What started as a routine flight for the 155 people on January 15, 2009, become known as “Miracle on the Hudson” or “the most successful ditching in aviation history,” as one National Transportation Safety Board official would later say. Ten years later, we celebrate the remarkable happening, the resilience of the human spirit and the experienced skill of a crew that landed an Airbus A320-214 on an icy river in the the middle of winter.

The landing impacted many. The Mirador team recently facilitated a panel discussion about a story that began that day. The discussion at the 2018 American Banker Small Biz Banking Conference highlighted the experience of Patrick Harten, FAA Air Traffic Controller, co-owner of Long Beach Brewing Company and one of the air traffic controllers who guided US Air Flight 1549 to safety on the Hudson River.

Mirador CEO and Co-Founder Trevor Dryer explored Patrick’s experience on January 15, 2009 and how his long-time “retirement” dream, Long Beach Brewing Company, was finally realized. With the help of the friends he made among landing survivors, Patrick found the financing he needed through NYBDC, a B of A lending partner, and Mirador’s digital lending platform.

Joining Trevor and Patrick for the conversation were Bryan Doxford, SVP and Program Manager of Community Lending for New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) and Pamela Seagle, Global Women’s Programs Executive for Bank of America and herself a survivor of the Hudson River landing.

After telling their stories of January 15, 2009, the panelists turned their attention to the connections that led Patrick to finance his small business. For Patrick, a simple digital lending process and the ability to apply online for an SBA loan through the Mirador Platform were key to fulfilling his dream.

As they discussed Patrick’s small business lending experience, panelists touched on themes prevalent throughout the conference. Here’s a sampling:

  • Customer Experience. Panelists agreed that understanding customers, their expectations and behavior and infusing that knowledge into product discovery and delivery makes the difference between a successful transaction and a failed one. As one of the keynote speakers from Wells Fargo noted, “ease of doing business” is the number 1 driver of customer satisfaction in small business banking.
  • Gamification. Bankers and fintechs alike touted gaming design as a model for simplifying digital lending. Introducing gaming principles like asking borrowers to complete a simple task or set of tasks before proceeding on to the next task, could simplify – and dramatically increase completion rates for – small business loan applications.
  • AI and Bots. With the advent of more sophisticated AI, consumers speculate that bots will replace humans in many industries. The resounding conclusion of conference participants is that the bank of the future holds a place for BOTH bots AND bankers. Technology automates mundane tasks, freeing bankers to focus on more complex, value-added interactions with customers.
  • Breadth of Products. Panelists pointed out that Mirador’s ability to support multiple SBA loans types was key to Patrick’s obtaining the capital he needed to launch his small business.

 

To hear the story first hand, watch the panel for yourself.

 

Photo provided by Greg Lam Pak Ng