Path Problem: given a directed
graph and distinguished start
and end nodes, does there
exist a path from start to end
that visits all nodes exactly
3PL Third-party logistics
CPC Cost per click
DGC Digital gold currency
im Internet marketing
maP Minimum advertised
mmO Making money online
saas Software as a service
B2B Business to business
B2C Business to customer
have retired from the military. That gives
quite a good reference of why they are so
mobile. The other thing we know about the
military is that they are very comfortable
with using technology. In fact, one of the
things I learned from some of the social
media demographics is that the military are
one of the biggest users of social media, so
naturally they gravitate toward technology.
Js: and that’s something you often forget.
You often associate social media with high
school and college students, but you often
forget that the military are away from
home a lot and that’s when those tools
become really essential.
Gs: Amen! Exactly right.
Js: in terms of other banks that do have
large brick-and-mortar operations, do
you see them existing in this way in the
future? Do you think people will gravitate
away from physical banking and toward
Gs: I think it’s a strategic question that some
of the guys with thousands of branches are
going to have to ask themselves soon! They
are going to be left with a large real estate
bill if they don’t change their strategy. But I
will say that you can use brick-and-mortar
with technology very well.
We have a financial service center in our
high military populations. It’s not a branch,
but it’s another choice for our membership.
We have a number of these now, and over
the next few years we’d like about 25 of
these. If you walk in, it looks nothing like a
branch, but you can do any business with
USAA in a self-service room. You can use
the Internet and also perform a video call
with our MSR. You sit down in a booth and
are greeted by an MSR, and you can have a
conversation with them.
We also use those service centers to do
financial seminars, and those give us office
space to be able to do that as well. If you
wanted to do a deposit, we have ATMs there
that do that, and we also have just rolled
out a deposit scheme with UPS, where you
can deposit immediately at any UPS store.
Js: Let’s look far into the future. i know i
rarely carry cash these days. i pay mostly
using my card. Do you see any point in the
future where people just do away with
Gs: It’s been my experience with technology
that you never really get to eliminate legacy.
I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and
20 years ago, everyone was saying that the
mainframe was dead.
I think you always carry legacy with
you, but I do see a point in time, not
many years out, where a majority of the
population won’t carry cash. There is so
much innovation going on in person-to-person payment. The federal government
is involved, the Federal Reserve, all the
traditional credit card companies, the
cellular phone companies—everyone is
trying to win the game of what technology
the future will use to transact business. We
are monitoring that so carefully right now.
Our architects are working extremely hard
so that whichever way the technology curve
goes we are on top of it.
Js: Computer World awarded you the
number one it employer in 2010. to the
people reading XrDs, what would you say
makes Usaa a great place to work?
Gs: The kinds of folks we like to attract are
the ones who want to work with the cutting
edge. The financial services industry as
a whole is a very exciting place to work. If
you think about it, just take a step back, we
sell virtual products. They’re not physical.
These virtual products are enabled by
technology. All the barriers we used to have
from a technology standpoint that limited
our ability to service our members have
The mobility part of the equation,
and the ability to use so many different
open platforms for development is very
exciting. The sky’s the limit. The payment
industry is rapidly transforming. There’s
a lot of innovation in person-to-person
transactions. USAA is a leader in this space.
We are recognized from an innovation
standpoint in all of our services. It’s a very
exciting place to work for someone who
wants to make an impact in this industry.
It’s a great place to develop your craft.
What’s really special, technology aside, is
that we have a unique mission. We get to
serve the military community and their
families, and that’s a pretty noble purpose,
and we take that extremely seriously.
We are not a Wall Street company. We
can afford to make long-term decisions,
as we are all about our membership. We
care about our members. You can feel that
immediately when you walk in here and talk
to our people.
What I try to tell all the college
graduates is that we’re really hiring you for
a career. There aren’t many companies out
there that advertise that. I want to give you
an opportunity to grow your technology
skills and your leadership skills, and I would
like nothing better than for you to work at
this company for more than 30 years. I’ve
been here 28 years and I’m in my seventh
year as CIO. We’ve got a talented workforce
and a young workforce. We constantly hire
young people and bring in experience when
needed, but it’s a pretty dynamic culturally
To see current career opportunities and learn more about
working at USAA, see the careers section of usaa.com.