Catching up with my cousin Carl over FaceTime earlier today, him staring at the underside of my chin, and I up at his perma-profile, we yakked refinance. He never makes eye contact with the phone. And I never say “FaceTiming”. It sounds too much like two-timing. We rap about real estate and money, a lot. How to make more and get more. We’ve always been competitive. Blame it on our parents. Our dads are twins (still are!) and took every chance to outrun, out-tackle, and out-spell (no, really) each other. One spring day in their twinning adolescent years they raised a drinking contest–a milk drinking contest. Who could drink the most in one sitting. They like to tell this story, but no one likes to hear it. 


I hadn’t noticed that mortgage rates had dropped (I have a more important job) but Carl had, and he challenged me to a refinance-off. The closest I’ll ever get to a milk-off. Whoever gets it done the fastest wins. We set a 30-day deadline with a weekly Tuesday retro call. We promise to be honest. 


How I Wish It Had Played Out


Cousin Carl starts from scratch. (Berenstain Bears book?). He preaches week one about his “slow and steady” progress, his “nose to the grindstone and early bird gets the worm” winning attitude. How all the stress and heartache will be worth it. It sounds terrible to me. I’ve been reading Jaws (yes it was a novel first) with all this time on my hands.  He declares he’s been able to corral his tax returns and W-2s. I nod even though he’s not looking, and I say I’m about in the same position. We wrap up. There’s a game on. Just kidding. There’s no sports in a pandemic. 


Week two, we exchange tips on jogging one’s memory as to where we saved the PIN codes for our frozen credit reports. We’re young enough and tell each other it’ll come to us.  No one ever died from racking your brain, right?


Here’s where I’ve got to be on my toes. I can’t wait too long in case he has a bank statement breakthrough.  On the other hand,  I want to drag this out as long as I can because what else is there to do? I decide to play along on our next call and then ring him off cadence and deliver the good news — my win.


Week three is tales from the assets and debts accounts. Carl complains and makes a “pain in the assets” joke about getting the paperwork in the precise form the bank needs, but wasn’t in. He pleads with the heavens about how long this will take and when can we go to a game let alone watch one? He asks how I’m getting on and I tell him this is going to be a nail biter and maybe the family’s first tie. 


The next stormy Sunday, the big day comes. All will be revealed. I call cousin Carl with a rainbow behind me, I’m that good. Well, I tell him, it was rough but was worth it. There were times I wanted to give up and walk away with my sanity and weekends intact, but I stuck with it.  The paper pushing, the endless hold times, the lost work productivity, the ruined showers asking myself where is that blasted PIN? “Yes, you called it”, I tell him, this was the best thing I ever did. Look at me now!


This time he looks me right in the eye phone. 


I raise my gallon of whole milk. Glassy beads of condensation shimmering against a painted sky. I tell cousin Carl “Cheers!” with a grin as wide as a crescent. He later sends video proof, but I don’t watch.  I trust him like I trust Journey. 


Meanwhile, Back to the Present 


What really happened was me spending weeks with the heebie-jeebies pressing send on  reams of sensitive information to a total stranger, working who knows where and with who knows who ogling the screen over their shoulder with  my birthday at social security number front and center.  It was TMI all over the place at my expense! I know I opened myself up to identity fraud in the process.  It took me four weeks and Jaws is still on my bedside table. Nevertheless,  it was faster than Carl’s by 2 days. And my dad won the drinking contest. So there.


Journey Makes You a Winner in the Digital Identity Game


Journey has developed an innovative approach to enabling consumers and businesses to exchange and verify information without actually exposing it. It manages a secure and privacy-preserving session where the customer and agent are both authenticated, leveling the playing field.  As in: I know who she is, she knows who I am, but neither of us holds sensitive information about the other.


Journey can dramatically reduce the back and forth required by the refi process. During a single session, documents trade back and forth between institutions, and  e-signatures happen along with document exchange.  Journey uses the eye in your phone and the available  sensors to verify you.  All verified information about a customer transfers to the other agent without me having to repeat anything. 


Journey takes the game of chance out of refinance with secured identity at the root of all transactions.


Journey is in the problem-solving business, not the start-from-scratch business.

Sheryl Headshot

Storyteller and translator of technical jargon. BA in English from UC Riverside.