avatar for Vanessa Jupe

Vanessa Jupe

H&R Block
VP, Digital Products & Services
Vanessa has 16 years of digital product and marketing experience with multiple consumer-facing brands. At H&R Block, Vanessa serves as the Vice President of the digital team focused on evolving the way clients prepare their taxes. Currently, she is focused on creating an agile, empowered culture, building a strong data oriented product team, and leveraging new technological advancements to strengthen our position as the leader in tax. Prior to joining H&R Block, she worked for USAA and most recently served as Executive Director leading the product portfolio for their digital investment products. In that role, she built a 20-person team of digital experts that delivered solid sales growth year-over-year with increasingly positive customer satisfaction scores. Her team also launched the firm’s robo-adviser product, Digital Investment Advisor, leveraging a new development framework and responsive web technology. Prior to joining USAA, Vanessa worked for DIRECTV where she led digital entertainment content and product strategy. Her team’s accomplishments included releasing the first video streaming experience, voice-enabled search and personalization. Vanessa also has experience teaching product management best practices at General Assembly.
Vanessa is a passionate about human-centered design, research, and being data driven.
An avid learner, Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. She is currently completing her Master of Science in Technology Commercialization from UT Austin McCombs School of Business.

Get to know Vanessa (Interview done in tandem with co-panelist Rita Arens)

Where will you focus your talk at FXD this year?
We will be discussing the intersection of digital and human experiences. Why and how do people reach out for help? When is data helpful and when do you have to look beyond the numbers? In what ways is technology helping or hurting the human connection?

What do you enjoy about the work you are doing in finance?

The work we do has a tangible impact on people’s lives. Everyone has to do taxes, but it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. We are really excited about the ways in which technology can make the tax filing process easier for our customers. We have a deep curiosity about how people make purchase decisions under stress.

What gets you most fired up in terms of a technology, tool, trend, or advancement?

Right now, we are really excited about the ways data can be leveraged to personalize and streamline digital experiences. AI, whether rules based or machine learning, is fascinating to us. We are also interested in tools that can help us better understand and connect the customer journey across touchpoints, both digital and physical. Lastly, we geek out about neuroscience and influence theory.

What do you think the future of financial experience will hold?

For tax, specifically, we will continue to see the experience simplify. We will continue to see more value being driven to the end user in terms of pricing and ROI.

What is the biggest obstacle you face in building a culture of design and innovation or putting a focus on wellbeing?

It always comes down to the human element. How hard is someone willing to work to make things happen? How influential can we be? How scrappy?

How might the industry solve it?

Companies should continue to evolve their processes. Scaled agile can drive alignment across an enterprise, Google-style design sprints can help drive focus… A lot of the improvements we think could be helpful in the industry are process driven.

What would you tell your younger self?

The challenges you face are the right challenges for you at this given moment in time. You can handle them and you’ll learn a ton.