By Marguerite Watanabe, Kelly Clark, and Grace Pulliam

1. Tell me about yourself! What’s your background like? 

I have had the privilege to work in the automotive and auto finance industries for over 30 years. I started my career at Nissan on the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) research side before moving to the finance arm. The stops along my journey from there included using credit data and marketing leads to allow consumers greater access to financing and improving operational effectiveness to improve profitability along with dealer and customer satisfaction. Since 2006, I have run my own consulting firm where I provide meaningful industry insights and connections among industry players. I have also worked closely with the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) and National Auto Finance (NAF) Association for the last couple of decades and, more recently, with several advisory boards for private companies.

2. How did you end up joining MOBI? What can you tell me about your role as Partnerships Lead?

I originally met Chris Ballinger through our mutual participation in AFSA. I wanted to support Chris and Tram [Vo] in fulfilling their important and groundbreaking goals to make transportation more efficient, equitable, decentralized, and sustainable. Knowing this would take a village, and a very large one at that, I hoped to be able to share my unique experiences and industry contacts with MOBI.


3. You were integral to the development of the MOBI FSSC Standards. Can you describe the purpose of these standards and what they contribute to the smart mobility and transportation industries?

The Finance, Securitization, and Smart Contracts (FSSC) Working Group (WG) is made up of dedicated members from the vehicle finance industry that provide insights into the challenges that blockchain standards could address. The WG also identifies opportunities for the originations, funding servicing, loss management, and remarketing functions for consumer and dealer financing.  The standards developed by the FSSC WG have been designed to support progress in operational effectiveness, customer satisfaction, data security, and management in the vehicle finance ecosystem. The hope is that these standards contribute to the future of smart and efficient mobility infrastructure. FSSC’s dealer floorplan audit use case is now being tested through the Citopia vinTRAK pilot, which aims to solve the trust and privacy problems of the floorplan audit process by defining a blockchain-based automated process to securely verify vehicle location using decentralized identifiers and zero-knowledge proofs. vinTRAK is the foundational step and will unlock many use cases for connected vehicles and IoT commerce.


4. Your expertise is in automotive finance. What do you think is the future of automotive finance? How does MOBI fit in that future?

Early on in my career, I was told that auto financing would play a major role in vehicle sales, which certainly has come true. Thus, the auto finance industry must continue to evolve with the automotive industry and even be willing to take the lead at times. MOBI has helped facilitate that by bringing industry players together to engage in a dialogue on the future of finance and mobility and build upon the industry’s goals for a stronger framework.

5. As Partnerships Lead, why do you think a community is important to “Building the New Economy of Movement”?

The auto and auto finance industries have been and will continue to be essential components of the U.S. and global economies.  Going forward, this will be enhanced by promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals within the industry and in partnership with other industries. Creating a community will be crucial to the success of the New Economy of Movement.  


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