Five Ways Partnerships Between Banks and Fintechs Help Drive Innovation

To steal a line from Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, when it comes to innovation in fintech, it takes two to make a thing go right. Whether the “thing” is an end-to-end digital transformation or creating the technology infrastructure to enable firms to build and market their own innovations, collaboration and partnership with fintechs increasingly seems to be the path that the most forward-looking banks and other financial institutions are pursuing.

With this in mind, here’s a look at some of the more interesting recent partnership announcements over the past month – with an eye toward what these collaborations might be saying about the near-term future of fintech.

DBS Bank: Headquartered in Singapore. Total assets of $420 billion (SGD 579 billion) in 2019. Largest bank in Southeast Asia. Operates in 18 markets around the world.

  • Partner: Infor
  • Project: Digital trade financing
  • Objective: Faster “more cost efficient” financing for the 68,000+ SMEs on Infor’s Nexus network.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC): Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Has 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S., and 34 other countries. Total assets of $1.2 trillion (1.49 trillion CAD) as of 2019.

  • Partner: Red Hat, Nvidia
  • Project: In-house, AI-based private cloud platform
  • Objective: The new build will allow the bank to develop “transformative intelligent applications” and to bring those solutions to market faster.

Orange: Telecommunications corporation headquartered in Paris, France. Fourth largest telecom in Europe and one of the ten largest in the world with 26 million customers. Total assets of $124 billion (€106 billion) and revenues of $49 billion (€42 billion) as of 2019.

  • Partner: Temenos, NSIA
  • Project: Orange Bank Africa launch
  • Objective: Partnership will bring savings and micro credit services to underserved customers in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal.

Lloyds Banking Group Headquartered in London, U.K., Lloyds is the country’s largest digital bank with 16.9 million active customers online and 11.5 million on mobile. Founded in 1765, the bank currently has total assets of more than $1 billion (£833 billion).

  • Partner: Form3
  • Project: Along with partners Google Cloud and Microsoft, Form3 will help the U.K.-based bank “investigate and develop” a cloud-payments-as-a-service platform.
  • Objective: The collaboration, which also includes a minority equity stake in Form3, will simplify Lloyd’s payment capabilities and support enhanced data and new overlay services.

Banca Ifis: Specialty commercial and corporate banking firm for SMEs headquartered in Venice, Italy. The firm has more than 130,000 retail clients in the country, and online funding and deposits totaling more than $4.7 billion (€4 billion).

  • Partner: Raisin
  • Project: New deposit products
  • Objective: Raisin’s customers in Germany will gain access to deposit solutions available from Banca Ifis. The collaboration will enable German customers to take advantage of relatively higher interest rates available in Italy.

Other fintech/financial institution partnerships of note this month:


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Bankjoy Inks a Pair of Credit Union Partnerships

Michigan-based Bankjoy announced a pair of new credit union partners late last week. The company, which enables credit unions and community banks to offer their members and customers a variety of mobile banking and online banking solutions, will work with both CACL Federal Credit Union of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and SIU Credit Union of Carbondale, Illinois, to help them add new members and enhance the experience for current customers.

“As digital demands continued to rise – as well as fraud – within the credit union industry because of COVID-19, we are pleased to provide our technology offerings to meet these growing demands at SIU and CACL,” Bankjoy CEO Michael Duncan said. “Having these progressive tools to make online processes more efficient and user friendly enhances the value of credit unions not only right now but for the foreseeable future, as well.”

CACL FCU, with 11,600 members and $146 million in assets, will leverage its new relationship with Bankjoy to boost its membership base by offering more mobile options. “We were blown away by the layout and advancements within the platform compared to the competition,” CACL FCU COO Joshua Burgess said in a statement. Burgess also praised Bankjoy’s voice banking solution Joy, which he called a “huge selling point.”

Bankjoy’s online and mobile solutions are equally likely to make a big impact with the even-larger SIU CU – which boasts 40,800 members and $344 million in assets.

These deals reflect a resumption of Bankjoy’s aggressive, partner-making pace from earlier this year. In April alone, the company announced that it was working with seven different credit unions representing 87,000+ members and more than $1 billion in assets combined. Also this spring, Bankjoy hosted a COVID-19 Online Summit to help address the impact of the global health crisis on the credit union industry.

“Our COVID-19 Online Summit was a very transparent event for credit union executives to freely exchange ideas and help each other,” Duncan told CU Times. “We’re all looking for more information to stay in front of this crisis and when you can get it from a peer that’s always a good thing.”

The global health crisis has been hard on credit union members, as well. The impact of COVID-19 on those who rely on credit unions for their banking was the focus of a Gallup study earlier this year. The survey revealed that credit union members were feeling more disruption in their financial lives due to the pandemic compared to the national average (76% versus 70%). The data also showed a significant increase in the number of credit union members who characterized their financial wellbeing as “struggling” or “suffering”.

Many of the recommendations – helping increase peace of mind, building hope, and reducing unnecessary stress – mirror those suggested by other financial institutions looking for ways to help their customers during the fight against the coronavirus.


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Bankjoy and Zogo Finance Team Up to Onboard and Educate Gen Z Customers

Bankjoy and Zogo Finance are betting that helping credit unions and community banks educate their members rather than “sell” to them is the key to better engagement for CUs and better financial health for consumers.

In a strategy especially geared toward attracting Gen Z customers, Bankjoy and Zogo will offer credit unions a combined financial literacy program and online account opening solution. The combined technology enables new members to join in 90 seconds or less while improving their financial wellness. The partnership will enable credit unions to refashion their offers into educational opportunities rather than just sales pitches, and help the next generation as they grow from learning financial responsibility to taking financially responsible actions, like opening a savings account.

Zogo founder and CEO Bolun Li said that the partnership will enable users of his company’s platform to “take the next step and join a credit union.” Zogo Finance, which won Best of Show at its Finovate debut last fall, leverages behavioral finance – and real world rewards – to guide users of its technology through a series of 300+ educational micro-modules. These lessons, providing information on topics like using credit and successful savings, help users meet the national standards for financial literacy. Successful completion of a module grants the user points that can be redeemed as gift cards from leading brands.

For many fintechs, Gen Z represents an opportunity to market financial solutions based more on financial literacy and the balance between credit, consumption and savings, as opposed to debt-fighting strategies and longer-term family planning. As the median Millennial is moving into their thirties, the oldest Gen Zs are negotiating their teenage years and starting to develop the kind of financial habits that could stick with them well into adulthood.

GoMedici recently cited a RaveReviews study that indicated that the average Gen Z youth begins learning about financial planning at the age of 13. The study indicated that of its polled respondents, 60% of Gen Z had a savings account and 89% said that “planning for their financial future made them feel empowered.” The study added that it expects Gen Z to comprise as much as 40% of the consumer market as early as this year.

“Zogo is exactly the kind of value we have been looking for to add to our digital banking platform,” Bankjoy CEO Mike Duncan said. “Providing financial education to younger generations builds value on top of our digital banking ecosystem and delivers it through all our different channels to create a better member experience – especially for Gen Z.”

Zogo Finance finished 2019 with news that it had partnered with 11 community banks and credit unions in 12 different states. Founded in 2018, the company is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.

Bankjoy also ended last year with new partners in the credit union community. An alum of FinovateFall from 2016, where the company demonstrated its API, Bankjoy announced in December that it was collaborating with three credit unions in Indiana and Texas that have a combined $500+ million in assets and 50,000+ members. Based in Royal Oak, Michigan, Bankjoy was founded in 2015.

Bankjoy Unveils a Trio of New Credit Union Customers

Michigan-based digital banking solution provider Bankjoy is ending the year with three new credit union partners. The company, which demonstrated its API at FinovateFall 2016, announced this week that three credit unions in Indiana and Texas with a combined $500+ million in assets and more than 50,000 members, will join its technology ecosystem of online and mobile banking solutions.

The credit unions teaming up with Bankjoy are Mobility CU and Las Colinas FCU – both of Irving, Texas – as well as Fort Financial CU of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mobility CU has $223 million in assets and 16,500 members. Las Colinas FCU has $73 million in assets and 9,800 members. Fort Financial CU has $237 million in assets and 26,800 members.

Las Colinas’ FCU President/CEO Kevin Scott noted that the ability to deliver a robust mobile experience to members was a key factor in partnering with Bankjoy. The mobile experience, he said, must be able keep up with what customers are already enjoying from platforms like Amazon and Google if credit unions expect to compete. In that regard, Scott explained, “Bankjoy’s vision for their digital platform is closely aligned with our own.”

Bankjoy CEO Michael Duncan added that the company’s technology is designed to help credit unions succeed “today and well into the future, as products, services, and platforms continue to evolve at a rapid pace.” Bankoy’s platform offers online and mobile banking with built-in financial goal management, and the company’s marketing technology enables firms to issue highly-relevant advertising and information to customers and members across all digital channels. This includes voice, which Duncan recently demonstrated during a segment on CU Broadcast.

Mobility CU President/CEO Ron Perry specifically highlighted this aspect of the partnership, and said he looked forward to integrating with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Perry also pointed to the opportunity to grow deposits and loans by leveraging Bankjoy’s account opening and loan application processing technology.

Founded in 2015, Bankjoy made its Finovate debut a year later at FinovateFall. Headquartered in Royal Oak, Michigan, the company offers an advanced banking API that enables financial institutions from flagship banks to credit unions to offer digital onboarding, mobile and online banking, online loan origination, and conversational AI-enabled services.

In addition to the partnerships announced this week, Bankjoy teamed up with financial literacy specialist Zogo Finance in November to help credit unions better attract Generation Z customers. Also that month, Bankjoy announced that Pyramid FCU, Cooperative Teachers FCU, and Mutual 1st FCU – with a combined $382 million in assets and 34,8000 members in Arizona, Texas, and Nebraska – would join its technology ecosystem.

Finovate Alumni News

Around the web

  • Bankjoy inks partnerships with a trio of Indiana and Texas-based credit unions: Las Colinas FCU, Fort Financial CU, and Mobility CU.
  • Polish telecom Cyfrowy Polsat to take minority stake in Asseco Poland.
  • Nutmeg CEO Martin Stead will leave his post in early 2020, and will be replaced by CFO and COO Jason Alexander.
  • Datasine forges technology partnership with digital marketing platform Mapp.
  • MacKay Municipal Managers chooses open architecture digital platform from Artivest for its financial advisors.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Interactions Partners with Next Caller for Phone-Based Threat Assessment.
  • BioCatch Brings Behavioral Biometrics to ACI Worldwide.

Around the web

  • Token to support PSD2 compliance and open banking capabilities for U.K.’s thinkmoney.
  • SafeAmericaCU’s switch to AI-powered technology from Bankjoy helps the $433 million asset FI to earn “Best Practices” honors from CU Journal.
  • TransferWise secures £65 million syndicated debt facility with NatWest, JP Morgan, and LHV Bank.
  • iSignthis plans for Australian neobanking license in 2019.
  • PayNearMe’s electronic payment volume grew by more than 25% month-over-month in the past year.
  • Klarna joins Shopify Plus Partner program to power merchants.
  • TrueAccord wins a Healthy Mothers Workplace Award.
  • Passport recognized as one of Charlotte’s fastest growing companies.
  • Launchfire wins gold Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Award.
  • Bill.com selects Comdata as Virtual Credit Card Provider for B2B Payments.
  • TopTracker partners with Payoneer to allows free payments between companies and freelancers.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Payworks to Fuel New Point of Sale Tool for Bambora.
  • Roostify Enhances Customization with New Adapt Tool
  • Check out today’s FinovateFall Sneak Peeks:

Around the web

  • Seasons FCU selects online and mobile banking technology from Bankjoy.
  • Customer experience specialist Truphone partners with Verifone.
  • AlphaPoint taps Sri Manda as its new Chief Information Security Officer.
  • RegTech Supplier Performance Report ranks Trulioo’s GlobalGateway as top ID verification tool for third consecutive year.
  • Telenor pioneers Norwegian Open AI Lab.
  • WSJ features LendUp’s focus on subprime lending.
  • Diebold Nixdorf hires advisers to seek a sale.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Zopa Raises More than $57 Million to Support Next Generation Bank.
  • Mitek Helps Bring Mobile Deposit to Credit Unions.
  • Crypterium Releases Crypto-Fiat Solution.

Around the web

  • Sberbank Group CTO David Rafalovsky selected to lead Sberbank’s Technology Block.
  • BlueRush announces new Chief Financial Officer, Dave Badun.
  • Thomson Reuters adds Dealerweb and Icap pricing to its Reuters Capital Markets 19901 service.
  • MEDICI features Ayasdi, Feedzai, FixNix, IdentityMind Global, BehavioSec, and identitii in its roster of top RegTech startups.
  • Bankjoy to power mobile and online banking for Marshland Federal Credit Union.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Signicat and Mitek Team Up to Improve Digital Onboarding.
  • Meniga Scoops Up $3.6 Million in New Funding Courtesy of UniCredit Investment.
  • OutSystems’ $360 Million Funding Round Boosts Valuation Above $1 Billion.
  • Credit Karma Hires Colleen McCreary as First Chief People Officer.

Around the web

  • Oman’s Bank Sohar to deploy core banking platform from Infosys Finacle.
  • IdentityMind Global announces update of its trusted digital identities platform.
  • Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky tells Reuters his company will seek a banking license in the U.S.
  • i-Sight to deploy ACI Worldwide’s Case Management solution to fight bank fraud.
  • D3 Banking Technology unveils new account opening service.
  • collectAI improves Hanseatic Bank’s receivables management with a 24 percent higher collection rate.
  • SMArtX adds 18 new strategies.
  • Kony unveils new digital banking solution – Kony DBX
  • Edwards Federal Credit Union signs with Bankjoy to enhance home and mobile banking functionality.
  • Two of the top 5 US banks (and three of the Top 10) are now using Socure’s ID+ platform.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Bankjoy Signs Credit Union of Ohio

Digital banking services company Bankjoy may bring a bit of joy this week to the members of Credit Union of Ohio. That’s because Credit Union of Ohio is now leveraging the Michigan-based startup’s online and mobile banking technology to bring its members a new, omnichannel banking experience.

The move is strategic for Credit Union of Ohio. The credit union’s VP of Marketing & Strategic Planning Jill Gerschutz said that the implementation is an “ideal way” to retain members because it shows that Credit Union of Ohio is adapting and evolving with new trends. Gerschutz also hopes the move will boost the number of members who use the credit union’s mobile app. “We see the importance of constant movement to enhance our services – especially when it comes to technology and their online banking needs,” Gerschutz said.

After Credit Union of Ohio’s previous online banking provider announced it was discontinuing its product and would no longer provide updates, the credit union reached out to Bankjoy. “With an ever-changing technology environment,” Gerschutz said, “we knew this was crucial to finding a new product.” And since Bankjoy has already worked with all of Credit Union of Ohio’s third-party vendors, the transition will be an easier one. Other factors swaying Credit Union of Ohio toward Bankjoy include the number of customization options, as well as the startup’s innovative nature, such as offering facial recognition and TouchID login options.

At FinovateFall 2016, Bankjoy Founder and CEO Mike Duncan showcased the company’s API. It is a REST API that offers real-time transaction data and features such as card management, check deposit, money transfer, bill payment features, and loan applications. It has been a busy deal-making season for Bankjoy. The Y-Combinator alum inked a deal with SafeAmerica Credit Union last month to provide the credit union’s 35,000+ members a better online and mobile banking experience.

Finovate Alumni News

On the web

  • Bankjoy Signs Credit Union of Ohio.

Around the web

  • Digital Signage Pulse interviews Neustar’s Kathleen Dundas about the company’s expansion to the digital-out-of-home (DOOH) market.
  • Lendio franchise announced in Seattle Central region.
  • PYMNTS talks to Modo CEO Bruce Parker about payments in the cloud.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Nordic Capital Fund Acquires Majority Share of Trustly.

Around the web

  • Coinbase granted e-money license by U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); joins Faster Payments Scheme courtesy of partnership with Barclays Bank.
  • ACI Worldwide announces contract extension with DBS.
  • Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade for Vietnam (Vietcombank) picks trade finance platform from Finastra.
  • nCino and Enforce partner to accelerate cloud adoption for financial institutions.
  • Tradeshift partners with Canon Business Process Services.
  • Pindrop partners with Aeriandi to detect fraudulent calls through cloud platforms.
  • GMO’s Z.com Trade adds Trustly as payment option.
  • Kabbage teams with New Media to advertise to more than five million small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) that do business in New Media’s markets.
  • OnDeck appoints Kenneth Brause as CFO.
  • Sandia Area Credit Union hires Insuritas to launch member-owned, digitally-powered insurance agency.
  • Oregon Community CU selects Alkami Technology’s digital banking platform to provide its more than 150,000 members with a modern digital banking offering.
  • Bankjoy selected to compete in Google Demo Day in March.
  • TSYS implements new payment solution, Advanced AuthControl, with Walmart and Sam’s Club locations around the U.S.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.