Most people are pretty familiar with a “FICO score”, a consumer credit rating.

It’s actually named after the company that originally created it, Fair, Isaac & Company. They created the first algorithm back in the late 50s & worked with 50 major lenders, but it really wasn’t available to the general public until 1989.

Citibank was one of those first 50 lenders. When I joined Citi in 1978, I clearly remember Bruce Muller (one of the few VPs in our Bklyn/SI Region at the time) working very closely with Fair, Isaac & Co. in fine tuning & enhancing the tool into our credit approval processes. (Fair, Isaac & Co. went public in 1986 & changed its name to FICO.)

I can still picture, to this very day, the tiny Apple computer that Bruce had in his cubicle in 1978. The monitor couldn’t have been bigger than 9”!

And he was the ONLY employee I ever saw with one!

We would still give our hand-written memorandums to our secretaries to type & yes, we were barely out of the Stone Age as we had evolved into using IBM typewriters.

We then graduated into IBM Selectric models with the automatic correct-o-tape feature!

And a few people had those fancy-fancy programmable calculators.

A few years later, we bought ourselves a whole load of Apple Macintosh PCs, mainly because of their ease of use as compared to the IBM-format PCs.

But Apple-compatible software was proprietary & was rather limited so the bank eliminated that approach in just a few years.

By that time, IBM adopted the windows format (more visually-oriented & similar to Apple’s technology) .

It’s amazing how quickly things changed on those days.

Rotary-dial phones were still widely-used in homes & businesses when I was hired.

I remember when we first developed IVR/Interactive Voice Response in the early-mid 80s. I was concerned about the 10%-15% of our customers that still had rotary phones & wouldn’t be able to use this very handy & efficient self-service tool.

Cell phones? Ha!

Pagers? Weren’t popular until the late 80s! And if you actually got yourself a Blackberry, you were of royal blood!

(Note: The Mickey Mouse phone that I purchased for my CitiPhone unit in 1984 was indeed equipped with Touch Tone dialing!)

Ah, a quick stroll back through history…

Thank you so much for listening!O

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