With financial service providers accelerating their innovation efforts to help small businesses navigate pandemic volatility, they're collaborating between each other to enhance data sharing and rapid product rollouts.
Some collaborative efforts this past week appeared as a FinTech-FinTech partnership model: Contis and Currencycloud recently announced a tie-up to streamline cross-border payments, while eBay Australia and Zip have revealed their partnership to integrate buy now, financing for small- and medium-sized businesses using the online marketplace.
But when it comes to bank-FinTech collaboration, this week's initiatives are all about providing small businesses with an elevated view of their financial positions. Plus, one open banking startup landed seed funding for its payments application programming interface (API) technology. PYMNTS rounds up the latest additions to the B2B FinServ collaborative ecosystem below.
KeyBank Partners With Bill.com
Business payments FinTech Bill.com struck a new banking partnership last week with KeyBank. Together, the companies are launching Key CashFlow, a small business cash flow management solution that KeyBank will offer to its SMB customers via online banking. The solution integrates with businesses' existing back-office accounting portals to obtain a holistic view of finances, with Bill.com providing the technology to integrate end-to-end payments functionality within the portal.
"As we continue to collaborate with innovative financial applications companies across the country, such as Bill.com, we strive to make it easier for customers to get business done," said Megan Kakani, head of emerging products with KeyBank Enterprise Commercial Payments, with regards to the value of industry partnerships.
Metro Bank Taps Clear Books
In the U.K., Metro Bank secured a collaborative deal with Clear Books to introduce a new accounting solution for small- and medium-sized business customers. Available via Metro's online and mobile banking portals, the solution connects small businesses to a suite of tools that include invoice generation and financial reports.
"We worked alongside Metro Bank to carefully design a customer experience that provided small businesses with access to Clear Books accounting tools through Metro Bank’s online banking platforms," Clear Books CEO Ruth Fouracre said of the collaboration. "This partnership provides users of both Clear Books and Metro Bank with great tools, a more aligned experience between the two products, and amazing discounts."
Open Payments Lands Seed Funding
Open banking startup Open Payments announced a $3.5 million seed funding round last week led by Industrifonden, while existing backers Brightly Ventures and Luminar Ventures also participated. The startup operates an API aggregation platform compliant with PSD2 regulators, enabling third-party platforms and businesses to link directly into bank accounts and other financial institutions. With the new funding, Open Payments said it plans to expand its team and broaden its market presence across the Nordic and European regions.
In a statement announcing the funding, the firm's founder and CEO Jonas Kjellin said that collaboration will be key for the future of financial services: Big Tech firms "will have a big impact on how we perform financial services in the future, but also requires traditional FinTechs, and by bridging the gap between them, we have a great position to offer our customers a flexible solution," he said.