For FinTech, The Age Of Big Bank Collaboration?

No more enemies, and more than frenemies.  Big banks may be embracing partnerships with FinTechs.  And elsewhere, a few deals cemented collaborative efforts between tech upstarts and traditional players. 

Once less than friends with FinTechs, it looks like big banks are warming to the concept of collaboration with the relatively nimbler tech upstarts.

That’s according to a discussion held at the Benzinga Global Fintech awards, where executives from JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, HSBC, and Early Warning said that the larger firms are “more open” to joint efforts between the two subsets of financial players.

During the discussion, HSBC U.S. digital operations head Edward Achtner said that the bank has been eyeing such efforts as partnerships.  He noted that his own firm’s digital strategy has helped customers transfer $1 billion across mobile devices.

In addition, Melissa Feldsher, who runs Finn by Chase, the mobile banking app made available by JPMorgan Chase, said that FinTech firms help solve pain points for consumers when it comes to banking.  “We as large banks created a lot of those pain points for customers, and we did not make it easy to do business with us,” she said.

Separately, the European Central Bank, based in Frankfurt, Germany, has said that it chose Openlink to provide the bank’s risk and treasury management system.  The bank serves 19 European countries, it said in a statement, with the Euro as their currency.  The Openlink solution will support operations tied to managing Euro-denominated investment portfolios, decentralized management of the ECB foreign reserves and policy-driven asset purchase programs.

In funding news, SunTrust Bank, along with Waterfall Asset Management, has extended a $120 million asset-backed credit pact to Fundation.  That latter firm is a digital lender and credit solutions provider.  The firm said the credit facility will help the company extend credit to smaller businesses across the United States.  Fundation has a separate $120 million credit facility in place with Goldman Sachs, and another $35 million credit facility with MidCap Financial.  In addition, the company has partnerships in place with several banks.

In other company-specific reports, AvidXchange, which offers up accounts payable and payable automation solutions for midsized companies, has struck a multi-year partnership with Premier Community Bank focused on the latter’s Homeowner Association management customers.  The partnership involves strategic referrals.  Through those referrals, Premier Community will give managers access to the AP tools.  “Management companies and board members face a daunting challenge of paying vendors securely and on time,” stated Michael Praeger, CEO and Co-Founder of AvidXchange.  “We are proud to partner with Premier Community Bank to bring automation and payment innovation to their large and growing HOA customer base in central Florida.”

In deal-making of the acquisitive kind, Deutsche Bank said that it has acquired Quantiguous Solutions, a software firm based in Mumbai.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  The acquired firm’s team will be folded into Deutsche Bank’s operations focused on APIs and on open banking in particular.