B2B Payments

KeyBank Acquires Bolstr Digital Small Biz Lending Platform

KeyBank has acquired a digital lending platform for small businesses developed by Bolstr, the financial institution (FI) announced Wednesday (June 20).

KeyBank expects to fully implement the platform sometime this year as it moves to accelerate small businesses’ access to Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and traditional financing. The solution supports online loan applications and other digital features that accelerate the borrowing process for entrepreneurs.

“KeyBank is deeply committed to helping small businesses thrive and to providing them with the funding they need to grow,” said KeyBank Head of Business Banking Jamie Warder in a statement. “Bolstr’s technology transforms the small business lending process and allows us to more efficiently serve small businesses for their SBA and traditional lending needs.”

“We are excited to work with an organization that is dedicated to helping communities and small businesses prosper,” said Charlie Tribbett, co-founder of Bolster, which was launched in 2010. “By combining our digital expertise and KeyBank’s industry knowledge, business owners will receive exceptional service and the efficient lending experience they need to be successful.”

KeyBank did not disclose financial terms of the acquisition.

The takeover signals ongoing interest in traditional FIs to collaborate with and/or acquire FinTechs as they face heightened pressure to digitize and modernize, particularly in the small business lending arena.

Last year, KeyBank announced a partnership with another FinTech, Billtrust, in which it also made an equity investment. The collaboration led to the development of KeyBank’s KeyTotal AR platform to provide automated accounts receivable solutions to business customers.

“Banks have traditionally focused on payment execution,” said Matt Miller, KeyBank’s head of product and innovation for enterprise commercial payments, in a statement at the time. “We think that’s important, but in consulting with our clients, we hear a lot of pain upstream and downstream of payment processing. Partnering with innovators like Billtrust enables us to optimize clients’ processes from beginning to end.”



B2B APIs aren’t just for large enterprises anymore — middle-market firms and SMBs now realize their potential for enabling low-cost access to real-time payments and account data. But those capabilities are only the tip of the API iceberg, says HSBC global head of liquidity and cash management Diane Reyes. In this month’s B2B API Tracker, Reyes explains how the next wave of banking APIs could fight payments fraud and proactively alert middle-market treasurers to investment opportunities.