Traditional financial institutions (FIs) continue to anticipate future demands and make progress in their modernization efforts, but they’re not doing it alone.
In this week’s roundup of bank-FinTech collaboration and open banking initiatives, Citi embraces the unlocking of account data to third-party FinTechs, while WEX weighs in on opportunity for banks to take advantage of partnerships. Plus, one FinTech offers a new spin on the open banking model to drive financial inclusion.
Citi Builds Open Banking Marketplace
Citigroup is in the process of developing an open banking marketplace of third-party FinTech solutions that facilitates the sharing of Citi account data. A Toolbox report said Citi has already signed data access agreements to several startups and data aggregators that, through approval of joint customers, can access data of Citi accounts.
In a statement, Citi U.S. Consumer Bank Chief Digital Officer Mike Naggar said the FI aims to provide customers “a choice, convenience and control of their financial data. Through the use of APIs, these agreements will help provide a seamless and secure data sharing experience for Citi customers who choose to share their financial data with third-party apps and services.”
WEX Talks Bank Partnerships To Advance B2B Payments
In a conversation with PYMNTS, WEX Corporate Payment Solutions Senior Vice President of Business and Partner Growth Greg Sassone explored the ongoing build-versus-buy debate within FIs, noting industry partnerships with third-party FinTechs and other technology providers can be an effective strategy to advancing B2B payment offerings.
“There’s an opportunity for banks to think about innovation, to modernize current workflows and to leverage some of the innovation that is happening within the FinTech community,” he said, noting that the cost of such collaborations should be only one of several factors when considering whether to collaborate, and with whom.
Radius Bank Ramps Up SMB Services With Narmi
Through a collaboration with omnichannel account opening technology firm Narmi, Radius Bank is building upon its growth in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) segment fueled by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). To meet the needs of is larger SMB customer base, Radius Bank announced the rollout of its new business banking platform and mobile app for small firms, developed as a result of the Narmi partnership.
In a statement, Narmi Co-Founder Nikhil Lakhanpal said the collaborators “focused immensely on the user experience, and added seamless cash management tools, entitlements and various other business-focused functionality.”
Finantier Joins Y Combinator With Open Finance Model
Operating on the model of open finance, Singapore-based Finantier has joined Y Combinator‘s winter 2021 startup group to help fuel growth of its solution, currently in beta phase, according to a TechCrunch report. The startup has developed a platform that unlocks user financial data via application programming interface (API) to promote financial inclusion, including broadening access to financing for SMBs. The company is focusing on users that may be underbanked, lacking traditional bank accounts. Rather than relying on open banking to unlock bank data, the company’s open finance model unlocks data within other sources like eCommerce platforms or digital wallets. Financier plans to strengthen its presence in Singapore and Indonesia, with an eye on expansion into Vietnam and the Philippines.
Unifiedpost Broadens Open Banking Capabilities
Small business FinTech Unifiedpost is broadening its B2B platform through multiple acquisitions, with one takeover focused on broadening the company’s open banking capabilities. Unifiedpost said its acquisition of BanqUP will strengthen its open banking and data analytics capabilities for SMBs by unlocking access to open banking ecosystems to empower SMBs through analysis of their bank data. Unifiedpost highlighted cash flow forecasting as one key benefit of wielding open banking through the takeover, which will strengthen the firm’s position in the Poland market, Unifiedpost said.