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Paul: Impacting Customers’ Lives with Collections Models

Name: Paul A.
Job Title: Modeling Manager, Card Member Assistance

Advanced tech

I came to Discover because of the technologically-advanced environment. Since taking the job here a little over a year ago, I’ve been surprised at how the technology has continuously improved. This is a great environment to learn and use state-of-the art technology.

Focus on transparency

My team is responsible for collections models. Our business partners use these models to help people throughout the lifecycle of delinquency. Our team’s objective is focused on better transparency during the modeling process. Transparency means a couple of things for our team. It means we’re focused on communicating clearly with the strategy team and the Model Risk Management (MRM) team. It also means that we’re focused on building transparent Machine Learning models.

Creating transparent models requires statistical analyses to understand the relationship between the input variables and the predictions from the machine learning models. Understanding these relationships clearly is critical in a regulated environment, and also provides insights about how our customers behave.

Value of modeling

We’re on a mission to help all of our cardholders achieve a brighter financial future, no matter their current credit standing. Rising delinquencies hurt our company’s bottom line, but more importantly, it impacts our customer’s lives. Our models help to more effectively identify cardholders who need our help. Starting with those who show signs of struggling to make payments through their spending and payment habits, all the way to those who haven’t made a payment for an extended period of time. This allows us to flag cardholders earlier in their delinquency lifecycle and providing relevant and appropriate programs to assist them.

Emerge program

For the first time in my career, I manage other people. To get better at managing others, I enrolled in Discover’s Emerge program. The program is designed to help new managers with critical leadership skills. Participating in this program has been a major influence in shaping my management style. Every day I’m able to learn from others within a safe environment where I can ask questions.

Recently I’ve been working towards being more adaptive to both my peers and my direct reports. Because historically, I lead by example. My biggest take away from the program so far has been recognizing the importance of listening more, talking less, and trusting people.