Despite Growth, Questions Remain with Challenger Bank Numbers

With hefty injections of cash and ballooning customer numbers, challenger banks are gunning for a greater share of incumbent banks’ customers. They’re promoting customer growth as an indicator of ongoing success, but questions loom about whether these customers are using their challenger bank accounts as their primary account and whether customer acquisition gains are being …Read More

nbkc bank Taps Finastra to Build Conversational Banking App

Kansas City-based nbkc bank is building a conversational banking app with Finastra on the vendor’s growing open platform. The digital-savvy community bank, which uses Finastra’s Phoenix core banking solution, wants to be at the forefront of new and evolving communication channels to ensure it can meet customers wherever and however they want to do …Read More

German fintech Raisin to enter U.S. market next year

A  savings and investment platform based in Germany is opening up a new front in the war for U.S. customers’ deposit dollars. Raisin, which bills itself as a one-stop shop for online savings and investments, is planning to launch in the U.S. next year. Partnering with small and medium-sized institutions, the Berlin-based fintech acts like …Read More

nbkc bank Joins INV Fintech

INV Fintech, the sister accelerator to Bank Innovation, today announced the addition of nbkc bank as a member of its ecosystem. 

Currently in its seventh startup class, INV Fintech fosters innovation through information sharing, interactions and potential collaborations between startups, financial institutions and technology providers. Since 2015, it’s supported more than 50 startups in their efforts to grow their businesses. 

nbkc joins Fiserv, TIAA, Associated Bank and other financial institution members of INV Fintech. “We are excited to welcome nbkc,” said Rodrigo Suarez, principal of INV Fintech. “As a forward-looking community bank, nbkc will bring valuable perspectives to our startups, and it’s a great addition as we grow our ecosystem and continue pushing for fintech-bank collaborations.”  

nbkc has been actively working with fintech startups through its own accelerator program, Fountain City Fintech, launched in 2018. “As an early adopter, we work with fintechs in many ways – as an early-stage beta partner, as an investor or with a bank of record relationship, for example. Our goal is to be the fastest and easiest bank to work with in mutually-beneficial relationships,” said Eric Garretson, chief financial officer at nbkc. “INV Fintech aligns perfectly with our desire to be part of the ecosystem of forward-thinking people and companies in the financial services space.” 

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Payments Startup Marqeta Confirms $260m Funding Round

Card issuing platform Marqeta confirmed a $260 million Series E funding round to expand to new geographies, build more features and support new customer acquisition. Hedge fund Coatue Management led the round, with participation from Vitruvian Partners, Spark Capital, Lone Pine and Geodesic. Existing investors include Visa, ICONIQ, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures, Commerz Ventures …Read More

Mastercard, Divido Offer POS Financing Through U.K. Travel Site

Mastercard announced today that it has teamed with Divido, a multinational white-label platform for point-of-purchase lending, to offer online checkout financing for customers of U.K. travel site According to Mastercard, the flexibility of POS financing is particularly attractive to those faced with large-ticket purchases such as travel arrangements, as they are able to spread …Read More

CULedger Partners with R3 on Blockchain-Powered Cross-Border Payments

A credit union consortium is working on a blockchain-based cross-border payments tool aimed at serving 89,000 credit unions globally. CULedger, a group of credit unions working on distributed ledger technology, today launched a partnership with enterprise software firm R3 on a cross-border payments tool built on its Corda blockchain platform, called CUPay. The goal is …Read More

Azlo Partners with Kabbage on Small Business Loans to the Underserved

Business banking startup Azlo and digital lender Kabbage are teaming up to offer loans to small business customers, including those underserved by the big banks. The two companies inked the partnership, called Mission Street Capital, late last week. Their pitch is a fully digital tool that offers access to working capital for gig economy business …Read More

Wells Fargo Taps TransferMate for Cross-Border B2B Payments

Cross-border B2B payments provider TransferMate announced today that Wells Fargo will use its Global Invoice Connect platform to provide the bank’s U.S.-based commercial banking clients the ability to receive payments in U.S. dollars from their global customers. TransferMate, founded in 2010, collects funds from customers located in more than 50 countries around the world through …Read More

ATM numbers shrink as cashless trend grows in major markets

As a growing number of consumers swap out cash for mobile or card payments, ATM numbers globally have begun to fall. U.K.-based consultancy and research firm RBR reported today that the number of ATMs worldwide fell for the first time. It claims global ATM numbers fell by 1% in 2018 to 3.24 million, driven by …Read More

Challenger Bank Oxygen Serves Needs of Gig Economy Workers

When Hussein Ahmed was applying for a loan as a freelancer, he encountered a familiar roadblock: the lack of a predictable salary to show evidence of income. Without this information, it’s hard for banks to grant credit. Ahmed told Bank Innovation he founded Oxygen to solve this problem: to offer financial services and credit to …Read More

Wells Fargo to Take New App National by Year’s End

As the mobile-first generation starts to earn more money, the arms race to earn market share is heating up as large banks look to grow their digital-only brands and earn lifelong customers. Indeed, Wells Fargo is stepping up its digital-only banking game with a plan to launch its Greenhouse app nationwide by the end of the …Read More

Study finds mobile surpasses PC enrollments

Mobile enrollments made some major leaps this year, surpassing even computer enrollments. According to a study from IDology, an identity verification and fraud prevention company, 61% of Americans used a smartphone to enroll in some sort of an account this year, while 56% used a computer or laptop. The study also found a 19% jump …Read More

Canadian Startup KOHO raises C$42m to Expand Banking Services

KOHO, a Toronto-based digital banking startup, has raised C$42 million (US$31 million) in a Series B round to add new products and services. KOHO, with its millennial friendly aesthetic and messaging, currently offers its users debit cards, personal finance management tools and cashback features. CEO and co-founder Daniel Eberhard told Bank Innovation the new funding …Read More

Wealthbox CRM Integrates with SS&C in Effort to Save RIAs Time

Wealthbox CRM, a web-based customer relations management company, believes it has the tools to save financial advisors precious time. “CRM in the wealth sector has been overly complex, and there’s money to be made around that complexity,” Wealthbox CEO John Rourke said in an interview with Bank Innovation. “From CRM classroom and software training to …Read More

Lyft, Mastercard Partner to Offer Instant Payment, Banking for Drivers

Lyft drivers will now be able to get paid immediately and plug into a broader banking and personal savings ecosystem. The ride-hailing service is working with Mastercard and payments company Payfare on a co-branded debit card called Lyft Direct Debit. Through it, drivers can be paid immediately regardless of the ride cost. They’ll also be …Read More

Compliance Concerns Remain an Obstacle to Tech Upgrades, Study Finds

Despite the importance bank executives place on innovation, a significant number believe their banks lack the technology to invest in disruptors. Indeed, in a study released by Fenergo, the client lifecycle management software company, one of every five C-suite executives don’t think their bank’s technology allows them to invest in disruptive innovation. Greg Watson, the …Read More

Finastra hires Mark Miller as CFO

Banking technology giant Finastra has hired Mark Miller as chief financial officer. He replaces Rob Binns, who recently stepped down from the role. Miller previously served as chief financial officer at Marketo, a marketing automation software company that was acquired by Adobe in October 2018. He brings nearly 25 years of experience in tech, finance and …Read More

Why We Need Bank Innovation Build

There is a revolution going on inside banking. And that’s not just a cheap cliche.

It is this revolution that has led us to present Bank Innovation Build, our newest conference, on Nov. 6-7.

Allow me to explain: A few days ago, Dana Maor, a senior partner at McKinsey, wrote that the consultancy believes “that some 43% of all working hours in banking activities will be automated in the future,” creating a “massive shift from basic cognitive skills, to socio-economic and technological ones.” While understandable, it remains a startling statistic.

Maor pointed out this statistic in the context of talent strategy, but I would argue that this shift to automation has implications far beyond the HR department. The shift calls into question just how a bank should function at nearly every level.

Couple that question with the realities of today’s banking innovation and you have some serious uncertainty for the average bank CEO. There remains for many — OK, most — banks a tremendous gulf between innovation goals and innovation implementation and results. Invariably, banks still cannot get out of their own way when pursuing an innovation strategy or, at the least, the banks can simply do better to realize a greater innovation ROI.

Often these shortfalls come in one of three ways:

  • Under-resourced. Banks want to delight their customers, but are not prepared to allocate the resources necessary to offer revolutionary fintech products.
  • Under-emphasis. The inertia of legacy products, services and technologies leads a bank to avoid embracing true innovation, and by that we mean tangible new products that significantly change a methodology, resource allocation, HR dynamic or customer experience. In other words, this is not a “tweak the tech” approach.
  • Under-motivated. Yes, the bank adds an innovation team. Yes, there is budget for innovation. Yes, the “talk” is there. The only thing that’s missing: will. The bank lacks the will to change, a shortcoming that is often couched in many ways but invariably leads to an innovation team without results.

Even the notion of an innovation team has clouded recently. I was talking to the chief innovation officer of a major bank recently and, as we were catching up, I asked him about his day-to-day job. He said he was mainly engaged in mediation between the IT department and product development.

“Then why is your title still ‘chief innovation officer’?” I asked. “Good question,” he replied.

There are countless “good questions” in the banking industry today — too many, in fact – and they start with: how can innovation teams be reinvigorated and reinvented to improve today’s banking? When we started Bank Innovation in 2009, the notion of “banking innovation” was foreign. It is not today. In fact, it has matured and become commonplace, and that means innovation professionals need to identify ways to maximize their fintech resources, not just secure them. There is a better way to better results.

All these “good questions” led us to the conclusion that the industry demands a conference that endeavored to provide “good answers,” a conference that included sessions on the mechanics of a successful innovation team, the hallmarks of innovation HR and the recipe for successful bank-fintech collaboration. At Bank Innovation Build, the cumulative goal of the sessions is to discern how to improve the practice of banking innovation – not just for today but for the years to come – as the revolution of automation transforms banking into something none of us will recognize. This advancement needs to come not just in practice, but among personnel and teams that can refine their approach for greater ROI.

At Build, we will identify and share those best practices and ideas. The goals are lofty but we – all of us — are up to the task.

Bank Innovation Build details here.

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PayPal Tests Incentives to Bolster Venmo Debit Card Adoption

PayPal is using cashback incentives to grow its Venmo debit card user base, an anchor that could help the company monetize Venmo over the longer term. This month, PayPal began offering new Venmo debit card users a 5 percent cashback incentive (up to $20) on grocery purchases made with the Venmo debit card before June …Read More