe loans, to be able to create a return that people will keep money in thatbank. So it's kind of a formulaic thing that happens in every bank, big andsmall, which is just lending is critical to, deposits are just a gateway toactually how the bank makes money and whenever it's that interest margin.
Is misaligned. They have to pay thedepositor, more money for interest to keep funds at the bank. Then they areearning on their loan. The math looks bad. And I think that's ultimately kindof what underpinned the immediacy of the crisis at Silicon Valley Bank.Probably resolvable had this year not said it.
That kicked in pretty quickly and to mypoint, kind of triggered rapid outflows. So there are probably lots of thingsthat we'll look back on even in a year and say, wow, these are the learningsthat have changed the way regulators. And others in the banking ecosystemoperate things. But I think we're a long way from saying that we're not gonnahave thousands of different shapes and sizes of banks that super serve avariety of different use cases.
That doesn't mean that our deal banksare going away, but it does mean I think that our regional and community banksare gonna continue to have protection so that they can exist because they servea very special need in the market. So opinion of one, not a banker.
Mike: When you say continueto have protection, does that. You think F D I C will raise the two 50 K limitfor smaller banks?
Stephany: I'm sure if they'llraise the limit, but I think that, as a part of various regulatory frameworksthat have been created over time, looking back to Dodd-Frank and the DurbanAmendment Mall, community banks have been given specific carve outs in how theycan charge interchange and other things, which has made them a great home baseto run programs for fintechs.
And I think that's a little known factas to why they were protected. against the big guys is why we wanted them tocontinue to exist. So, I think it, if possible, that the insurance limit couldincrease, increasing those insurance limits, increases how much every bank hasto contribute to the insurance fund that runs behind F D I C.
So, I don't know, they did increase itover time and it's not, unheard of that it could change again. But I'm not surethat is the actual protection that's needed to keep small banks alive.
Mike: I just don't see how.Regional banks survive. I, I, I two primary stresses seem to be just crushingthem.
One is if you're in a s if you're, ifyou're a deposit in a small bank, get out. Now is the message. And everyonehas, I mean, a vast majority of people that have over two 50 k, everyone right,would get out of those small banks cuz they're not insured. Right? If the bankgoes under and you know the bank is in debt and all you're just waiting for isthe bank run, which could happen any.
Get out. So everyone startsconsolidating in bid banks. Meanwhile, those small, smaller banks carry atremendous amount of debt from the treasuries they purchased, and at the sametime, they have a disproportionately high percentage of their portfolio incommercial real estate debt, which is going to be bad.
I don't see like the office sectorcoming back roaring after the pandemic. . And so I'm like, where's the equityvalue? Like these, these things are like, they're just shells of orgorganizations.
Stephany: There's no but howmany, how many depositors have more than 250,000 or, it's a good questionmanagement basis.
I don't think it needs to be around,most Americans don't have $300. Most American households don't have $300 for anemergency, so I think that we should just be, I've wide open that the majorityof bank customers aren't high net worth and ultimately potentially. Ever exceedthat $250,000 insurance? I think that's so,
Mike: I'm not sure.
Well, I think that's, I think you'reasking you, the way you framed it was how many customers? I think it's whatpercentage of total deposits would be the. The question that would impact thebanks the most. So maybe on, maybe it's less than 1% of depo of depositaccounts have over two 50 K, but if you, what percentage do that?
Does that 1% represent That's, thatseems like the biggest question at the table right now is, is that 30% of thedeposit holdings, is it 10%? Because I think even like 15% would be enough topush the bank into Inso make 'em insolvent, which is where. This new like lineof credit that the Federal Reserve is issuing to small banks comes from.
But that, that, you're right. That's thequestion is what, what percentage of total deposits are held in accountsgreater than two 50 K in regional banks? Because consider those, those aregonna bounce, those are gonna go into the bigger banks.
Stephany: Or as the innovationcontinues, how many opportunities will there to be.
B, to use regional and community banksto park the minimum two 50 across a network of dozens and dozens of banks. Sothey end up serving a totally different and high value purpose, which is thatthey can accept deposits on a distributed network. SoFi better make you nameit, has have created up to $5 million in F D I C insurance.
And what they're doing is just simplyusing a program of networked banks where your money is held, you put in amillion dollars, and they, they divide. Right, so I, I also would just saydon't under-represent the potential that these banks might be systemicallyimportant for different reasons, as the model for how you navigate through onefront door to multiple avenues of having that F D I C insurance will continueto grow.
It's not a new concept, but it's verypopular again in the treasury management space for businesses, and I think it'sdefinitely increasing in popularity on the consumer. So I think it's gonna beinteresting actually to see how those smaller banks serve a really differentand important purpose in networking deposits where higher net worth, highdollar deposit accounts need the insurance protection and can't get it from asingle source.
Yeah. Because as a human, I'm not gonnago manage 20 banks, but somebody who does have a million dollars that needs tostay in cash is facing a really tough problem. So I think the innovation's justgonna.
Mike: Innovation is apositive spin word for sure. I mean, for a business that would be definitely a,a point of friction, right?
If you had, say like, I, I saw Roca had400 million in svb, but say a smaller company, say they had 50 million, like ifyou wanted to be fully insured, there's no way a business could operate having., what is that for? A hundred different bank accounts,
Stephany: but that's why thebanks provide it for you.
That's what treasury management at itfinest is. Yeah. That's what the bankers do. Creeps like repo. This all existsfor a reason. Right. And the, as a founder running a company with a lot ofcapital my first impression was like, where do I park it? It's not insured. Andyou quickly find that there are products, some insureds have not.
And there's gonna continue to besolutions that folks look for And. To take advantage of being able to swiftlyback to my point of fast money movement, move money between banks so that youcan always have it in the right spot at the right time. This is what treasurymanagement is, and when you layer together some of the SaaS companies that havebeen building software and you layer together the payment services like ours,you actually have a really rich portfolio of opportunity to take advantage oftrying to navigate exactly that, which is of course, there's no one person ata.
Who could navigate that complexity, butit is very possible to achieve it through technology and automation. I thinkit's very achievable because it's already been demonstrated through the likesof Brex, mercury and others who are offering up to 5 million of F D I Cinsurance for business customers.
And that will only grow. Yeah. Right. Todo it at the scale of 50 to a hundred million is harder. This is why treasurymanagement exists, and I think it's just gonna spark more innovation in whatI'm gonna call the, like office of the C F O function. Whereas previously,maybe the innovation was focused.
Other divisions. I think we're gonna seea groundswell the next two years of innovation that's building out a CFOstack.
Mike: And what, what's theadvantage there for a business? Like why would a business benefit from havingsome technology layer distribute their money across 25 different bank accountsrather than just moving it all into like one Chase account?
Do you think?
Stephany: Well, does Chase wannatake every customer, I think is the first question and the answer is no.Unfortunately, no matter how big and fantastic they are. No big bank is gonnatake every customer. So what do you do with the folks that are unbanked?Underbanked businesses are obviously gonna struggle with that problem just asmuch as consumers.
So my point of view is that, well, thereare big banks that will continue to be big banks. The small banks have a roomand a real role to play. So
Mike: this would be likelike a fringe, not, maybe not fringe, but like you said, types of businessesthat big banks don't want to take. Marijuana businesses, legal businesses, butthat have have a, what would you call it?
Like a gray mark on them. Like big banksdon't want to take these. And so, yeah, that makes sense. There's like a layerof businesses that are perfectly legal, porn, gun dealerships, marijuana, stufflike that, that big banks don't want, and they give it to smaller banks. Thosebusinesses may be thriving. They may have a lot of money and they have tomanage.
across different accounts. That'sinteresting, right? I mean, that, that's kind of what you're getting here.
Stephany: I'm not sure. It'salways, I'm not sure. It's always all, all, all those edge cases, althoughthose are definitely underserved in banking. Those edge cases you described. Ithink there's a variety of businesses that just don't end up having businessbank access to the top five banks for any number of reasons.
Location, business model, you name it,preference. There are a lot of people who like to walk into a bank branch intheir local community, and I think that's not gonna go away in the next,decade. It may change how many we need, where they're located, what they do.But I don't think we're gonna see, personally, I don't think we're gonna see adisappearance, and I certainly hope we don't see a disappearance of regionaland community banks.
What I do hope is that we continue topush boundaries with how the smallest banks. Can take advantage of the growthand innovation, like what we do at Orem to make sure that instant is everywhereand it's not isolated to the top 20 banks or the top 300, but everybody hasinstant. If every American can pay another American instantly, then I thinkwe're talking about the right solutions are covering all the right parts of theecosystem on those instant payments.
Mike: Say just hypothetical,actually, it doesn't even really matter if there's bank consolidation, but saythere were right, just food for thought. Say we. 10 years from now, theseregional banks basically have no equity. They all get rolled up. There's like ahundred banks in the country. Do you see the Fed Now program becoming, how doesthat change the underlying rails of Fed now, if that, well, probably doesn'tchange it at all.
Stephany: Doesn't change it.Today, there's only a thousand. There's only a thousand banks that can actuallyuse what's called a Fed Master account, which is the main account to hold moneyat the Fed. And so everybody else goes through a bigger. God. But even thoughthere are 5,000 banks there's really only a thousand that connect directly tothe Fed.
Mike: Interesting,interesting. I didn't realize that. And so they all have to, and those bankaccounts, those are those bank accounts, those are federal bank accountsthrough the Federal Reserve.
Stephany: So that's the clearinghouse for them to clear an exchange funds.
Mike: And I mean, what,what, so I guess green, yellow, red, red being unhealthy.
Yellow is, is alright. Maybe uncertain.Green is good. How, how do you view the health of the, from a CPA or afinancial planner's perspective? Like, do you feel the central bank's balancesheet where we are is like, what's the path forward is, I mean, I know youdon't have the answer, but I,
Stephany: well, financialplanners focus on individuals, so I don't have an answer.
We need, we need that. Probably. There'sa crossover of you. Healthy metrics to track, but as a cfp, I'd be much moreinterested in figuring out how are you gonna have your debt? How do you get toretirement? What's the best use of the dollar that you have in your pocket? SoI couldn't comment on how the central bank's finances look today.
Mike: I'm curious to ask youa little bit more about that.
What, what's if you were to choose afinancial planner, what would you look for? What are the types ofcharacteristics, background attributes of a, of a planner on paper, many, manypeople look the same. Is there.
Stephany: Let's start with howyou get paid. Do they get paid by selling products or do they get paid bymanaging assets?
Or do they get paid an hourly fee Thatmatters because if you get paid by selling products, you're more incentive tosell me something whether I need it or not. So I look for folks who arefiduciaries, truly fiduciaries and stewards of the customer, which means thatthey're typically paid by the hour in what's called a fee only model.
So that's my starting. And then I lookfor someone that I'm actually gonna enjoy working with because money is not awealthy year, painful conversation. The way you think about filing your taxes,money's an always on conversation, and it should align with your values. Itshould be something you talk about when things in your household or yourlifestyle change with the economy changes.
So looking for someone where you'relike, I wanna call you more. Partly you are gonna call me when something relevantis happening that I should be thinking about. Or maybe. . I don't thinkgeography necessarily matters, cuz today it is pretty easy to hop on a zoom orbe fluid. But for some age groups that's less easy and sometimes regionallythere are tax advantages or state level things that you wanna plan for from anestate perspective.
There can be times when having somebodylocal who understand the nuances matter. So then there's the like specifics of,with the, the founder, world, founder equity and all that goes with it. Sosometimes you're looking for an area of special. By and large though, I wouldsay advice as a whole is a commodity.
The math on how much to save forretirement is never gonna change. How much you might need for retirement variesby individual, but the actual math is never gonna change. And thus, I thinkwhat you're looking for is not somebody who could do better math. It's somebodywho can make you understand and feel confident in the decisions you're gonnamake and actually help you make, not just follow, not just like read thefinancial plan, but execute it.
Take advantage of that knowledge andbuild wealth. Pay off debt and build a better future. And that comes back toWyatt Orum. I care so much about solving time to money because if it didn'ttake time to get paid, to earn your wages, to pay back a debt to do everythingthat we've talked about, we'd be in a whole different world with financialadvice.
Cause that was my original inspiration.It remains a big part of my inspiration and it's why. Faster, better paymentsis the answer.
Mike: Do you think financialplanners, do you think the industry of financial planners changes? Do, do yousee it as being, oh, definitely. Uh, How does it cha, does it go more like it'salready changed?
Stephany: Well, if you thinkabout it, it was originally kind of designed for the wealthy. Mm. So it had,technology available only at a certain kind of like wealth at income level. AndI think what's changed is where you access it again, how ubiquitous advice is.It's, it's around every corner. If you look for.
Financial planners and advisorsthemselves look really different sometimes now you will find folks that havegone through and gotten a college degree in financial planning, right? Muchlike a few years ago, people started getting degrees in, product management ordesign, which was not as, maybe common as it was previously.
So I think it's really cool to see youngpeople who wanna spend their entire careers helping folks figure out how tomanage money, do it, and do it from day. I think algorithms that drive how wethink about investing and saving are big force multipliers. I think with,generative AI with like even just like the basics of chat G P T, you can servemore customers more seamlessly.
You can explain things more thoroughlyand you can have base models for building financial advice that get everybodystarted faster. And I think at the end of the day, like I said, the math islargely the same math, it's the contextual. And really operations of makingsure that you're taking advantage of the advice you're getting.
So I think, absolutely folks are gonnachange. They're gonna be supercharged by technology and they're gonna changethe way they work, right? Fewer yellow legal pins backed into an office orvoice memo, notes taken. Although that definitely still exists and probably afew portfolio of products that suit today and tomorrow's customers, right?
A lot of what we. Having financialservices looks a lot like it did 20, 30, 50 years ago. So back to theinfrastructure and sort of age question pushing boundaries, and I think some ofthat's already starting to happen in the way, fractional investing is working.Like I love platforms like public.com and follow, which is new, where you canget information about what other people invest in so that you're not inisolation making those decision.
So I think there's a lot of reallypowerful social impact that will come as well as we see how advice getsdelivered and where people intersect with advice, financial services, andultimately hopefully a financial planner.
Mike: Yeah. Superinteresting. Yeah, certainly AI screams like it's gonna Yes. Impact it.
I mean, I imagine there's a str, I don'tknow what percentage, but there's a strong degree of like therapistrelationship. Like, I want you to tell me that I'm doing a good job and thatI'm managing my money well, and I'm not making a dumb. And at the same time,I'd like to be really tactical and smart with the strategy.
So yeah, AI seems like it would bepowerful, man, I, I can only see that cuz even now, like when I talk to peopleabout like how do you make a decision on what percentage of your portfolio tohave in like the s and p versus Bitcoin versus like a savings account orsomething and it's like, I don't know, this feels right.
This is somebody I follow on Twitter,they have a good mental model of the world and I subscribe to it and itchanges. I suppose there's a degree of discipline that comes from having arelationship with someone that holds you accountable. Mm-hmm. , which isprobably a huge portion of it. Absolutely.
Stephany: Right. I mean, thinkabout fitness. You can get all the answers to every fitness question on,TikTok, but are you actually fit? Yeah, that's a good point. probably, no, youprobably need to indulge you accountable. Yeah. So I think it, it translatesfor sure.
Mike: Totally. Totally.Well, awesome. I really appreciate, Stephany, you telling your story.
It was really exciting to hear youtransition from, from being a financial planner yourself and now running thisawesome company at Orum. Thanks again for hopping on today, and I wish younothing but the best. Are you online personally? We'll have all the links tothe company in the show notes, but are you tweeting or blogging or anything youwanted to throw out there?
Stephany: I'm old school. I'mold school. Fax you. I do some slacking, slacking internally, but best for meto reach out soon through email@example.com. Cool. And I would love to have aconversation, so, let's talk.
Mike: Awesome. All right,Steph. Talk to you soon.
Stephany: All right.