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It’s a Chimed Life: Meet Brian Mullins, SVP of Product

a person wearing a vest

“The way we move money around the world is constantly evolving, and we are always coming up with ways to move money faster, more accurately, and safely. Since my first role at a tech company, the world of fintech has evolved with digital payments, mobile payments, and crypto, and it has created entirely new financial vehicles, like buy now, pay later and short-term lending products.

The problem space of fintech remains complex, and increasingly, new products and services are designed to empower people who have historically been at a disadvantage. Using data and technology has leveled the playing field in many ways by making financial services less costly for those who can least afford them.”

— Brian Mullins

Brian (he/him/his) is Chime’s SVP of Product. Here’s a look at his career journey, path to Chime®, and his current work.

Problem-solving in the real world

Brian started his career by pursuing a degree in Management Science at MIT — the name of which doesn’t do the program justice, according to him. “It’s a mix of applied mathematics, engineering, and business — not your typical business degree,” he says.

While he learned plenty about advanced calculus, algorithms, and probabilistic systems, the most important thing Brian took away from his degree was that he wanted to pursue a career that involved more of the human side of things. “Engineering work was interesting problem-solving, but it felt hard to bridge human connection, which was important to me,” he says.

Upon graduation, Brian explored a different passion that provided him with the human connection he sought — law, regulation, and policy. He went to law school and then practiced law for a number of years in litigation. “I liked using my skills to solve problems in the real world for real people,” he says. “Over time, however, I realized that by the time something gets to the point of litigation, the problem has occurred — I was being brought in to clean up a mess rather than devising systems to prevent it from occurring.”

So when Brian was given the opportunity to combine the worlds he was passionate about — engineering, business, and law — by joining a tech company, he signed on with Groupon. His role was in risk management, using technology, policy, and law to set up deals for small businesses while protecting them. “You just can’t sell 10,000 coupons for a bakery run by one person — we wanted to help merchants grow without overwhelming them,” he says.

During Brian’s time at Groupon, digital payments started to take off. “Groupon was, in many ways, a three-sided payments marketplace,” he says. “We started thinking about new ways to process payments and how those payments might be defrauded or manipulated. This challenge set me off on a career combining technology, math, and data science with law, regulation, and criminal enforcement.”

Joining — and growing with — Chime

When Brian heard of Chime, it was our mission that stood out to him the most — and how unique our offering is. “Traditional banks make money on the assets they hold, but if someone is living paycheck to paycheck, they have fewer assets to manage,” he explains. “We’re focused on solving a problem for people that no other fintech has meaningfully tried to solve, and we fundamentally believe that by using data and technology, we can.”

He was also drawn to Chime’s culture. “Chime is a truly human organization,” he says. “There’s a kindness that’s pervasive throughout the company. Our team isn’t just about working diligently to put themselves in the shoes of our members; they’re also dedicated to understanding and relating to each other.”


In his role, Brian leads product management and operations for Chime’s Foundations group, which manages products for risk, member support, and data solutions. Prior to his current role, Brian led the team responsible for product management of Chime’s financial platform, and before that, he led our risk organization and Data Science and Machine Learning (DSML) teams.

“Just as my role has changed over time, Chime has too,” Brian says. “When I joined in 2018, we were growing quickly, so we needed to develop more robust risk solutions and build machine learning as one of the company’s core competencies. Over time, one of the biggest and most pressing challenges that has emerged is our need to invest in technology platforms for the future. The specific challenges change often, but they all point towards our bigger goals.”

The ever-evolving problems to be solved
For Brian, the challenges his team is solving are widespread. They all represent real problems to be solved for real people — and they never stop evolving.

  • Risk: “The only way to serve Chime’s unique members is to be the best in how we manage risk. Ultimately, we want to help others — but we can’t do that if we are operating at a loss. Plus, risk events are orders of magnitude more painful for customers who have less to begin with. We are acutely aware of our need to manage risk in order to protect our members and help them get ahead.”
  • Support: “It is Chime’s ambition to be the market leader in core financial services for everyday Americans; a huge part of that is supporting our millions of customers. Our Support team works to scale our various support mechanisms so they are sustainable as we grow — and our members can always get the help they need. This involves rethinking tools for our members and agents, as well as building delightful self-serve experiences and automated solutions leveraging AI.”

  • Data: “Our data team is focused on how data is going to transform our business and our member experience. They use data to better understand and serve each member uniquely, exploring how to best leverage this monumental new technology to make Chime the best fintech out there.”

Brian’s return to Chicago

One of the first things Brian started thinking about when he joined Chime was how to grow our employee base outside of the Bay Area. “There are so many great hubs of fintech and banking services talent elsewhere,” he explains. “My heart has always been in Chicago — an exceptional space for fintech talent — so that felt like a natural place to go.”

Brian remembers interviewing Chimer Candice Hayes for a role in Chicago before Chime even had an office — they met at a Starbucks in the West Loop instead. “We opened our Chicago office in 2019, and since then, we’ve grown our team, moved into a beautiful Class A office space, and watched our neighborhood evolve and grow alongside us,” he says.

Issues dear to his heart

Brian has always been deeply committed to equality, fairness, and leveling the playing field. It’s a huge part of what drew him to Chime and, long before that, compelled him to be active in Diversity, Equity, and Belonging (DEB) work and, more specifically, the LGBT community. He was a steering committee member of the Chicago chapter of StartOut, a nonprofit organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer entrepreneurs, and is the executive sponsor for the Chime Resource Group, OutChime.

“I’ve learned the most from people with different experiences, cultures, and backgrounds,” he says. “It’s one of my core beliefs that the world would be a more compassionate, caring place if we all better understood and respected each other.”

Not only has this work enriched Brian’s life experience personally, but he’s seen it at work, too. “There are scores of studies that show how much more impact diverse teams make in organizations,” he says. “We live this every day at Chime and especially so in Chicago.”

To bring DEB into the every day, Brian is committed to putting procedures, policies, and guardrails into place — like having a Rooney Rule approach to talent. “I want to ensure that we at Chime make it part of our everyday behavior to do the right thing,” he says. “Part of that is recognizing that we all have unconscious biases and creating a culture of safety where it’s encouraged for people to “call out” when someone may make a misstep, like talking over others or waiting to speak up in a meeting.”

Looking back with pride and ahead with excitement</h2

Looking back, Brian can’t help but feel proud of taking a chance on Chime over five years ago. “We only had ~75 employees, and since then, we’ve built this company together with passionate people who have made it the country’s largest challenger banking app,” he says. “It’s so fulfilling to look at the amazing team of caring, compassionate, human Chimers that I’ve had the good fortune to hire and surround myself with over the years.”

He’s also proud that we opened our Chicago presence to be closer to our members and increase diversity in our teams. “I never would have imagined back in 2019 that we’d have over 100 Chimers in Chicago in a beautiful new office building!” he says.

Looking ahead, Brian is excited for another year of growth and scaling new and existing products to help our members even further. “I’d be remiss not to mention how exciting it is to add even more talented Chimers to our teams since they’re the engine behind our growth,” he says. “Oh yeah — we’re hiring!”

To see open roles, visit our careers page.

 

 

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.

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