Open Banking and bank-FinTech collaboration are the new norm for financial institutions around the world looking to upgrade their offerings for small businesses (SMBs). In this week's examination of the latest tie-ups, collaborations emerge from India and Qatar to the U.S. and beyond, with small business lending a particular focal point of these partnerships. Other initiatives include a focus on payments security, as well as connecting bank data to small business accounting portal QuickBooks.
SBM Bank Readies India For Open Banking
Private lender SBM Bank, based in India, announced a partnership with PayNearby to launch Open Banking solutions for each others' customers, reports in IndianWeb2 said this week. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop an "Open Banking network," and expand access to financial services, with SBM Bank planning to offer a suite of banking solutions through PayNearby's network of micro-enterprises and retailers via API integrations.
"At SBM Bank, banking has become an on-demand experience for the new-age customers," said Sidharth Rath, the bank's managing director and CEO, in a statement. "Branch locations, banking hours or normal waiting time — these concepts are fast eroding."
He added that the collaboration will open up access to banking services via the network of micro-businesses and retailers, which will, in turn, support economic growth.
Banks Embrace FinTech For Business Lending
Several banks have recently announced collaborations with banking Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and loan technology service providers to augment their corporate and small business lending capabilities.
One of them is The Huntington National Bank, which announced a partnership with Automated Financial Systems (AFS) to integrate with its commercial lending platform, AFSVision. The tool connects to other third-party systems for straight-through processing and real-time management of commercial loan portfolios.
In Australia, challenger bank Judo Bank said it will integrate the commercial lending SaaS of InfraRisk into its own small business lending operations. InfraRisk will add its credit management platform, Credit Value Maximiser (CVX), to the financial institution for enhanced management of borrower profiles, loan pricing and other areas of the small business lending process.
Freedom Bank, based in the U.S., recently revealed its partnership with StreetShares Platform to strengthen its SMB lending operations, and deepen its relationships with small business clients. Integrating StreetShares' technology will enable Freedom Bank to accelerate the lending process for SMB borrowers, connecting them to unsecured lines of credit and business loans as soon as 24 hours after credit approval, the companies stated.
In Europe, Germany-based small business banking platform Penta announced its integration with small business lending portal iwoca, enabling Penta clients to apply for and receive financing via iwoca from directly within the bank platform. In a statement, Penta CEO Marko Wenthin said the collaboration offers businesses a "single point of access" to funding.
Starling Links SMBs To QuickBooks
Before the end of the year, U.K. challenger bank Starling Bank announced that small business accounting solution QuickBooks would now be available via the Starling Business Marketplace. In addition to streamlined access to the cloud accounting solution via Starling, the bank will enable its small business clients to integrate their bank account data directly and automatically into QuickBooks for faster, more accurate data entry and accounting.
QIIB Eyes FinTech For Payments Security
Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) has just revealed its partnership with IBM Safer Payments, which will integrate its cross-channel fraud protection technology into the financial institution to combat payments fraud. In a statement, QIIB CEO Dr. Abdulbasit Ahmad al-Shaibei said that the investment in IBM technology will bring significant efficiency to the bank's fraud mitigation and cybersecurity initiatives.